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January headway

posted 28 Jan 2016, 19:25 by D Graves   [ updated 28 Jan 2016, 23:21 ]
January has been productive in terms of getting some tasks completed due to two helpers coming to stay and help. First Ai from Japan arrived after helping at some places in Maleny area and a few days later Johan arrived from Norway:
helpers

Ai helped Evita a lot to tidy up the main vegetable growing areas while Johan helped Dylan tackle some long overdue tasks as well as many other small jobs here and there. A little bit of roof for the caravan and tidy up around it (see previous post) first. Then the biggest achievement was getting back to fencing a 'compound area' around the house. This is now 85% complete and will hopefully keep wandering animals out soon. We also finished digging the drainage trench (the part the excavator couldn't get to) to the house dam:
This ditch is about 165m long and goes to our northerly boundary - it will prevent overland runoff coming down the hill from inundating the areas around the house and leaching the nutrients away. (The water that does flow from below the ditch mostly goes into the duck pond and also slowly percolates into the zigzag paths of the kitchen garden. Future plans include another pond below the growing areas that will collect water when it gets through and around the kitchen garden - not so often, but prevalent in heavy downpours.)

Another advancement was 3 more duck areas (some young chickens in there temporarily);
duck areas
2 areas can be seen in this photo, but there is now another one in the foreground. We have sown some sorghum in it and when it has grown, we'll let them in to browse on it. A fourth area will come in time..

Another small, but long awaited task was continuing the old path (from Sanitorium time period) to reach some large rock outcrops - this has now become our 'heritage and nature trail' :) One can walk although up the hill, almost to the top. We need to clear a little more to join that to the path up the Northern fence line to make a circular route.

On a couple of days off we visited several other small farms who are members of CNF (certified naturally farmed - a form of organic status certification). Theone nursery has reminded me to do my own;
summit seedlings

On another farm we visited, we saw how the hugelkultur we did with the Permaculture Group last year in April is doing:
hugelkultur
The mound is quite acidic (being made up of mostly pine) and so the plantings have been of blueberries, alpine strawberries, some herbs, and gooseberries in the plastic tubes. Good result!

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