PermaFengshui at the Sembirings – 9 Weeks Later

photo: Odino da Costa

photo: Odino da Costa

Anyone with a front yard or a backyard, or at least a place to put container plants in the sun, can do edible gardening. I’ve proven it. Even if it’s a small area, the reward you get from eating what you grow yourself, or from simply looking at new leaves, tiny buds, or luscious fruits appearing, is wonderful.

Photos from around 10 weeks ago, when we started working on the major makeover.

how the backyard looked when we started working on the major makeover.

About 10 weeks ago, Odino, my little brother Aza, and I teamed up and began turning my parents’ backyard into a productive garden. It took us a little more than a week to treat the soil, make planting beds, and create a simple grey water system. Two weeks after that, we began planting.

There used to be only bilimbi, mango, soursop, sapodilla, syzygium, and lime trees and several herbal shrubs growing around Dad’s chicken, goose, duck, and rabbit pens, as well as two fish ponds. Today, we’ve got vegetables too, and new fruit trees, and herbs, and a grey water channel. And that makes everyone in the Sembiring family happy, especially Mom. All she really wanted was to grow bird-eye peppers, because the family consumes a lot of chilies. Now she has them and more. Aza is probably the most excited of all seeing the garden flourish. He checks the beds every morning before going to school, and has started doing his own experiments in the seedling area. Dad encourages me to do aquaponics, simply because he wants to be able to look at his fish and not just murky, green pond water. My sister Via wants lettuce for her salad diet. The plan to introduce my family to an organic, sustainable lifestyle is finally taking off.

The initial major-makeover design. Several changes were made during the process.

Future plans include making more planting beds, plant tamarillos and lettuce, develop aquaponics (now experimenting with one box planted with strawberries), create a more space-efficient seedling area, complete the garden paths (rainy season is not a good time to do this), find a way to store rainwater (a long-term plan, it seems), and convince Mom to let her flower garden in the front yard become another permafengshui project.

For now, have a look these photos Odino and I took, and read the captions where I share some information. I hope they’re inspiring enough for you to turn that empty plot around your house into an edible garden.

Inspired by feng shui, the garden is divided into three sectors, namely Wealth (green), Fame (red), and Relationship (brown), to determine which shapes and elements go where. This photo was taken 9 weeks ago. Read about all that we did in the first week here.

what the garden looks like on Dec. 8, 2013

what the garden looks like on Dec. 7, 2013

a part of the Wealth sector 10 weeks ago

part of the Wealth sector 10 weeks ago

same spot, today

Same spot, today. Doesn’t the purple pepper look stunning?

the keyhole garden, 9 weeks ago

the keyhole garden, Fame sector, 9 weeks ago

A frangipani tree is planted inside the keyhole garden, which also functions as a direct composting station. Behind it, as the garden's main feature, is a tower of bitter lemon vines.

A frangipani tree is planted inside the keyhole garden, which also functions as a direct composting station. Behind it, as the garden’s main feature, is a tower of bitter lemon vines.

the garden seen from the furthest corner of the Relationship sector 8 weeks ago

the garden seen from the furthest corner of the Relationship sector 8 weeks ago

for the first time, the mango tree has produced fruits

for the first time, the mango tree has produced fruits

working on the grey water channel 9 weeks ago

working on the grey water channel 9 weeks ago

a filter system for the family's laundry water, the grey water channel is now functioning well with a blue lotus placed a few days ago in the collection pond

a filter system for the family’s laundry water, the grey water channel is now functioning well with a blue lotus placed in the collection pond a few days ago

separating rocks from earth as part of the soil treatment

separating rocks from earth as part of soil treatment

some of the plantings beds today

some of the planting beds today

clockwise from top: passion fruit, bitter lemon, spider on a lime leaf

clockwise from top: passion fruit, bitter lemon, spider on a lime leaf

the duck, the goose, and the chicken pens

the duck, the goose, and the chicken pens

cucumber, flowering mustard, onions

cucumber, mustard, onions

Mom harvesting some spring onions

Mom harvesting some spring onions

loving the garden

loving the garden

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3 responses to “PermaFengshui at the Sembirings – 9 Weeks Later

  1. Pingback: PermaFengshui at the Sembirings – Week 1 | BEKABULUH·

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