A STEP TOWARD SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Edible Garden Design

If you follow our Facebook page you would have seen our post earlier this week that the edible garden designing has been in full swing. Growing our own produce is something we want to do on quite a considerable scale with the produce not just being used for everyday munchin’ on but to also broaden our skills and knowledge in other areas of food production – dehydrating, canning, preserving, fermenting (and for Mr KaMa Heights, a distillery is in the works!). Thus, reducing our costs at the weekly checkout, whilst also one step closer to being self-sufficient.

We haven’t picked the perfect spot for it yet but that hasn’t stopped the planning from forging ahead. Before jumping into layout designs, we did a monstrous amount of research, reading about what grows in our sub-tropical environment, seasonal produce and when to sow what. From there, we made a list of what we enjoy eating and the must haves to include, dividing them into two growing seasons: Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. We’re lucky that some of the things we eat a lot of can grow most of the year in our climate such as potatoes, tomatoes, chillies and salad essentials such as lettuce and radishes. Here are those initial scribbled lists that have been the basis of our design brief (mainly ensuring we build an area large enough to include them all!):

From there, it was time to start thinking layout and divvying up what to plant in what beds. Have you guys heard of companion planting? If you haven’t, in a nutshell it’s the considered placement of plants that provide certain benefits to each other. Kind of like drinking wine with cheese…bacon with eggs…y’know, the kind of party in your mouth benefits that having a certain combo together provides.

Mind blown – who would’ve thought that if you plant certain things side by side they can be the best of friends. Improving each other’s health and flavour, repelling undesirable critters either because they don’t like one of the plants in proximity or by attracting beneficial insects and the like that will gobble up the nasties. Marigolds are like God’s nectar for most plants…let there be marigolds everywhere!! There are also bad companions. For example, pumpkins don’t like potatoes, nor do sunflowers (this was discovered after thinking we had the perfect all year potato bed right in front of the sunflowers…that’s it, move everything!). Holla in the comments below if you see any undesirable combinations.

Autumn/Winter

veggie-garden-layout-autumn-winter

Spring/Summer

veggie-garden-layout-spring-summer

As you can see, there were a few moves, a few scribbles, and a few deep breaths trying to come up with the most beneficial allotments!

Hand in hand with bed allocation came the actual design. Ensuring neighbouring beds are also not hindering each other as well as allowing for crop rotation, minimising pests and diseases, and keeping a healthy nutrient rich soil.

veggie-garden-desing-layout-1

veggie-garden-desing-layout-2

veggie-garden-desing-layout-3

We plan on growing most of these from seed so hence why we need (read, WANT) a pretty lil greenhouse here too. If you’re a fellow Aussie and haven’t come across Green Harvest before, you should head right over and thank me later. Not only has this been a great resource for well, pretty much everything, they have the most amazing selection of organic seeds and post Australia wide! Or if you’re on the Sunshine Coast, you can pop in and see them in a little town called Witter (close to Maleny). So of course, our lists have already been made and ready to order. Here are some of our choices:

SPRING / SUMMER SEEDS AUTUMN / WINTER SEEDS
  • Capsicum ‘California Wonder’
  • Capsicum ‘Purple Beauty’
  • Chilli ‘Anaheim’
  • Chilli ‘Lilac Cayenne’
  • Chilli ‘Jalepeno’
  • Cucumber ‘Spacemaster’ (bush variety)
  • Cucumber ‘Poinsett’ (grow on trellis)
  • Eggplant ‘Greek’
  • Marigold ‘Sparky’
  • Marigold ‘Fiesta’
  • Sunflower ‘Sunbird’
  • Rockmelon ‘Hales Best’ (grow on trellis)
  • Melon ‘Honeydew Green Flesh’ (grow on trellis)
  • Pumpkin ‘Kent’
  • Radish ‘Pink Beauty’
  • Radish ‘Easter Egg’
  • Sweet Corn ‘True Gold’
  • Tomato ‘Money Maker’
  • Tomato ‘Scorpio’
  • Tomato ‘Tropic’
  • Tomato ‘Cherry Red Pear’
  • Zucchini ‘Black Beauty’
  • Beetroot ‘Cylindrica’
  • Beetroot ‘Bulls Blood’
  • Broccoli ‘Belstar’
  • Cabbage ‘Red Acre’
  • Cabbage ‘Savoy Vertus’
  • Cabbage, Pak Choi ‘Chokito’
  • Carrot ‘Red Kuroda’
  • Carrot ‘Cosmic Purple’
  • Cauliflower ‘Sixty Days’
  • Chia
  • Celery ‘Tall Utah’
  • Cornflower ‘BlueBoy’
  • Caledula ‘Pacific Beauty’
  • Leek ‘Giant Carentan’
  • Onion ‘Red Creole’
  • Onion ‘Texas Early Grano’
  • Onion ‘Green Stem Welsh’
  • Parsnip ‘Cobham Improved’
  • Soybean ‘Endamame’
  • Snow Pea ‘Oregon Sugar’ (bush variety)
  • Shelling Pea ‘Greenfeast’
  • Tomato ‘Black Russian’

Our final layout design:

veggie-garden-design-final

Now to get sketching on the finer details of the arbor that will draped in delicious passionfruit and the greenhouse / potting shed, and start searching for the perfect charming gates!

Until next time…

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Loving reading about your journey with your farm. I’m also incredibly envious of your planned vege garden,, it sounds incredible – I wish I had the space for one! One day… Next time I’m up your way, I’d love to catch up for a visit to your farm!

    Like

    1. Tris we would love to have a visit from you! You can teach us how to get the best out of our produce 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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