Tuesday, June 5, 2007

What up

Here's a few words penned last Saturday: Last few days have been pretty relaxed actually. On Tuesday night we visited our friends Rick and Naomi Coleman of Southern Cross Permaculture Institute for dinner. Later on Fern Okerby from Apollo Bay visited to see what we've been up to and on Wednesday we showed her around and stewed some apples. She also possibly identified our existing large late-season apple for us: Stewart Seedling. On Thursday we went to a talk by Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, and that was interesting. She reckons we should eat more butter, bone broths, ferments, organ meats and stuff like that. If we do, apparently our children will be more likely to have full round faces and a straight set of healthy teeth. It's been raining and the cover crops are all doing great and the swales are accumulating long puddles of water up to about 10 metres long. Rick tells us we're due for more rain so I look forward to that magical moment when the swales and dam fill and overflow. On Friday I sowed more cover crops (lucerne, red clover and white clover) on the backyard swales, the area below the diversion drain that has the drain spoil spread over it by the bobcat and the new swale coming off the goose pond. Oh yeah, our mate Adam has started a sort of companion blog - check it out at http://www.milkingtherooster.neopeasant.com

Oh, by the way, Fern the apple whiz recommended Freyburgh as a mid-season good eating apple from NZ and Devonshire Quarrenden from England 1678 as a good eating apple and sweet green coppin as a good cider apple.

And here's a catch up for today: Yesterday Cam, Carey and I cruised down from Melbourne in the pano (panel van). We picked up a 200-litre barrel for brewing compost tea from Carey's place, a pile of daffodil bulbs and Cam's clear pipe for finding levels from Kim's house, and three bare-rooted fruit trees (plumcot, nectarine (Firebrite) and nashi (Shinsui)) and a bunch of ground covers (prostrate rosemary, myoporum, sea daisy). Hannah from the last Southern Cross PDC and Bill and Di are down too so there's lots of energy here this week. Today Cam and I dug in the diversion drain / spillway on the bottom of the two swales in the north eastern corner while Hannah planted tagasaste into the mounds. We (mainly Bill, Di, Hannah and Cam) sowed a cover crop (red, white & subclover, lucerne, barrel medic, oats) into the top swale in that corner and planted about 80 casuarinas continuing the same windbreak pattern down the eastern boundary. I picked up a ute-load of firewood whilst the paddocks were dry enough to do so. Carey's been masterminding the house water situation and cleaning out the tank above the cubby house, God bless him. Bill and Di planted the three new fruit trees and that was cool. Planting the first food-producing trees into swale mounds.

Okay, over and out,

Cam raking around the goose pond.

The cover crops creeping up to seize the swales.

The first fruit tree goes into the mound of one of the orchard swales!

Glying the little dam below the spring dam with fresh cowshit from next door.

We laid it down then covered it with cardboard to get it fermenting. The idea comes from Mollison's designer's manual.

Can and Dan preserving apples with Rick's cool corer-peeler gismo.

A swale with some rather long puddles during recent rain. Bodes well for levelness, what.

We have a swan and its babies living in our dam!

Collecting the cow poo for glying from the dairy farmer next door. He reckons we can have an unlimited supply if we want it!

1 comment:

Steve Ward said...

Hi, What happened to this blog. An interesting read and provides much needed practical experience of developing a small holding but is it not maintained anymore????