Jan 24, 2012

Bob, Jack and planting TREES!

Yesterday I got to start doing something great a little sooner than I thought I would. PLANT TREES! And I thought I'd share how I came to be doing this.

One of the first locals we got to know here in Nanango was an old bloke name Bob, he is mostly retired but restores wood ovens and sells them on Ebay as a hobby. We bought our stove from him before we even moved into our new place and he kept it in his shed for us until we were ready for it. He and his wife Elaine are really nice people, Bob is a real character, bubbling away with passionate political views and an opinion on everything.

When Bob learned I was into gardening he said he would take me to meet a friend of his who knows a lot about what was best to grow around here. I thought it was the kind of flippant thing you say to someone and never plan to follow through on, but then the other day Bob calls me up and takes me out to see Jack.

Jack had 30 acres a ways out of town on the edge of the forestry, he was a generous gardening guru. Within seconds it became clear we were on the same page, we talked about the importance of staying organic and working with natural systems, and the good feeling from a days work in the garden.  "I hope you're ready for hard work Ian, ya can't be homesteadin and be afraid of hard work. Bob and I are 60 years old and still going."

Then we started a tour of his vegie garden and orchard, I had a note pad and started writing down plant names. Hardly anything was the kind of thing you'd find in the supermarket, there were Cherimoya Custard Apples, White Sapote, Cherry Guava, Feijoa Trees, Jaboticaba and on and on. Jack was plucking fruit from the trees as we walkad and passing it to me to sample, everything was delicious. 

As we walked Jack would drift effortlessly from details on planting, to saving water, to quoting George Washington (who described the Cherimoya as, "the fruit of the gods") and Greek philosophers, to jam preparation and propagation. I was loving every second of it, and then it got even better because Jack started giving me stuff. I came home with 4 plants, and seeds for Asparagus and Carob Trees. Jack and his wife Liege were generous to a fault, and invited Vicki and I back to visit again soon.

So now I had some planting to do. I had already earmarked a spot for my Orchard/Food Forest, its down the hill a ways, where the water runs down towards the neighbours dam. It is a bit further away from the house than I would like, but fitting in around animal paddocks and following where the water was going ended up being stronger factors. 
The site.
Man I'm getting good at digging holes I tell ya, 
I think I've dug more in the last month or so than in my whole life before.
The trees, some manure and some compost tea.

My supervisor stopped by :P

I also planted a couple of mulberry cutting from my dad further down the hill the other day, that makes 5 trees in the ground so far. The one remaining plant I brought back from jacks is a Monstera Deliciosa, it needs to be planted up against some rocks or a tree trunk, I'm going to think about where I want it a bit longer before putting it in.



Kristi said...

Aw yeah, you're far enough north for sapote trees? I recommend black sapote most of all, the "chocolate pudding fruit". Make chocolate smoothies, without the chocolate! Brilliant!

Frank said...

They'll get well watered in today I think

Ian said...

OOOH! That sounds great Kristi! I'm going to order some trees from www.daleysfruit.com.au soon, I'm glad you mentioned that before I ordered.

Frank, I see there has been some flooding down in Brisi, but remember I'm far enough away to have different weather now. We have only had the lightest of sprinkles so far up here. Hardly any impact on the tanks.

Ian said...

wow! http://youtu.be/uu5TtCc-9ZI

Anonymous said...

The link only works if you highlight the clip iD number!D That looks better than the old Milo and Icecream mix!D I'm loving that meeting this wonderful guy Jack is a bit of a confirming nod from the Universe that you two did the right thing in not panicking (last post) at the prospect of less paid work. Less money maybe but more abundance of friendship, shared experience (and plant)community already! Very encouraging!

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