After realizing how much I love planting/creating forest gardens, I’ve decided to make a large forest garden in about 5-10 years for my ‘retirement plan’. I don’t have the money now and am not sure exactly where the farm will be, but I know the power of positive thoughts, confidence and persistently working toward a goal.
Work has been completed on a new patio roof behind our farmhouse just in time for the start of the rainy season. This roof keeps our outdoor picnic area and workspace out of the heat and rain. The patio roof also helps keep blowing rain away from the back door, shop door and carport, as well as protect our ‘booster pump’ that irrigates the garden. The roof is made with metal framing and microconcrete roof tiles like the ones on our house.
Dear Dr. Geiger, I’ve really enjoyed your naturalhomesteader videos on YouTube! Thank you for making and sharing them!
After a little over three years I’m very happy to say our tropical forest garden is finished. The hard work of raising the garden beds 12” with about 60 dump truck loads of amendments is done. The trees are well established and many are starting to produce fruit. Many smaller plants such as pineapple, taro, vegetables and herbs are thriving. The beds are mulched with straw. The soil is rapidly improving by evidence of worm mounds (worm castings) popping up everywhere. The greenhouse is finished. Extra planters and CEB beds have been added to fill in extra space and increase plant diversity. Our first large batch of homemade compost turned out great. Eight wire mesh cages are full of leaves to make leaf mold compost. And, a special ‘wild area’ has been created along the drainage ditch for bees, birds, butterflies and other wildlife to honor and show thanks to Nature.
This is my annual video update of our forest garden. I’m calling it ‘Forest Gardens as a Hedge Against Drought’ for reasons I’m about to explain. Right across the road from our garden you can see the barren, dry rice fields that are normally under water and lush with rice this time of year. Now they’re brown with dying weeds. It’s so bad that many farmers aren’t even plowing and planting. This is the worst rainy season in 15 years and yet our garden is still very lush. It’s not growing as fast as when it rains because plentiful rain softens the subsoil so roots can grow more readily, but our forest garden is still a lush oasis as you can see in the video.