We moved onto our property about 3 years ago, given there was nothing but 4 deteriorated mudbrick walls on a concrete slab, a 40 ft container housing an old tractor, a sauna (priorities right?) and heaps of trees, we had and still have lots of work to do.
After organizing a roof over our heads, a shower (rocket hot water system) and composting toilet we started working on feeding ourselves. Our soil is so sandy you can see the nutrients leaching away and see the huge amounts of organic matter we continually added to our soil disappearing so quickly we couldn’t keep up.
We decided the only thing to do was build up, among our first gardens built was our mandala garden and like all our raised garden beds it cost us nothing. We were given an old rain water tank which we cut into pieces, salvaged a heap of roofing iron and had my Dad salvage a bunch of stakes off his job site.
With the help of our unschooled children we created a mandala garden, this was a really cool project to do together, the kids still look at what we achieved with pride.
Building our mandala garden was a family effort. The cubby house in the background was another family project and also created with re-purposed materials.
We filled the garden beds with a mixture of rotting wood, compost, horse manure and chicken manure (composted) and mulched pretty much the whole yard with free round bales and horse manure we managed to source. It wasn’t long before the whole yard greened up, with grass and pinto peanut which was growing here when we moved in. Our mandala garden is where we grow most of our annuals as the kids find it easy to use crop rotation methods,they can also reach the middle of all the garden beds without standing in them and compacting the soil we continue to build up. Since creating the mandala garden we’ve added loads of edible native plants over to the left to help build up the ecosystem and add to the diversity of our property.