Thursday, November 15, 2007


Universe in a raindrop
Originally uploaded by tlbaraka
The rainy season has started with one big event this year and 70mm of rain came down in a couple of hours. You can see the power of water flow over the land here when you get so much water at one time.
I attempted to get a picture the rain and this is what I ended up with. Not really what I wanted to show but you get the idea.

Roots of a vetch plant
Originally uploaded by tlbaraka
This rainfall was very much appreciated because of the recent seeding and a heap of trees to be planted in the near future. The swale and the garden are now fully charged with moisture and will be good for the next couple of weeks until it rains again. In fact it was a bit too much rain for the swale and it broke the wall in one weak spot where not as much soil was avalible. No big deal just a 30-minute patch job with shovels and it was back to normal.
All of the seeds were legumes sown as a cover crop after the land had been disturbed by machinery in the garden, on the swale and the area surrounding the house site. This land has had cattle on it for many years and most of the soil is depleted of nutrient and badly compacted. The cover crop will help to fix nitrogen in the soil, break up the compaction with deep roots; crowd out uninvited plants (“weeds”) in favor of our own dynamic accumulators; and act as a living mulch to maintain soil moisture and biology.

Perennial garden
Originally uploaded by tlbaraka
Fortunately there is an abundance of dam water irrigation and some areas didn’t have to wait for the rain. Though, the seeds never really started to go until the big rain. Something special is carried on the clouds.

Our mix
Originally uploaded by tlbaraka
The seed was sown by hand ‘broadcast style’ and was either raked in, as on the swale, or mulched with cane straw, as in the garden. Mulching is the preferred technique, however it is relatively expensive making it impractical for a large area like the swale.

Covercrop coming up in garden
Originally uploaded by tlbaraka
This is a before and after shot of the garden. The after shot shows the garden with about 3 weeks worth of growth on it. Once the fence is up around the garden will can start planting veggies until then the cover crop will be allowed to do its job. This season’s veggie crop maybe a little behind. No worries though, time building soil is never wasted time!

Vetch, Lupin, Pea
Originally uploaded by tlbaraka

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