climate · Drought · Food Garden · Homesteading · Observations · Water Supply

Lessons from Gardening in a Drought: Drought Angels SA, Farmers in Distress, Boere in Nood & Water Shortage SA

In South Africa: South Africa is suffering from a crippling drought brought on by the worst El Nino in decades, starting in 2014. Cape Town (south point of South Africa) and the surrounding areas are basically in a drought disaster area at the moment as many farmers and villages do not have enough water due… Continue reading Lessons from Gardening in a Drought: Drought Angels SA, Farmers in Distress, Boere in Nood & Water Shortage SA

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Chickens · Coops · Homesteading

The C Files: How to raise chickens – Housing and Coops

Confined Chicken Coop  Whether you provide a coop built from reclaimed materials or purchase a high-end fancy-schmancy chicken manor, all coops must fulfil a specific set of chicken requirements. Here I provide information on all requirements for any chicken housing, some additional optional(s) and provide basic designs to get you started.   Know what you… Continue reading The C Files: How to raise chickens – Housing and Coops

Homesteading · Observations · Soil care

Natural (Bio)fertilisers & Living Mulches: The Edible Legumes

I have been running several posts on using plants as biofertilisers, living mulch and even chicken feed. This post is a follow up on the living mulches that I have been experimenting with. Several plants (which include many legumes) that can be used as green manures and green chicken forage. Previously, I have used Penny… Continue reading Natural (Bio)fertilisers & Living Mulches: The Edible Legumes

Composting · Herb · How to Grow · Profile · Soil care

Comfrey: How To Grow – Herb of the Month

Comfrey stats/requirements at a glance Ease of Raising: 3/5 – Bi-weekly check-ups Water: 2/5 – Minimal, twice per week (especially, container) Sun: 4/5 – Full sun, shade tolerant Training: 1/5 – Minimal (harvesting keeps plant in shape) Fertilise/Feeding: 1/5 – Minimal, at least during the growing season Time to Harvest: 1/5 – Immediate (seedling) to… Continue reading Comfrey: How To Grow – Herb of the Month

Homesteading · Off Grid · Solar

Solar Power in South Africa Part 3: Solar & Seasonality, Living with Solar in Gauteng, South Africa

How’s your Solar in Winter? (Author: The Economist)   Winter sneaked up on our solar electricity system during July 2015. We hardly took notice of the change in the length of a day before installing solar and now it matters. We lose up to 6 hours in daylight from the longest day in summer to… Continue reading Solar Power in South Africa Part 3: Solar & Seasonality, Living with Solar in Gauteng, South Africa

Insect · Pest · Profile

Caterpillars – Garden Pest of the Month

Caterpillars at a glance Type of Damage Chewing Plant Symptoms Holes in fruits, missing leaves, eaten leaves, ‘felled’ seedlings Favourite Plant Most food crops, especially tomatoes, fruit trees, grapes, citrus, sweet potato, Solanum family Control Biological (predators: wasps, mantids, assassin bugs & chickens), else physical removal Quick Intro Caterpillars are regarded as one of the… Continue reading Caterpillars – Garden Pest of the Month

Biological Control · Food Garden · Homesteading · Observations · Off Grid · Soil care · Water Supply

Sustainable, Productive and Economical Vegetable Gardening (Part 3): Integrated Organic Gardening

My vegetable garden is entering its 8th year and it has been a long journey of trial and error, many a dead or diseased plant and lots of research into various facets of food production along the way. As I have mentioned many times, organic gardening principles are not properly integrated and do not provide… Continue reading Sustainable, Productive and Economical Vegetable Gardening (Part 3): Integrated Organic Gardening