The last blog update from the Patch was my birthday family mulching session back in December. I thought that now Nina and I are settling into life in Australia it was about time for a long distance update as the Patchworks family have been at it again.
Mum, Dad, Jonny, Clare, Ethan and Phoebe revisited The Patch in June to finish off the mulch on the elaeagnus and alder hedges along with some extra mulch for the walnut and Patchworks Pippin. They took plenty of photos and as you can see things are looking really good…
Mum mulching the elaeagnus hedge
The native hedge in blossom
Sea Buckthorn berry looking healthy
Ethan doing a grand job
Nina Eve’s medlar looking amazing!
All this green fingered work seems to have really inspired Mum and Dad. Mum has always been a keen gardener, it runs in the family, but since retirement her and Dad have given their garden an extra boost and this year their new veg patch featured in the village open gardens 2013. Mum says she has really diversified this year with mixed companion planting and plenty of pest distractors, not to mention tonnes of comfrey! I’m sure they were happy to get a bit of help from the grandchildren.
Mum looking very proud of her new raised beds. Good job Dad!
Cheeky smiles all round!
Phoebe definitely looks like she’s having fun!
A couple of weeks ago Nina and I received news of another visit to The Patch by Mum and Dad. They just can’t keep away! Maybe that’s because I keep asking for photos!
Much to our surprise and delight, the latest batch of pictures revealed the first fruits of our plantings. We have pears on the Williams along with red gooseberries and white currants. It’s only 2 years since the big tree planting and we have the first signs of productivity. Mum confessed that she hadn’t checked too many of the trees as she was worried about snakes but she did manage to pick 8oz of white currants!
The Williams Pear in fruit!
The Patchworks family visits, updates and photos really makes the distance between Norfolk and Australia smaller. Nina and I are truly grateful for the time and energy that you have put into the Patch. We hope that one day the fruits are abundant and that you can reap the benefits at harvest time.
We miss you
Posted in Random
Tagged Apple, England, Family, Food Forest, Fruit, Guilds, Mulch, Norfolk, Orchard, pear, Permaculture, The Patch, Walnut, William
One of our big concerns once our food forest was planted, and knowing that we would be leaving the country for an unknown amount of years, was how would our little fruit trees and bushes survive the encroaching grass, blackthorn and volunteer plants.
We had no idea at the time. There was no design element that we could think of, other than expensive, non natural sheet mulching techniques. We didn’t give that a second thought. Here’s where I believe design can happen organically, not necessarily at the offset, but when an idea comes to mind due to necessity.
Winter was fast encroaching and so was my 35th birthday. I am in China. I thought everyday about how our mulberry, cherries, apples, pears and sea buckthorn berries needed tucking in for winter. A cosy, thick bed of mulch to keep them roots warm and stave of the early grass growth of 2013.
I plucked up the courage and boldly requested my family to help with the “M” of OBREDIM – Maintenance. “If we can get a farmer to drop off 20 big bales of straw I’m sure it can be done in a half day” I asked squeamishly. Mum was keen and she asked that I email through some detailed instructions…
On my birthday, December 17th, I woke in China to check my emails. Not only had Mum written a great account of their “beautiful day” at the Patch but Clare had attached a whole photo album of the proceedings. We were so happy to see that the food forest had been mulched but more importantly Mum, Dad, Clare, Ethan and Phoebe confessed that they had had a really fun and enjoyable day.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR ENTHUSIASM TOWARDS OUR ONGOING PROJECT AT THE PATCH. PLEASE FILL YOUR BOOTS WITH FRUIT IN 2013
The Family on their way…
Clare checking out the walnut
Ethan on the pile of bales
Keen niece and nephew
Greetings from a far
Couldn’t ask for a better birthday present
Dad handing out instructions
Phoebe loads a bale
Relaxing in the sun
They’re on it now!
Mum shifts the bales around
A beautiful day at the Patch
Hot elderberry cordial
Bit of maintenance on the tanks
A well earned rest
Nice and thick!
A winter bed…
Mum mulches the native hedge
In full mulching swing…
Clare looks satisfied
Spread it about!
Native hedge mulched
Ethan relaxes (in mulch)
Phoebe joins him
Perfect, thank you so so much
Posted in Appropriate Technology, Diploma, Environment, Food, Health, Permaculture, Travel
Tagged apples, Birthday, Blackthorn, China, Clare, Dad, Design, Ethan, Family, Food Forest, Fruit, grass, hay, Maintenance, mulberries, Mulch, Mum, Norfolk, OBREDIM, pears, Permaculture, Phoebe, remote maintenance, seabuckthorn, Spring, Straw, The Patch, volunteer lants, winter