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John Morrison 's Profile
John Morrison
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Eatons hill North brisbane, QLD, Australia
Climate Zone:
Sub tropical

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12 months on

Posted by John Morrison about 8 years ago

Wow it's been 12 months since we've had our earthworks done.

Starting from the top of our block is the banana pit circle. Most impressive. We planted tissue culture Gold Finger and Sugar bananas and also a local Lady Finger. They have not flowered yet but are approx 400mm (18inch) across the butt. It's not possible to add too much carbon waste to this pit. Our recycle bin is often empty. Over the last few warmer months we have had frogs calling from this pit. This is really amazing as we are using recycled water from our bio cycle waste water plant and frogs are an indication species for clean water. The average water input is 400 litres per day.

The swales down hill from the carbon pit hold about 6000-8000 litres and filled 8 times in the last 12 months. We have started fruit trees and sweet potatoes and various legumes. The original cover crop was black cow pea and desmodium. 

The best part so far

We now have avocados and pawpaws and a large variety of sweet spuds and control of our water run off. During the wet season we used to have a swampy area but now have this area growing pumpkins. During the last wet season we had 275mm (13 inches) of rain fall in 3 days and while there was no way we could capture all this water, the run off was slow and clean.

We have had ground fungi and mushrooms like never before. The diversity of plant numbers is returning. (the area was an overgrazed horse paddock)

We are expecting to be self sufficient in bananas this year with 7 plants yielding 4 bunches  per annum. Gold Finger bananas can produce a bunch 20-40 kg so at a 20 kg bunch, that's 560kg per annum. Ok, I'm counting my chickens before they hatch. So talking of chickens! We have about 15 behind an electric chicken fence where they cultivate the soil for us.(chickens will be covered in another update)

Pumpkins did very well with last year's crop at 340kg and the variety was a cross pollination; the fruit looked like a pawpaw shape but was very sweet. We had other weed crops too like cherry tomatoes which we are still picking. The best plant in our aquaponics is still producing and we've have picked about 10kg of this plant so far.

(Aquapinics will also be covered in another update)

We have also spent many hours enjoying this outdoor area.

The bad stuff

We seriously underestimated the number of plants and support species needed to fill the area so we have had to keep planting support species to control grass. We expect to continue planting this as a food forest for years to come. 

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My Badges
My Permaculture Qualifications
Pri verified
Permaculture design course
Type: Online Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: On line
Date: Mar 2014
Other course verified
Type: Earthworks
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: Pdc online
Date: Mar 2014

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