Pia has lived in a variety of locations within Australia and New Zealand with markedly different climatic zones and soil conditions and managed to harvest healthy and sustainable organic produce over the past twenty years that focus on the following techniques:
- CHEMICAL FREE,
- WATER SAVING,
- COST SAVING
- TIME SAVING, and
- SUSTAINABLE (recycling kitchen leftovers, reducing waste and landfill).
The non-chemical approach highlights the important role of ‘above’ and ‘below’ ground organisms termed ‘Workers and Warriors’ that are important for healthy plants to thrive in the garden. Most plants require pollination to produce seeded fruits, vegetables, herbs & spices that we eat to survive!
‘Workers’ include pollinators (eg bees, hoverflies, butterflies, moths and some birds) as well as visible organisms (eg worms, slaters, ants, bugs) and micro-organisms that aid in the decomposition process in the soil and ‘Warriors’ include some insects, reptiles, spiders and birds that effectively control other species by predation naturally.
In time, a natural ecological balance is created and maintained maximising the quality and quantity of healthy, harvestable and sustainable produce available year after year.
Water transplanted seedlings for seven consecutive days (The’Seven Day Rule’ unless raining) and thereafter limit watering (only during extended dry periods) to enable plant roots to access ground water naturally, increasing hardiness and drought tolerance.
COST SAVING, TIME SAVING & SUSTAINABLE
Minimal effort (time saving) when creating and maintaining ‘viable’ soil results in abundant produce from healthy and hardy plants that produce fruit, vegetable, herds & spices (cost saving) & sustainable over time.
1. SITE CHARACTERISTICS & GARDEN DESIGN
- Site Characteristics (e.g aspect, slope and drainage, soil type, existing trees, sheds, pathways etc)
- Garden Design (e.g paths, edging, fences, trellises etc)
2. WHAT PLANTS TO GROW?
Most of the plants that we grow that produce edible components such as fruit, vegetables, herbs & spices produce flowers that are pollinated by some insects, spiders and birds. Includes Propagation & Transplanting techniques.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Do not consume fruit, vegetables, herbs and/or spices without first checking the precautions. Some may be unsuitable to consume during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding. Consult a professional if adverse reactions occur or persist; severe allergic reactions are a medical emergency and may require immediate medical attention. If taking prescribed medications, seek professional advice before consuming as they may increase or decrease their effect.
3. ‘WORKERS’ & ‘WARRIORS’
Includes attracting ‘Workers’ (e.g pollinators & soil organisms) & ‘Warriors’ (e.g predatory insects, reptiles, spiders & birds) into your garden to create and maintain a natural ecological balance.
4. CREATING AND MAINTAINING ‘VIABLE SOIL’ (reducing waste & landfill)
Creating ‘viable’ soil is generally relatively easy to dig and replant due to the associated high level of humus content (ie recycling kitchen leftovers) defined as wholly decayed organic vegetable or animal matter that provides nutrients for plants and increases the water retaining ability of the soil (Dowling 2013, Common Scents Organic Gardening, p.33).
Includes the importance of the source and purity of water as well as implementing techniques that minimise the use and frequency of watering.
6. KEEPING CHICKENS
Includes shelter and enclosure, diet, watering, chicken health and egg production.
The main reasons for keeping chickens include a low cost, reliable and sustainable source of fresh eggs daily, in addition to a sustainable source of manure rich in essential nutrients including Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium that aids plant vigour and the production of quality produce all year round.
7. DOG PATROL
Includes protection for your chickens, assist egg laying capacity, pollination as well as the addition of natural urea (containing Nitrogen for plant uptake) and ‘Scent Markers’ (Pheromones) to deter unwanted animals (eg cats, rats, possums etc) from entering the garden.
SUNSHINE COAST, QUEENSLAND – AUSTRALIA
EUMUNDI, QUEENSLAND – AUSTRALIA
BRISBANE NORTH, QUEENSLAND – AUSTRALIA
REDCLIFFE PENISULAR, QUEENSLAND – AUSTRALIA
NORTH ISLAND – NEW ZEALAND
NORTH COAST, NSW – AUSTRALIA
SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, NSW – AUSTRALIA
All photographs are Copyright to Pia Dowling.