Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Post topics and discussions that have nothing to do with bearded dragons or reptiles here!!!

Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:44 pm

I am so glad I decided to use the excavator fill as the basis for some very useful sized raised garden beds in my front yard and back yard.

Ended up with a jumbo sized split level 6m x 3m x 0.6m bed at the front of my house ( plan was to make a feature area full of native flowering thrubs, bushes, ground covers , grasses and perenials) but with level 2 water restriction in place I've held off on getting plants what were likely to dye of heatstress and thirst.
Image

In the back yard I had built three beds 3m x 1.5m x 0.4m , the plan has always been to dedicate them to use as a herb bed, a veg patch and a berry plants patch . But again with extreme water restrictions I have left these mostly full of premium garden soil and fallow since they were completed just before Xmas 2019.
Also built a jumbo sized combination retaining wall - privacy screen - 6m x 1.5m x 0.4 - 1m deep bed , the plan has been to grow citrus and tropical fruits in this , but again been fallow since completed just before xmas 2019.
And a hockey stick shaped combination retaining wall - 3m x 3m x 0.4 - 0.8m deep + 3m x 1.5m x 0.2m bed that was allocated to grow low berry plants and pretty flowering ground covers in, also been fallow since just before xmas 2019.

hockey stick
Image
Image

Beds before filled with soil (Nov 2019)
Image

Ordered in 12 bulkabags of premium garden soil and fill all my back beds except on just prior to xmas 2019.
Been left fallow since.

Now the water restrictions have been reduced from level 2 which prohibits fixed watering systems to level 1 and with the crazed panic buying and hording and blackmarketeering of essentials and food staples as a result of the madness around covid-19 and antisocial behavours of lots of people it's now become obvious that we need to make these beds productive .

So I've gone into "partnership" with my nephew and his defacto to do microfarming using my beds , where we go halves on the cost of seedlings and seeds , they help with planting and weeding , and we'll take care of the watering and some weeding , and we'll share produce while the national emergency is on going and while getting veg and greens and herbs in the supermarkets remains near impossible which may happen for the rest of 2020 and beyond.
This way we can provide veg, herbs, root veg and fruit for 6 people ( at least a large part of our needs ) and our situation becomes less uncertain.

Ordered our seeds in packets from a wholesaler I've dealt with before as the shelves have stripped here at Woolworths, Kmart, Coles, Bunnings etc and most garden centres locally have sold out of seeds.

My seeds are as follows
Image
where
Image
Image
Image

Wasn't cheap , but cheaper than regular Bunnings prices , and we expect we can get a lot food from each pack of seeds when the plants have grown are ready to be harvested.

Will also be buying greens , root veg and herbs as seedlings but these are hard to find due to panic buying . But I've arranged to have our order added to the next order placed by the local gardening nursey centre , I just need to decide on how many of each variety and they will then order them and deliver to use when they arrive .
The seedlings will kick start the microfarm's productivity so we wont have to wait a few months to get fresh produce to eat.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Gutzy (F) 27Sep19, Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
G.Dubia Gecko (F) hatchling : Godzilla
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 11999
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:41 pm

Share your attempts at veg and herbs and fruit self-sufficiency so we can all see .

I'm sure there are lot of members sitting there wondering what the heck they will do to feed themselves with mandatory distancing and quarantining , and jobs evaporating by the millions worldwide c/- Covid-19 , let alone their pet dragons.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Gutzy (F) 27Sep19, Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
G.Dubia Gecko (F) hatchling : Godzilla
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 11999
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby MrSpectrum » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:44 am

kingofnobbys wrote:I'm sure there are lot of members sitting there wondering what the heck they will do to feed themselves with mandatory distancing and quarantining

Even in the 3 states that are officially "locked down," grocery shopping and grocery stores are considered "essential" activities & businesses. Same for much of Europe, AFAIK. Italy is having problems because people aren't cooperating with guidelines; they're still going out and exposing each other (according to report this morning).

I'm really impressed with your construction project (and post)--were I only able. Looks like quite an inve$tment.
But wait... aren't you going into winter down there, or are you far enough north that you can still grow? :?
ImageImageImage
User avatar
MrSpectrum
Gray-bearded Poster
 
Posts: 1959
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:10 am

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby Claudiusx » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:54 am

We are planting some things. Not necessarily because of the virus, but because it's getting near time to do so in Cali. (shoot, in my microclimate, growing is done year round actually.. coast weather)

We are going to be planting collards, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, some herbs, kale, zucchini, and we even have a spot in our yard where we are going to try to grow watermelons this year. Never have grown watermelons so it will be a fun experience.. I hope.

Wish we had some corn to grow. Might have to order some actually.

We also have a few fruit trees, but none are mature enough for this year unfortunately.

The prime spot in my yard is basically unused, so I'm going to cut some of my grass out and build a few new garden boxes in that space, in addition to the boxes we have on the other side of the yard. I don't have the biggest backyard, but we make it work.

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
Click here if you use a Sunblaster fixture - IMPORTANT
User avatar
Claudiusx
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 18889
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:44 pm
Location: California

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby MrSpectrum » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:57 am

Claudiusx wrote:The prime spot in my yard is basically unused, so I'm going to cut some of my grass out and build a few new garden boxes in that space, in addition to the boxes we have on the other side of the yard. I don't have the biggest backyard, but we make it work.

Make sure to leave room for the puppy to play & poop.
ImageImageImage
User avatar
MrSpectrum
Gray-bearded Poster
 
Posts: 1959
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:10 am

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:39 am

MrSpectrum wrote:
kingofnobbys wrote:I'm sure there are lot of members sitting there wondering what the heck they will do to feed themselves with mandatory distancing and quarantining

Even in the 3 states that are officially "locked down," grocery shopping and grocery stores are considered "essential" activities & businesses. Same for much of Europe, AFAIK. Italy is having problems because people aren't cooperating with guidelines; they're still going out and exposing each other (according to report this morning).

I'm really impressed with your construction project (and post)--were I only able. Looks like quite an inve$tment.
But wait... aren't you going into winter down there, or are you far enough north that you can still grow? :?


Never seen a frost here , coldest I can recall in my entire 63 yrs is 6 degC and that was in a very violent June Tasman Sea Low ( Cyclone / hurricane ) that took out power here for over a week.

So we have a winter growing season here , especially on the coast .

Yes I spent quite a lot of money on the timber and hired a handyman to the building and laboring and a fair bit on premium garden soil ( 16 bulkabags all up ) , it was that or throw even more money away by telling the excavator contractor for destroyed my backyard so the bigger garage slab could be layed and the driveway extended ( $600 per cum to take the ahout 30 cum of fill away to the tip + he wanted another $1000 for his extra time , all up he wanted near $10k to remove the fill from site , leaving me with a still destroyed backyard and nothing to show for expense , obviously that wasn't going to happen).
Being retired , I've wanted some raised beds to grow some veg ,greens, fruit, berries and herbs in and figured I'd take advantage of the loose fill and do landscaping improvements and turn the fill into an asset that will give us a lifetime pressure and yes make my home much more valuable in the long run , and longer term pay for itself by being productive and feeding my and I , and our family by providing home grown "organic" grown produce and also help us stretch our savings further.
I also wanted beds that would see me out ( have last maybe 40 years ) , so I used the best quality hardwood sleepers ( 75mm x 200mm rather than cheap nasty 50mm x 200mm pine sleepers ), I used unground steel posts as much as possible , and concreted these in , and rather than nails in the all timber hockeystick bed , I used high grade coated coach screws and coach bolts .

It's a once in lifetime investment so I made sure it will only need to be done once and done right from the getgo.
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Gutzy (F) 27Sep19, Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
G.Dubia Gecko (F) hatchling : Godzilla
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 11999
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:42 am

MrSpectrum wrote:
Claudiusx wrote:The prime spot in my yard is basically unused, so I'm going to cut some of my grass out and build a few new garden boxes in that space, in addition to the boxes we have on the other side of the yard. I don't have the biggest backyard, but we make it work.

Make sure to leave room for the puppy to play & poop.


Dragons and skinks might get adventure time in the herb and leafy greens beds though ( to help reduce insect pests ) and I'm sure wild skinks and dragons will take advantage too.

I'm sure the native birds will visit too.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Gutzy (F) 27Sep19, Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
G.Dubia Gecko (F) hatchling : Godzilla
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 11999
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:07 am

Contingency if I find the fruit bats or possums start raiding my produce will be attach some 100x100mm treat posts to those beds with a removeable rope frame across the tops of the these to the mesh privacy screen's top and hand fishing net over top and as weighted curtains ( will exclude the bats possums while letting light and rain in.
All I'll need will be some SS pulleys , some rope , and some netting , I have some long enough 100x100 offcuts that can be used and attached the sleepers using coach screws ( so easy to remove when not needed ).

Beds are along my North boundary fence but offset by 1m , my calculations and modelling show the beds get good levels of sun light year round
Image
Did this to investigate effect on my beds of a taller boundary fence with a 1.8m tall fence. ( I was far from impressed .)

I've got an electronic 24h / 7d programmable tap timer & a set of stuff to built in ground drip irrigation in all the beds at the back too when the neighbor threw a spanner in the works and said he wanted to replace the fence .
Not pressure tested the tube run , might be touch and go if all drips are dripping, so I'll likely set up the beds as parallel irrigation systems that can be isolated individual at the turn of stopcock to raise the available "head" in each bed.

Might make some underground water oilas ( using terracotta pots glued together , idea I saw on tv a few weeks ago ) will nicely drought proof my beds for when lev 2 and lev 3 water restrictions are back in effect ( will happen ). Terracotta is porous and slowly lets water leak out by diffusion through the walls of the oilas.
https://afarmofyourhome.com/how-to-make ... lar-ollas/

Have a stack bamboo stakes and timber stakes , and some left over concrete reinforcing mesh too that can all be used to set up extra trellises and supports for climbing plants all set aside from when I was trying to grow in big pots .
Wont need to spend a lot more on this project once the seedlings are bought , maybe some fertilizer and straw mulch.


The thieving and selfcentred ***** who lived next-door and converted his double shed & car/boat port to a house without a development permit (he also built his shed and carport & his back deck and house extension on the sly too ) , I've since found out) has vanished since November 2019 , I'm guessing the council found out and he was prosecuted and fined as he's been booted out by his wife - glad to see the back of him , wont miss him ,
So the existing fence stays which suits me.


QUESTION : is it best to plant the seeds in pots first then transfer when to the garden beds when bigger ?
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Gutzy (F) 27Sep19, Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
G.Dubia Gecko (F) hatchling : Godzilla
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 11999
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby DragonPete » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:31 am

To your question of planting seeds in pots. I start my seeds inside in tiny pressed peat pots and transplant to the ground or larger pots when the weather is right and the baby plants are strong enough to survive. Usually a couple inches high. But I also start them weeks before the last frost, inside.
Not knowing your growing seasons and such, may be different for your location.
-Dee
Oh and with the peat pots you plant pot and all so there's no damage to the little roots.
DragonPete
Sub-Adult Poster
 
Posts: 1386
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:59 am
Location: NC USA

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby Claudiusx » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:34 am

Agree, I usually start mine inside first too. However, I have a few seeds that recommend being planted directly outside first, and not inside in pots. I suppose it depends on the specific plant and it's specific variety.

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
Click here if you use a Sunblaster fixture - IMPORTANT
User avatar
Claudiusx
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 18889
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:44 pm
Location: California

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby DragonPete » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:39 am

Claudiusx wrote:Agree, I usually start mine inside first too. However, I have a few seeds that recommend being planted directly outside first, and not inside in pots. I suppose it depends on the specific plant and it's specific variety.

-Brandon

Yup agreed. Read the package 😆.
-Dee
DragonPete
Sub-Adult Poster
 
Posts: 1386
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:59 am
Location: NC USA

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:08 am

OK …. I'll go with small biodegradeable peet seed / seedling pots .
https://www.amazon.com.au/Starter-Seedl ... 353&sr=8-4
Ordered as these are not available here in Australia ( Bunnings, Poppys, Lee Rowan not listing them). Only plastic seed pots available here , I like the idea of natural porous sides and being biodegradable / compostable ! :)
ETA from Amazon USA is Anzac Day.

I'll fill with potting mix if there isn't any spare garden soil when the 3rd 3x1x0.4m bed is filled on Thursday and the 6x3x0.6m bed is topped up.
Organised to have 2 cum garden soil delivered Thursday and Hossein will be here to do the shovelling. The mini tipper truck Poppys uses is 2m wide with the wing mirrors folded so will get down my 2.5m wide drive fine , no need to use bulkabags , a crain truck , or hire a 4x4 tipper tray back ute this time. All Hossein will need will be a plastic tarp ( soil dump on it on my slab ) , his wheelbarrow and shovel and should be a quick job.

I have a garden bench that was made from 75x200 and 100x100 offcuts and is exterior varnished that I'll get wheeled out of the shed to put the peet seed pots and a bag or two of potting mix on , so I can work at planting the seeds for the winter vegs and herbs in comfort , they will be left on this 2m x 1m bench / seat while germinating and growing big enough to go into the big beds later.
My monster garden 2m x 1m bench-seat :
Image
Moving ir out of my garage wlll free up some handy floor space , it's meant to live permanently outside afterall.

if need be I can likely use some plastic sheet and offcuts of timber dowels to make a "greenhouse" overtop the tiny pots , but our autumn and winter are more like a UK summer germinating seeds inside and starting of the seedlings indoors wont be necessary in my April to June climate.


He'll likely get the 2 big enclosures ready to fit out with front doors and light fittings (maybe if the 30x18 DAR order arrives) otherwise I'll ask him to precut the 10x10x1.6 channels and 1"x1"x1.6 SHTs for my water skinks' enclosure..
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Gutzy (F) 27Sep19, Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
G.Dubia Gecko (F) hatchling : Godzilla
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 11999
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby DragonPete » Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:57 am

Nice bench! 👍 I like that a lot! ❤
-Dee
DragonPete
Sub-Adult Poster
 
Posts: 1386
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:59 am
Location: NC USA

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:47 am

DragonPete wrote:Nice bench! 👍 I like that a lot! ❤
-Dee


My handyman who built for me is an Egyptian refugee and does good carpentry . It's built solid and I could dance a hoedown on top of it ( 2 couples ) and it wouldn't even notice us.
it's only got short legs , so I can park my big rear end on it as a seat when I'm filling pots with soil and the like.

It's heavy as ! was a two man job flipping it over to vanish / stain / seal the underside , hence the heavy duty casters on the legs ( two with foot brakes ) .

The other box in the background is my 1m x 1m x 0.2m MOBILE planter box , made entirely from 75mm x 200mm offcuts . I have a frame that I can put ontop that increases it's height to 400mm if I need deeper soil in for the plants.
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:59 am, edited 4 times in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Gutzy (F) 27Sep19, Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
G.Dubia Gecko (F) hatchling : Godzilla
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 11999
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Backyard Microfarming in the covid-19 pandemic

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:49 am

Spotted a mulberry tree seedling on Gumtree and hope to add that to my microfarm , as well as a couple of pomegranate cuttings ( to strike on soil in a pot ).

Ended up finding a black mulberry seedling on Ebay located in NSW , bought it. Should be here next week .

Same place has finger limes a few types - love the fruit …. tempted.

Update : bought the pomegranate plant as cuttings that I'll have crack as trying to get to strike .

Also some berry plant seeds ordered.
Image
and some mixed nasturtium seeds too
Image
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:52 pm, edited 5 times in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Gutzy (F) 27Sep19, Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
G.Dubia Gecko (F) hatchling : Godzilla
kingofnobbys
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 11999
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Next

Return to Off Topic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users