By way of introduction, my name is Kerri and I am a wife, Mum and Nan, living in the suburbs of a small city on the East Coast of Australia (just north of Sydney).
I live with my second husband and my youngest (grown) daughter; her Border Collie dog, Lucy, and some elderly, hand-me-down, Cockatiels (Quarrion). We have another three grown children and two grandchildren, so far.
The past several years I have been preoccupied with work, health, teenage blended family, etc and haven’t been ME. I missed being in touch with the earth and the community and the joys found in little things, from native bees visiting my flowering bulbs to harvesting vegies and herbs that have survived my efforts to care for them. It was time to stop and smell the roses (literally!)
My husband and I are now building up our garden from a rather ‘blokey’ two sheds and an avairy to a productive source of food and fun. It is a learning curve and I always seem to have another project on the boil, but he doesn’t seem to mind. I am sharing my life-long interest in gardening and Permaculture and we are working on integrating a range of beneficial activities and products into our lifestyle in the simplest ways possible i.e. I’m lazy (or the environmentally and ecologically sound version: I believe in conserving my energy). Why double dig when the same result can be accomplished with less effort and less detrimental effect on the soil structure and environment? Perhaps this is what drew me to Permaculture in the first place; moving onto another project and another rather then spending all my weekends pulling weeds and mowing lawns.
I have always had a garden and love it best when it is full of edible treats and beneficial plants. I’ve scrounged and borrowed and begged cuttings and prunings to get gardens started. Quite the sight dragging sometimes whole trees up the street to my mulcher. At least I get to meet all the neighbours. I have, at different times and places: built swales to support fruit trees and vegetables on sloping land; created abundant sheet mulched gardens on piles of clay and rubble dug out for home building; built chicken foraging gardens and raised chickens for eggs and for the experience of baby chicks; created self-watering gardens using trenches and swales to direct water and also by building wicking gardens; and lots more.
I’ve enjoyed supplementing our diet (and even some neighbours diets) with home-grown and home-cooked treats. I love to cook and we are currently trying to eat a little better and are discovering that healthy can be extremely tasty and interesting.
I’m always trialling new ideas and new techniques that de-mystify and simplify the activities we enjoy, whether growing ornamental plants or edibles; nurturing the soil which nurtures us; working out the complexity (no, the simplicity!) of caring for earthworms or the amazing microbial inhabitants of our soil. I’ve documented my trials of various gardening techniques and especially of integrating different techniques – such as feeding Bokashi to wormfarm (and to in-garden worm populations); incorporating wicking garden techniques with Permaculture sheet mulching (no dig or lasagna gardening).
I’m always researching ideas and it’s very hard to find information that is simple, thorough, straightforward and trustworthy. I’ll try to share the lessons I learn during my projects and trials and the things I would, could or have done differently. I’ll do my best to give you good sources and tell you the ins and outs, whys and where-fors when it seems appropriate. You then will have the information you need to make up your own mind what suits you, your family and your lifestyle. We live and learn together.
I think that Permaculture, Bokashi, compost, soil building, growing vegies, waste reduction, being part of the community, etc are not strange activities that country folk or Greenies or Hippies or someone else might do. These are activities we all can and should be involved in. No matter where we live; the land available; the climate or the budget, I think we can all contribute to making this world a little cleaner, a little healthier and a little friendlier.
My aim here is simple; to share my thoughts, my trials, my successes and my failures as I try to improve my skills and my yields and my quality of life. I’m on a personal mission to find out how to be Betr2garden, Betr2cook, Betr2EatHealthy… just Betr2. I am no expert nor even particularly experienced, and I am not tied to following any particular field of thought, though I include my knowledge across a range of subjects to work towards a bountiful life.
I hope you enjoy my ramblings.