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Greetings to all chilly newcomers, and stoic old timers.

graibeard

graibeard

Folia Helper

Australia9b

It’s probably time for a note from your Chat groups caretaker? A tad overdue but perhaps better now than never?

Winter hasn’t quite arrived here, but it is getting to feel like it’s not too far away. They are predicting heavy frosts here next week ( in Central Victoria) and yet it was only a short time ago when we were still in our extended summer dry period, with no rainfall in sight, It’s amazing what a good fall does for the country, and with the follow up rains that came soon after the plants have kicked into the next gear. It’s a shame that’s going to come to a screeching halt. It sure is nice to have the rain though.

So, how is everyone else. How is your garden growing, and if it’s not then how are your plans coming along?

Posted over 2 years ago | Last edited over 2 years ago

Hi graibeard,

Winter has certainly arived tonight- 10 at the moment, tomorrow’s min 3! A bit of a shock afetr our Indian autumn.

The garden is gorgeous at the moment after all the rain: sasanquas, tagetes limonii, mini chrysanths, dogsbane, plumbago, plectranthus, salvias, pansies and violas all providing great colour and harvesting spinach, lettuce, wom bok, purple podded peas, capsicums and even (protected) basil.

Next job is to empty compost heaps and start new ones with all the leaves.
Just about to plant my garlic now the warm weather has finished – glad to see article in today’s Age.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

Posted over 2 years ago

Hello Graibeard and Jap,

Lovely to hear from you Graibeard, how is life treating you down there in Victoria?

We, too, have had unseasonably warm weather, even for the tropics. The wet season was late this year with it being March before we got any decent falls. December saw 291mm, January 114mm and February 199mm. They probably sound like enormous amounts of rain, but the real wet season finally came in March with 653mm and my garden submerged as usual. The ducks were happy. April and May have been fairly dry again with only around 30mm, low but not uncommon for the end of wet season. We had torrential downpours last night, so a very damp garden this morning. I may go out to the vege patch this morning and pull some weeds while the soil is wet. As to be expected for the end of wet season, the vege patch is not visible for the weeds. I’ve had the gate open so the ducks can go in to chomp and trample down weeds, but it still doesn’t look like it’s been touched. I haven’t been out in the garden much this last month, mainly because I was doing some online studying.

I found an introductory permaculture course delivered entirely online by Oregon State University. It was their first offering of this course under their MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) program delivered through their Canvas Network. These are non-credit courses for personal interest or to whet our appetite for further study if one is so inclined. It was delivered via a series of videos, reading material and discussion groups. We were divided into groups by climate type – cold, temperate or tropical, and the design activities set allowed us to focus upon our own gardens, wherever in the world we may be. As this was the first course offered we were guinea pigs to a degree but our feedback is being used to refine future offerings. It was mostly minor technical glitches that occurred while trying to connect to the university server, or web browsers not working with the university mapping program – it worked in Google Chrome only. So they are fixing these glitches and taking on-board other suggestions made. The next course is scheduled to commence 31 October. This was an excellent learning experience and also is a stepping stone to their full online permaculture design course (at a reduced cost) – which I must admit I’m thinking about. I can recommend the introductory course to anyone interested.

I initially found the above course after commencing OSU’s online Master Gardener course. This also is a non-credit online course, being a fully automated self-paced course without an instructor in this case. One gains the information but not the qualification unless one can attend classes. The first unit, basic botany, was free then there are a number of modules that are fee based, but at $US20 a module that is very reasonable (about $AU30), so after completing the botany module I registered for one of the fee-paying modules. Each module stands alone and you only need pay when registering in that particular module so it is very affordable – no lump sum fees. When I finish that module I’ll go on to the next. I am very impressed with OSU.

As you can see, I’ve been busy and now I have some permaculture design plans to implement in my garden. So I should get going outdoors.

Wonderful to hear from you again.

If anyone wants to have a look around here are links to:
Canvas Network, Permaculture Course
Master Gardener Short Course Series

Posted over 2 years ago | Last edited over 2 years ago
graibeard

graibeard

Folia Helper

Australia9b

Hi JAP,
The frosts have arrived, and the enveloping mists too. It’s all good!

Yours sounds very colorful . Sure beats the dry straw look, or even the emerald green new growth look. Variety and random splashes always catch the eye.

Ah, garlic. Bugger wish we had some, the last remnants disappeared under the weeds. Actually, I wish had the time of old to rid the garden of the weeds. :-) Having seeds and bulbs is no good without the follow up – although we are happy with the volunteer mizuna that has come up!

Posted over 2 years ago
graibeard

graibeard

Folia Helper

Australia9b

Hi Carol,

Your energy is still there I see, great to see it’s taking you further down the path.

Life is good here, the ups follow the downs so there is nothing to complain about. Wouldn’t be dead for quids as the old saying goes. Plus the rains came!

They do sound like enormous amounts of rain ;-) but I know what you mean. The country has adapted to it and needs it. I bet water management (or water understanding given your study direction) is going to be at the forefront of your plans?

Posted over 2 years ago

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