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Bungala Ridge Permaculture Gardens


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A Survival Garden

We live in a temperate coastal climate south of Adelaide, in South Australia, which means long hot, dry summers and short, wet, cool winters. Our temperature range is from 10'C to 44'C (maximums) and 5'C to 27'C (minimums). Water supply is an important aspect of our vegetable and fruit gardening.

As a result of the now observable changing climate and feeling unsure of the future, both in an ecological and economic sense, we've decided to plan a survival garden. In the past we've grown a lot of fruit and vegetables that take a great deal of water and fertiliser to grow big and sweet and lush, just right for eating! But a lot of the varieties are not suited to this climate, which can be very harsh at times. The ground bakes hard in summer for well over six months, making digging impossible in all but the heavily mulched areas. Water penetration in irrigated garden beds is not very deep, and watering is a constant task to maintain those delicious, quick growing foods.

To begin planning our garden we considered our diet. It had to change. There are a number of vegetables and fruits that grow readily with little care and attention, almost like weeds. We decided to adjust our diet to eat more of these foods, and less of those that are resource hungry, especially those that use a lot water. Changing diet almost requires a change in lifestyle - learning to say no to things we love and learning to love things we've never really liked before. But we're getting there - slowly!

Planning a survival garden also means growing green food for the poultry, pigeons and guinea pigs during the long, hot summer months. In the past we've concentrated on silver beet, as we can eat it too, in salads and cooked dishes.




photos of the ever changing view of the coast from our living room window
Our ever-changing view!
Moonset ~ Roll Cloud ~ Sunset

permaculture ethics
care for earth,
care for people,
return surplus,
reduce consumption

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Copyright © Beverley Paine 2002-14. Article from this website may be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed without permission as long as each copy includes this entire notice along with citation information (i.e., name of the periodical in which it originally appeared, date of publication, and author's name). Permission must be obtained from the author in order to reprint this article in a published work or to offer it for sale in any form. Please visit Bungala Ridge Permaculture Gardens for more original content by Beverley Paine.