Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Permaculture & Pigeon Peas

So what's the big deal? Well I have a few pigeon peas attempting to germinate as we speak. They are only short lived, but are drought resistant and grow to about 1-3 metres. Which is perfect for the job I need them for. Not only will they grow to feed the chooks, but in the spirit of permaculture design, they will also shade my garden shed.

The wall I am planting them against is directly north facing, so will cop a lot of heat in summer. Pigeon Pea, being fast growing, should reduce the amount of sun exposure this wall receives. The chicken coop is only a few metres away, so will make easy feed for the chooks.

I pulled the weeds that were in this section, threw them in the middle, with some of my lovely weed tea and the chook poo I cleaned from the coop. Throw on some wet newspaper and sugarcane mulch, and we should be ready to plant in a few weeks time!

This is the western facing wall of the shed, and where I'm storing my weed tea buckets at present. They smell atrocious, but the plants love it! What better place to hide these little nasties, than behind the shed on the boundary line. Don't worry, the neighbours live on the other side of the hill, so they won't notice the pong either.

Another tool in my permaculture design, is the wonderful herb, comfrey. Here it is growing underneath a tree and is only a few metres away from my tea buckets. I'm really happy with it's progress - as it only had 3 leaves to begin with. Now there's a rosette of leaves in the middle, just bursting to get out!

I plan to use the comfrey and pigeon pea, as regular additions to my weed tea. Positioned near the chook pen, they should make an easily accessible food supply too. The pigeon pea shrubs will also shade my garden shed.

I like it when things work together for the greater good!


  1. Brillant ideas Chris.
    We will be using piegon peas for shade too as our neighbours cut down the jacaranda tree that gave us our shade.

    Watch out for comfrey it can quite literally take over your garden! But it is wonderful stuff.

  2. That shade is precious stuff in summer isn't it! Glad to hear you're using pigeon pea for a solution too. I've never grown it before, but I'm really interested in the results.

    Same with the comfrey. If it takes over, I'll have a stack of compost activator and mulch.

    But thanks for the warning, I'll have to forward plan a stratagy for containing it in future. I have stinking roger everywhere just because it grows naturally too. Came with the property. :)


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