December in the tropical garden
by Kathleen Hosking, Mackay, QLD of Solution Focused
WHAT TO PLANT?
- Not a lot of planting in the garden this month. The weather is heating up and scorches new plants. There is enough to do in the general garden without looking after seedlings in this period of disruption and fun that is Christmas and New Year.
- Always keep an eye out for jobs that need to be done before the cyclone season.
- Clear and prepare areas being used for Christmas celebrations.
- Make sure the area is safe for water pistol fights, cricket and footy games. Remove low hanging branches or rocky edges.
- Water and fertilise the lawn to ensure it is soft, strong and resilient for Christmas.
WEEDS, PESTS AND DISEASE
- Feed all fallen fruit to chooks, pigs, worms, etc. Any which become infested with fruit fly can be solarised. Put the fruit in a watertight black plastic bag and seal the opening. Lay it out in the full sun for a week or two. This will kill the larvae and the fruit can be buried, composted or added to the worm farm.
HARVEST AND PRESERVE
- The main fruit crops at the moment are mangoes, bananas, pineapple, pawpaw, water apple, Saba nut and grenadillas.
- The mangos can be dried or frozen for a year round supply. My children love a large bag of dried mango as a Christmas offering.
PERMACULTURE PRINCIPLE NO 12: Creatively use and respond to change
- Change can be planned or unplanned and we have to accommodate and respond to both to survive.
- Stability is important. The stability is dependent on the incremental changes that occur in response to changes. These allow the system to remain stable.
- Growing food plants which need a higher temperature for successful growth is one way of responding to and accommodating the increase in temperatures which are occurring each summer.
- Creatively responding to and accommodating change can increase biodiversity and increase our resilience and success in food production.
- On a personal level acknowledging the need for change and looking outside the square can lead to a more satisfying lifestyle and work life balance. Working from home may allow you to care for your own children while still generating a needed income and using your income generating skills.