Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The Cook took this photo on the weekend, reminds me of my days as a lose head prop in the Army Rugby Team. These guys have really been fun to have a round, they stick together, they make funny noises and they turn up in the strangest places. Last week I was doing the pigs water, I heard a piglet grunting – I thought down by the river. It was getting dark and I thought maybe one of the piglets had been caught by a snake. So I grabbed a shovel and headed down towards the gate. As I went past the old windmill I heard the little grunting sound again, I looked down the well and there was a piglet! Luckily we still have one small child, he was lowered down into the well to rescue the little fellow. The well is only eight feet deep and dry, luckily filled with old leaves so it was a pretty soft landing.
These guys also ended up in the Canberra Times on Grand Final Weekend – with 22 of them and all being black and white I thought it was a sign that it would be a Collingwood final
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I thought I'd gather together all my threads of thought about our permaculture going's on into a single post. I'm also doing this from Word 2007 which has a publish to blog feature.
Zone 1. Well so far this has been a total disaster – let's ignore it for a while longer.
Zone 2. This is where the action is, all except one of our newly planted fruit trees has survived the winter. Unfortunately one of the locally acquired apple trees perished – these things happen, and luckily we have a couple of replacements in pots ready to move in. The cook is busy exploring the garden beds and picking out the weeds between all the things that she let go to seed. She has never had much success with carrots until now, seems self seeding is a good way to grow them. And like everything else in our lives we have no control over it.
We've made a huge potato bed this year which has been filled with a variety of different spuds. We're planting them under layers of mulch this year – so I've got to get more mulch. It was interesting to see after about an inch of rain the water began pooling in the contours of the potato patch – which is what is supposed to happen.
This weekend I'm fencing around the Solar Power Station and we are turning the ground around that in to gardens as well. I'm planning to grow pumpkins, beans and corn in that area. Once I've fenced I also need to move the water trough as well.
Our asparagus is shooting up, tasty little suckers they are, I've only tried a couple so far. The strawberries are all coming back after the pigs dug them up at the end of winter, so we are interested to see how they bounce back. The raspberries are spreading as well and we're looking forward to a good crop of those.
I've almost completed transporting my 1000 bricks from Canberra to home. Once I have them all at the house I can get the bobcat in to level the pad area for the outdoor kitchen, the bricks are for the smoke house and the base of the wood fired oven.
We've installed a proper watering system this year. I'm using wobble tees on four foot posts to water the veg garden and potato's, I'll do a similar thing for the pumpkins and corn. It works – but you can't have too many on a single line and, to make it work better I need to step down to 1 inch pipe from the 1.25 inch.
This weekend is the Murrumbateman Field Days, which we always go too. The Cook spied cheap mulch out that way the other day so we are taking the trailer to bring a load back – permaculture involves a lot of mulch and the sooner we can make out own the easier it will be.
The Bees are busy, all the hives are active and working hard, I'll have to check the Queens in the next couple of weeks to make sure they are up to the season. I'm hoping to harvest enough honey to see us all the way through the year.
Last year I built a worm farm, but we decided not to put worms in it until spring – I filled it with cow manure from the paddocks and let it sit. We were having problems with one of our bathtub troughs so the Cook decided to change one of the worm farm tubs for the trough – she discovered that we had been farming worms all along.
Zone 3. We had a nice surprise the other morning; our Black Angus cow 'Becky' had her first calf, we haven't been able to get close enough yet but we're pretty sure it's a heifer.
Zone 4/5. Due to last year's season we had an explosion of Serrated Tussock, I'm still dealing with is around the house and front paddocks. Out the back it just dominated a lot of places; I decided to get in on the councils helicopter spraying and we managed to get 16 ha of unmanageable weeds dealt with. I know spraying isn't a permaculture type solution, but we needed to compromise on this to stop the problem deteriorating.