On the Easter weekend...

On the Easter weekend, Andreas and I visited Street City Farm to get some organic veges. It was quieter than usual due to people being away on holidays, but it was still worth going. We we're given some awesome advice from two lovely volunteers about how we could utilize the bathtub we picked up from kerbside collection.

We decided we will put it at the front of the house as a raised garden bed. We had the option of using it to grow water veges but decided against it because of the foods we more commonly eat. We won't start it until we get back from Austria in July, as it requires a little bit of maintenance. We're also finding our 'lack of sun' a little bit of a barrier but there's not much we can do about that so I guess our veges will just grow a little slower.

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We we're also fortunate enough to find a mountain of Styrofoam boxes! Thanks to the local food suppliers we we're able to take a few of them home so we can make a few more self-watering planter boxes as designed by Roman Spur. Oh and we also scored some free pots there's a huge collection of them at Northey Street that you can take for free.

And we'll need to make them soon to transplant our new seedlings have a look at our vertical garden and self-watering recycled bottles and containers! The capsicum seeds have gone CRAZY the most successful of all the seeds to date. And it's so cool, because we don't even need to water them with the self-watering method we use. Check out my first progress blog to see how we made them.

We also decided to start a mushroom farm! I eat a lot of mushrooms so I thought this would be a very useful and rewarding project. It has also been setup in a styrofoam container. We keep it in a darker place and spray it daily.

On a final note, we have also been making a compost. I picked up a compost bin for about $20 a few years ago on gumtree as someone didn't need it anymore. Very lucky indeed! Now we put all our fruit and vegetable scraps in here and cover it with dry leaves from in the yard.

Andreas and I have allocated one day a week where we purely work on ways we can be more sustainable in our own life. After coming back from Cambodia it's taken quite awhile for us to get to a point where we can start forming better habits and set up new routines. We don't put too much pressure on ourselves and treat the day as a fun way of doing something positive together.

So far we have:

1. Made our own washing powder.

Andreas pouring our homemade washing liquid into a 10L bucket

The grey water from your washing machine can be used for watering plants if you make this simple washing liquid. The recipe can be found at http://spurtopia.blogspot.com.au/p/recipes.html. It doesn't harm the washing machine and the clothes smell and feel just as fresh as if you used regular washing liquid or powder. When we have more food growing, we will water it using the water from the washing machine.

2. Planted seeds to make seedlings in self-watering bottles.

We keep these in our kitchen on the window sill. Our next plan is to extend our window sill so they get more sun. We are growing capsicum, chili, stevia, coriander, thyme, thai basil and parsley all from seeds.

3. Planted seedlings in a self-watering box

The self-watering box we made with Roman Spur is now growing Brazillian Spinach and Bok Choi. Some yummy leafy greens. The mesh was found in our yard when we moved in, a rough possum deterrent.

4. Planted seeds in a vertical garden.

Now this one is more of an experiment. We're not sure how successful we will be with planting seeds rather than seedlings in a vertical garden but we're curious to see what happens. We'll keep you updated on the progress of this. We're growing the same things in here as our self-watering bottles.

5. Drawn up our plans

Andreas and I walked all around our house to think of different ways we could grow our food. We drew a rough map of the yard and thought about where we could put what. This depended on where gets the most sunlight, where is easiest to walk, where we walk most often so we don't forget about them, where gets the most water, and which plants are best put together for companion planting. We plan to make a whole lot more self-watering boxes and put them around the side of the house, using the house fencing as a trellis. We also made a wish-list for other foods we would like to grow by assessing our current diet.

We also scored a bathtub from kerbside collection and will be a raised garden near the front of the house.

6. Cleaned up our yard

Unfortunately when we moved into this property there was a lot of trash in the garden and a lot of overgrown plants. We even found an old needle!We have tidied it up, and got rid of a lot of junk but are still discovering more. We do have concerns about the soil quality for this reason any advice?

We do all of this work on a budget using recycled yogurt containers, bottles, Styrofoam boxes and pipes. We got free seeds and seedlings from our lovely friends who are already growing their food and the bathtub from kerbside collection. To make your life more sustainable in a rental property, check out this great list of tips from Roman Spur.

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Posted in Landscaping Post Date 12/29/2016


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