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Bowen Mtn NSW

CLIENT'S DREAM

Semi self-sufficiency in vegetable production, lots of fruit and nut trees, eventually keeping sheep for mowing and chickens for meat.

ISSUES

Very exposed to street and the southern side. Water run-off from the street and pooling near house. High levels of shade extending from the northern corner as block is on the eastern side of a ridge. Limited water for gardening as the house was on tank water only.

BEFORE

2 acre block with large vegetable gardening area and some fruit trees. 6 chickens. Large area out the back that was mostly unused as steep in places.

DESIGN
Starting at the front, privacy has been created from the street and on the south side with hazelnut hedges. These will be both productive and functional. The water run-off onto the driveway is captured and redirected to the swale of citrus trees. These are also placed below the chickens so they get the high levels of nitrogen they require. The chicken housing has been expanded to house about 20 birds for eventual meat production. The coop has been repositioned along the fence line to create further privacy for the pool. A small shed has also been placed here. A watering trough is in this area to service the sheep, this will attract them close to the house for health checks and observation.
The vegetable garden on the south is expanded to include a 'main crop' garden for things like potatoes, garlic, onions etc that don't require much maintenance. These areas of garden will be irrigated from a new water tank collecting from the shed roof.
The south side of the slope at the back of the house has been planned as food forest on swale. This will capture it's own water and, with careful planning, reach maturity and eventually permanence. A wide variety of fruit, nut, and legume trees can be planted here and will provide huge harvests within a few years. After feeding the family, these harvests can be shared or sold.
The northern, steeper side of the slope will contain the sheep and chickens grazing together. The poultry and sheep will have a relationship in which the chickens will spread the sheep manure and break any pest and parasite cycles contained within, while fertilising the pasture themselves. The sheep will graze the grass and fertilise the pasture also. Both species will benefit hugely from greater fertility in the pasture. A cell-grazing pasture system has been put in place here, in which the animals are cycled between pastures through a livestock tunnel. Through intelligent fencing, they can be selectively grazed, allowing the pastures to regenerate between grazing. A variety of grasses with health benefits for both species can be broad seeded once the animals are cycled off. Through the livestock tunnel, they have constant access to water and shelter uphill also. Productive and leguminour trees are planted downhill from the animals to capture and use the extra nutrient run-off for higher productivity.
Over the septic leech field we have planned a bee forage area, containing a wide variety of bug-friendly flowers. This was appropriate as trees planted here could damage the septic system with their roots, and food crops aren't recommended due to disease concerns. This will also greatly enhance the view from the house and kids play area.
A dam is placed lower on the property that will contain fish and edible aquatic plants. The water pathway down the hill will first fill up the tanks, then run to the swales which will slow down the water and soak it into the ground. Any excess will flow gently over spillways to successive swales and eventually the dam.