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The Paddock
The Paddock
Last updated:
Burt Road, Woodanilling, Western Australia, AU
Climate zone:
Warm Temperate

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The Paddock

The Paddock

Woodanilling, AU

Alexandra Berendt Andrew Williamson Janice Ross Salah Hammad Terry Haven Valeria Andrews Zeljko Serdar

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Windbreaks and water tanks

Project: The Paddock

Posted by Amanda McLennan almost 12 years ago

Well our new water tank has been delivered and the sand pad laid by the wonderful guys at Woody Shire, now all we need is a windbreak - pronto!

Our property has a new name! After meeting a lot of lovely Woody locals at our neighbours' birthday party we decided to change our block's name from La Bella Vita (which was an in-joke to us) to The Paddock, which has a much better 'country' ring to it. We'll be visiting The Paddock this weekend to hook up our new water tank to the guttering on the shed so we will be 'officially' rain harvesting.

On a recent overnight trip to the site we checked on the progress of our citrus trees in the swales and the windburn is continuing to be a problem; most of the large leaves are being blown off in the strong gales. This has led us to revise our site design so that the revegatation area (that will be planted first) will form two arcs to setup two zones surrounded by vegetation on three sides. These will create a windbreak for our food forests which will begin to be planted the following year.

Hopefully we will receive funding for the revegetation of the site which will allow us to plant 'thick and fast' on the ground, which we'll be able to thin later, as required. If we can afford it we will also be planting a variety of legumes over the areas NOT to be revegetated, so that we can cut back into these areas as our orchards and food forest are planted. I will attach a revised set of drawings soon.

After completing my Soil Management course at ACS I have started testing which legumes we currently have that are nitrogen fixing. The legume grass we have (species unknown) DOES appear to be fixing nitrogen - the root nodules are red. However the small tagasaste tree I dug up had white nodules so either these trees are not inoculated with the right bacteria or the tree I dug up was too young to fix nitrogen (which is a possibility, it was a small plant in comparison to the rest of them).

I will try testing the tagasaste again in the future.

During our last visit it was very cold; the official temperature in the nearest town with a weather station (Wagin) said the minimum reached was 2 degrees celcius overnight. However it was obviously much colder at our block overnight, there was a thick frost on the ground, ice on the outside of the tent and sheets of ice sitting on top of the eco-bags in the morning.

The severity of the frost really surprised me, no wonder all the seedlings in our swales died, however I am sure that once our revegetation is in place this will also help create a nicer ecosystem for the food plants that come later.

Having dug the 3 swales by hand has given us the opportunity to experiment with swales on a small scale before digging them into the land on a large scale, which we will be doing in the near future. This has helped us see how the seasons and weather affect the landscape and the plants upon it; we are really lucky to have had this time to watch and learn (and adjust our plans) before we spend REAL money and time on building our permaculture site.

Comments (2)

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Alexandra Berendt
Alexandra Berendt : Where did you get the Tagasaste from? Did you plant it or was it already there? I've been trying to find seedlings but have not been too successful so far. I have now bought some seed and will be giving that a go while hoping for the best...

Have you tried feeding it to any lifestock yet? Did they like it? I am told horses can be fussy about it and need to be "convinced" t eat it at first (usually by mixing with other, known and liked feed in increasing amounts)
Posted almost 12 years ago

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Amanda McLennan
Amanda McLennan : Hello Alexandra, the tagasaste was already present - sparsely across one corner of the property. Our neighbours have cows and sheep in the neighbouring paddock and the cows broke down the fence last year during summer to get to the tagasaste - they love it. I'm not sure about horses though.
Posted almost 12 years ago

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