Bredbo Valley View farm - providing quality education in Permaculture and sustainable living practices.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The heat is on.

Even though we lived in Canberra in 2003 I can’t imagine what it has been like for the people in Victoria over the weekend. I watched a little of the reporting on Sky news – it’s still hard to comprehend the scale of this disaster. You can donate to the Victims through the Bendigo & Adelaide Bank.

It puts into perspective everything that Peter Andrews was talking about on the weekend. We need to cool down the landscape to bring back the rain. Peter had a “Mad Scientist” friend from CSIRO with him. He was very complimentary towards NSF and could explain the “science” to minuet detail which enlightening.

We looked at two properties apart from our own on the weekend, one up at Jindabyne and then Ingelara. The Jindabyne property was very impressive. The owner had spent a lot of time on his project and had access to good materials and equipment. Ingelara are still working on the planning aspects of their project.

We took the group up to the gully line at Valley View first up on Sunday morning. It was hot and because of the risk of fire I couldn’t take the vehicles all the way to the source. We stopped a couple of times under the shade of the willow trees and Peter explained the landscape and why it had degraded to the level it had. He was very positive that his methods would work on our landscape, and we could see the remnants of the old wetland areas in the soil profiles. This gave me a little more heart and encouragement. Luckily we also had our local plant contractor with so he could get instructions first hand from the expert. The about ten members of the NSF group from Canberra attended and we met many new friends and lovely people. Most of these guys volunteer their spare time to help people like us carry out NSF projects – their help is invaluable.

We ended the trip with a BBQ under the poplars down by the river, the Cook had done marvellous things in the kitchen and everybody left fed and watered.

After Valley View they headed off to Billilingra, we needed to tidy up first and missed that bit of the day. It would have been interesting as they are our neighbours and both projects back onto each other.

Ingelara was the last property, we’ve been down there before, and it’s very nice. They have a lovely lake and their backdrop is spectacular. On our way home we drove into thick smoke which was coming from the east. One of the blokes from the NSF had been called out to the local RFS for a fire at Jerrangle. By the time we had reached Bredbo the smoke was very dense and both of us were starting to worry – our property is only a few kilometres from Jerrangle. I decided to stop at the fire shed to ask what was happening; thankfully it was the change in wind direction that was blowing smoke in from the Bega fires – nothing for us to worry about. I still went outside and checked the horizon before I went to bed

We continued to have new arrivals over the weekend with one of the sows having her first litter – five piglets in all. Some of them look rather nice, well marked and good confirmation. All the pigs now have proper shelter and we can start to move the dongers out of the paddocks. By winter the shelters will have walls on three side and be ready for what ever winter brings this year.

Of course not everything went smoothly – last night when I went up to turn off a tap, I caught a fox trying to get to the chickens; I hope we wont see him again for a while. And this morning I had to take the kids to the bus, this was after finding out there was no pig feed made up and having to prepare that for the next couple of days. Once I’d done that and fed the multitudes we all jumped in the Jeep – I was late, of course. Jeep wouldn’t start – again. Out with the hammer, we arrived at the bus stop just as the bus did; eldest jumps out of the car and realised that he didn’t have his school bag!!! So it was back home and get it and try and catch the bus up down the road. Of course there’s no petrol in the Jeep either. By the time I arrived at work there were no car parks so I had a nice little walk through the rose gardens.

Todays picture has the Cook listening to Peter Andrews under one of our willow trees - true NSF heaven.

1 comment:

Jaaam said...

You know that it is karma - it comes back and bites you; as you left the fuel tank low for the Cook previously. We just want to know if you went to the back of the car and hit the car hard around the fuel tank??????????

Livin' on the edge boy.