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Integro Food Forest
Integro Food Forest
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6 Birt Street, Picnic Bay, Magnetic Island, Townsville, Queensland, AU
614 747581771
Climate zone:
Wet/Dry Tropical

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Integro Food Forest

Integro Food Forest

Townsville, AU

Blake Hudson Carol Fitzgerald Dominique Chanovre Jay Jackson Jeremy Bensimon Mardhiyyah Stoleriu Valeria Andrews Vanessa Monge Augusto Fernandes

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forest gardening --> my first steps in applying permaculture

Project: Integro Food Forest

Posted by Leon van Wyk about 13 years ago

This is the beginning of the transition / transformation of our monsoon tropical 1/4 acre block. photos included.


first swale in backyard


first photo is at the VERY START of the wet season in 2010 -- of me creating the first swale in January 2010... which gave me a point to start from in creating the other garden beds. I wanted pigeon peas on the swale, but I knew the coming monsoon would wash the seedlings out of the mound and so I planted Guinea Grass clumps in between each Pigeon Pea seed that I planted. These grass clumps are not native's but they are vigorous and grow all over the Island and are an excellent source of mulch and their roots are extremely quick to hold soil against erosion. This slowed the growth of the Pigeon Peas but performed the functions I have just stated and after a few months the Pigeon Peas were all about 2m tall (closely planted so they competed with each other as well) and the Guinea Grass was getting weaker by being chopped for mulch so often.




Second photo is of the backyard after the rains had started. Some garden beds just dug ready to be mulched and planted up.



third photo is of one half of the swale with some water slowly infiltrating. the garden beds in the background have many different herbs, flowers and a few vegetables planted in them (perennials and annuals), mulched with Guinea Grass but not fertilized as i wanted to see what the fertility of the soil was like without nutrient inputs.




fourth is the other half of the swale which i dug out to be more of a retention basin for growing arrowroot and taro. hard to see are the waterchestnuts; but they didn't do well because it wasn't inundated permanently, so i dug them up and put them in a simple pond i made from a bathtub.

[waterchestnuts are swamp plants that are adapted to full flooding for a few months and then a prolonged dry season in which they store their energy (sugars) within corms (the "chestnuts") that are encased by dry mud waiting for the rains to return]


front yard feb 2010


Fifth is our house from the street at the front corner of our property, after i had dug up the old eroded and compacted driveway into mounds and ditches, mulched them but not yet planted them to cassava and pampas grass and moringa and sorghum and mungbeans and buckwheat (but the little pigeon pea at front and the two pineapples at the end were planted quicksmart).



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