Staff picks – by Nadia Antanovskii
Senior Siebel Developer Nadia Antanovskii gives us the round-up of what inspires her at the moment.
Nadia Antanovskii a.k.a. avid permaculture enthusiast
Role at MYOB
Senior Siebel Developer. As a software engineer, I’m responsible for MYOB’s Customer Relationship Management system, which deals with back-end processing, and the Identity Management system, which deals with authorisation and access management.
I have an urban food forest garden where I grow all sorts of edibles like vegies, berries, herbs, mushrooms and fruit trees, as well as my pet chickens and ducks. The garden is stacked like a forest would, with fruit trees occupying the upper story, shrubs in the middle and herbaceous plants and creepers in the lower story. Nature hates a vacuum so if you leave any gaps unplanted, weeds will grow. I’ve also created habitat for natural predators like frogs, lizards, owls and predatory insects to assist in pest management so everything works together as a complex and resilient biological system.
I’m very passionate about permaculture, which is a sustainable form of agriculture that uses design principles from natural ecosystems to produce abundance with minimal human input.
Stuff I love right now
For me, permaculture is not just about farming, but also about building more sustainable human settlements, so things like energy and waste management also enter the picture. I plan to harvest readily available natural energy by building a lean-to greenhouse on my front porch, which should harvest the low rays of the winter sun to keep my house warm and reduce my energy bill, but at the same time block the high rays of the scorching summer sun under deep eaves and a grape-covered arbour.
I also recycle most of my grey water through a reed wetland and a network of mulched swales. Together with rain water harvesting they completely eliminate my need for city water for irrigation, which considering the size of my property and how much it produces, is a pretty sizeable achievement.
2. Edible landscaping
I love the idea of edible landscaping and creating aesthetically pleasing gardens that are fully utilised for food production. My garden doesn’t look anything like a traditional vegie plot since I plant varied polycultures and use curved designs that are more pleasing to the eye. The edging of my garden beds and my retaining walls are built from wooden logs inoculated with edible mushroom so that I can collect vegies and mushrooms in the same space.
My driveway strip is planted with a mass of creeping herbs, which attract bees and keep my garden humming, ensuring good pollination and fruit set
3. Soil ecology
I find soil ecology fascinating.
My garden uses a no-dig method so that the fine networks of fungi are not disturbed. The hyphal networks of the fungal mycelium act like a reservoir to store and distribute water and nutrients across the landscape and increase the surface area of plant roots.
I also utilise in-bed composting and heavy mulching to supply food to the many worms and other decomposers inhabiting my garden beds. Every now and then, I cycle my chickens through a bed to scratch it up, aerate it, manure it, do some weeding and eat any excess insect populations before I plant the next crop. Not only does this method ensure healthy soils, but it saves me the back breaking work associated with traditional gardening.
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