Based on permaculture design principles, this rental property in Forestville is a small but very productive garden on a 408 m² block.
Emily Gray-Bugg and Lachlan McKenzie started renting the property in January 2020 from their good friends. The previous owner bought the property in 1996, lives around the corner, and has given them history on some of the early fruit trees, asparagus and more established plantings.
The garden is a mix of fruit trees, natives, flowering perennials, herbs and vegetables. Lachie and Emily are always looking to connect all the elements, so the garden becomes low maintenance and resilient with low inputs. Composting and worm farm systems are important to the overall running of the garden.
Emily is a school garden and sustainability educator who has been gardening since she was in Year 5. “I had a little veggie plot in my primary school with a few friends. I lived on a big block with lots of tropical fruit trees and chickens,” she recalls. These days, Emily is inspired by her work at Village Greens of Willunga Creek, a small-scale market garden in Aldinga.
Lachlan is a permaculture designer, author and teacher. He grew up with a big garden with fruit trees and has pretty much gardened his whole life. Lachlan watched his first permaculture video in 1994 and has been inspired ever since.
His favourite things to grow are broad beans, broccoli, eggplants, garlic, tomatoes and peaches: “There’s nothing like doing a nice harvest from our home and community garden and cooking it up.”
Emily and Lachlan grow a lot, swap produce/skills and shop at the local farmers markets. Their tips for you are:
Spend time in your garden.
Have a go.
Ask people in your community for tips.
Learn from your mistakes.
Love your soil - it all starts with healthy, living soil!
Enjoy being part of nature and attracting birds, beneficial insects and other little critters into your garden because they’ll help your production and its good to provide a home for them too.
Beginner’s Guide to Worm Farming - all you need to know to get started with worms at your place.
You might also like the Worm Faming Advice South Australia Facebook group.
Permaculture Australia, the national organisation.
Tropical Permaculture Guidebook - a book written by Lachie himself!
© 2021 Adelaide Edible Garden Trail, brought to you by the Growers’ Collective
Photos by Baxter Wiles for the SA Urban Food Network (thank you!)