Hello from South Australia

Vicky

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Mar 27, 2020
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Hi all,
Glad to have found this forum, it's very different down here in the south, dry, dusty, windy, it gets cold and did I mention dry? I think Mark mentioned an average rainfall of something like 1500mm??, it almost doesn't compute....maybe I heard wrong... here we are supposed to get maybe 600mm per year but often don't get to that average. Oh well, it just means a very different approach to gardening. I really enjoy the you tube videos, even if they are not always relevant they are entertaining and educational. We have just over an acre but many native and pines trees whose tree roots invade any garden I have tried to create so my best results come from numerous pots under our North facing verandah. I do have some raised garden beds where the back lawn used to be however we can only garden when our rainwater tanks are full enough for our household use plus the garden. I always have had chooks and a garden, I have a grain mill to grind flour and am currently harvesting a half decent crop of buckwheat, so this is not new to me. For the past 7 years I've been involved in the Gawler Garden and Produce Share, a weekly get together in our nearest town, where's group of keen gardeners meet in a park and 'share' excess produce and other related garden goods. By sharing, we avoid many rules and regulations that would come into force if you were trading, swapping or selling :) It builds community by getting to know other locals (and some not so local) and encourages many to grow something or maybe try something new at their place. We have just postponed the gatherings for a time but still have a Facebook group where members can connect. It's very important to connect with others, even if only on the internet while there are restrictions in force and possibly getting tighter. I look forward to browsing here now that I have a lot more time to dedicate to growing our food :)
 
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Wedgetail

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Hi Vicky welcome to the forum sounds like you have a good handle on things garden wise . I would be very interested in what type of grain mill you have and it's quality also how you harvest your buckwheat and what you use the flower for. Cheers Dave
 
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Vicky

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Mar 27, 2020
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Hi Dave, I have a Schnitzer Country grain mill, I was saving for a trailer for our car at the time but a purchase fell through and I decided that instead, I would get something that has been equally as useful :) - it cost a LOT :) I got it from Skippy Grain Mills online.
This is my second year growing buckwheat and I basically wait for most of the grains to go dark on the plant, then pick that plant and sit down and pull off the little clumps of seeds, then the spent plant goes to the chickens. Allow all the seeds to dry out and go dark. The first pass through the grain mill, I open it up so it is quite almost coming apart and that removes the husks. Then tighten it back to the proper flour grinding setting and grind the flour as it is needed. The flour is gluten free and I try to use it in place of gluten flours, mixing it with others when larger quantities are called for or using it straight in smaller measures. The husks are used to fill 'traditional Japanese pillows' and while I have never grown enough to actually fill a pillow, I purchased a if bag of husks and made some pillows for my husband and myself so will top these pillows with any husks I now harvest. The pillows re very comfortable and some back pain and general discomfort that I used go experience while lying down has eased, not to mention it is an environmentally friendly pillow filling. So, a very useful plant, it does well in heat but requires a good bit of water, the bees LOVE the flowers, chickens love the leaves, and we get gluten free flour and pillow filling from them. What a winner :)
 

Wedgetail

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Sep 22, 2019
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That's brilliant Vicky thanks for the great info. We are looking at growing our own grain to feed the chickens and for our own use . Cheers Dave
 

Vicky

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Mar 27, 2020
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Hi Tom, I had maybe 12 - 16 plants, I start everything indoors or in pots here because we have so many insects that steal off with the seeds or eat any tender young, juicy emerging seedlings. I put them out in one main area but also in different beds to see how they would go. The ones in full sun and grouped together did best, it was a raised bed, made from a cut up, old rainwater tank. I am directionally challenged o_O as well as spacially challenged o_O (I also can't plant in a straight line to save myself) so I can't tell you dimensions etc They do need staking if you get high winds though.