We visited Playford Community Garden!

The other morning, Jelina and myself took a brief trip to the Playford Community Garden on Coventry Road.

The Playford Community Garden is in the Precint complex on Coventry Road and is pretty inspiring!

There’s a whole lot of veggies and a whole lot of art around the place that gives it a great vibe! There’s even a kids play kitchen and a peaceful reflecting bench.

Drop in and see Sue, Nat and the rest of the volunteers one day. You can also see some of the other great things at the precint such as the Food Co-op, Makerspace and Op Shop.

Some more good news is that yours truly will be running a vertical gardening workshop there on April 11. It’s sold out bit maybe, just maybe, we’ll hold another one soonish.

What have we been up to?

It’s been a little while since our last post and I apologise for my tardiness but we’ve been up to a lot that has kept me from posting frequently.

The biggest job has been ransferring most of this website to Hive, a bloggingsite where I get paid in a cryptocurrency called ‘Hive’. On there, I’m @ligayagardener if you want to take a look. I post more that just a copy of this site there and there is a big community of gardeners there too.

I’ve also become involved with bitcoinmyk.com which is new setup working on blockchain tech as well.

One of the reasons that I’ve been investigating blockchain ideas is because of the security. Every entry or transaction is recorded on the blockchain forever and is witnessed by a number of people (usually 20+), chosen from a bigger pool of ‘witnesses’.

So, without going through the hassles of copyright etc, ideas and media can be locked in as proof that I created them and the time thsr they were created. That lets me keep the creative commons, that this website is based on, intact.

Another reason that I’ve been investigating blockchain is, of course, cryptocurrency. There are so many advantages to crypto over the traditional financial setup that it’s important for us to learn about it.

The whole idea of decentralisation is what grabbed me and the new move to decentralised finance on Web 3.0 has to be learned about. It is turning current models of wealth creation, finance and ownership on its head. I’m fascinated by it because we recently applied for a loan to buy the block behind us and got turned down even though we have been successfully managing a much larger mortgage.

Without going into detail, I though the reasons the bank gave us for the turn down were pretty weak . So, not being one to whine much, I’m doing my usual thing and looking for a way to remove the problem (the bank and the whole banking system) from our lives. I reckon this can be done through decentralised finance.

Another issue that’s been keeping me busy is the usual one of local food security. That’s something that is getting more important as the days go by. There’s a big disruption in the world food supply because of the invasion of the Ukraine. Russia exports a lot of the world’s ammonium nitrate and that supply is being safeguarded at home for their own production. That means that key contributors to the global food supply, such as Brazil are facing a shortage of fertilizer and that means less food produced for export. Across the globe, fertilizer prices are increasing and as the big agri-companies don’t lose, that cost will be passed on to you and I.

Fuel prices have sky-rocketed. Of course, that means increases in transportation costs for food and reduced mobility for the common folk like us. Once again, the increased costs will be passed on to us.

Knowing that there are big holes in the current economic system, I’ve been looking at alternatives and have become enamoured with Modern Monetary Theory. I’m not writing too much about that because I’m only scratching the surface at the moment but it’s also exciting.

Interestingly, the best solution to a threat to our money and our food supply is, as always, to grow as much at home as possible. Alternatively, if you can’t grow it at home, reach out into your community so as you are able to give and receive freely. LOCAL, LOCAL, LOCAL is the answer to so many aspects of the crises that society is going through. Encouraging folks to take that perspective is what this website is all about!

Even though the changes that society and economics are going through are huge and will often be tragic, I’m kind of excited that so many alternatives are being experimented and implemented and, if we can keep the current oligarchs and politicians out of the picture, some of them may be implemented, freeing future society from the burden of capitalism. Lots of them want to go to Mars, so I say ‘let them’! We don’t have to let them come back!

Some changes at home

In light of so many changes, I’ve been improving the aquaponics/bioponics system with better media use, better oxygenation and water mixing and a little more storage capacity. The results have been quite amazing and I’ll be covering it all with a new, dedicated page and ill also make a detailed video of it all.

I’ve been netting all the beds, individually this time, to keep off the plague of White Cabbage Butterflies and resultant green caterpillars. They’re in big numbers this year and are really socking it to the leafy greens!

Everything's getting netted as a matter of course now.
Everything’s getting netted as a matter of course now.

Water storage is another issue I’ve been working with, extending our first flush diverted and turning them into storage (detailed posts comong about that too). The big tip for climate change adaptation is that because warmer air can hold more water, there’ll be less rain but when it comes, it will come in heavier downpours as the sky lets go all at once. This means that we will all need to catch as much as we can when it comes. Big downpours will mean more runoff and wasted water because of our inability to catch it all, so we have to work to overcome that.

Converting a single downpipe to a first flush diverter and for water storage.
Converting a single downpipe to a first flush diverter and for water storage.

Three female Quail have come to be a part of Ligaya Garden too. I love these little birds and even though the last attempt to have a flock was a disaster, the smaller scale if this one is encouraging I love their call and their bright little eyes and we can use or trade their eggs as time goes by. I couldn’t possibly eat one, I tried at a restaurant once and the sight of that tiny little body was more sad than anything.

Three new gals!
Three new gals!

On another positive note, if you come to visit Ligaya Garden, you’ll have to call Jelina ‘Doctor Haines’. Yes, it’s all official, her PhD has been conferred at last!

Keeping up with the pests with a little wu-wei

My favourite kind of pest control is to do nothing.

Its easy!

Here, someone has done the job for me. It’s a scene that I see many times a day in different parts of the garden. Predators, in this case a spider take care of more than their bodyweight in pests every day and they don’t ask for much, just a place to rest and more pests.

A spider's done the job on this Green Vegetable Bug for me and I didn’t even ask!.
A spider’s done the job on this Green Vegetable Bug for me and I didn’t even ask!.

It wasn’t easy for me to let go of the ‘must kill pests’ attitude that had I had been conditioned with. It took several years to let go of the idea that organic poisons were necessary and that I had to spray our veggies with, at least, soapy water every week.

Every year, as soon as i saw holes in my leaves, I went at it. Then the year before last, i said ‘no more’!

At first, I cried when I saw while crops devastated . It happened again and again but I noticed that each time, a little less was being destroyed and more survived.

This year though, besides one test spray of soapy water on a couple of test plants, I’ve used no poison on the main garden at all.

What I see now is a dazzling array of critters who have heard the message of the last two years and come to live at out place, rent free.

I’m a predator too of course, it’s in my blood. I still enjoy spying a green caterpillar and either eating it, squishing it or feeding it to the chooks. Slugs still get the boot as do the imported earwigs.

Nobody is completely harmless, not even a sweetie like yours truly but this way, I have far less worry and work to do.

Kratky community hydro update

The little Kratky hydro setup that was sponsored by Poetic Justice Gawler is rocking along.

The Community Kratky system
The Community Kratky system

There have been a couple of teething issues, mainly from those brief hot days we had. They made the water in the tubs get pretty warm and the plants wilted a lot.

I’ve cut some construction Styrofoam and placed it along the exposed parts of the tubs to help reduce that problem.

A repurposed fan.
The repurposed fan.

A reclaimed computer fan and a solar panel that was repurposed from a defunct fountain pump has also been installed to circulate the air a bit when the Sun’s heat is an the area.

So far, we’ve harvested and shared Baby Cos lettuces, Basil and Celery and I’m about to plant some Pak Choy this arvo.

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