Post date: Jul 30, 2015
Wow, time has flown and it's been ages since last update. Thought I'd better do one as July is ending soon. Thinking back over the month, the highlight was a morning of snow. Lots of it. First decent snow in 30 odd years here (Queensland highlands). Opened the curtain to see everything white. Quite magical and made the place look so different.
The greenhouse held up well, but a couple of other netted areas broke or partly collapsed. It was quite thick; this at the back door:
As usual, a range of projects have been on the go concurrently. One is a wood hot water heater made from a used gas hot water system. When I searched online for this, one came up from 1982 (Mother Earth magazine):
and ours has similarly come up like this:
Insulation will go around the whole thing; mostly the original that was around it when it had a gas burner under it. It's 85l and will heat water for the offgrid caravan setup (moved caravan today):
On the topic of wood based energy systems, we have also been renovating an Everhot wood stove. We got this from the dump shop over a year ago. Peter from Wood Stove Repairs generously let us salvage a hot water tank for it from his collection and got his friend to weld the cracked front. Got it inside now and almost ready to plumb it to the shower and put a flue through the roof. This is what it looked like when we started, completed photo in future post (will be ALL black):
An on-going project is 'tidying' landscape using our pigs. Removing rocks they dig up and finding uses for them, thinning trees, pruning the rest, and removing or piling up excess wood. Areas are flattened a bit once they leave, sowed with seed, and lightly mulched. These areas will be grazed in the future by whatever herbivores we decide to use. Having helpers for the final push makes a huge difference (photo shows area above where pigs were and they're standing on old pathway):
Sowed landscape and restored wall in background:
Also showed our 2 [very short stay] American helper sisters (2 on right above) how we mulch under fruit trees (cardboard, newspaper, water, manure, woody mulch, hay, and worms):
And Portuguese Monica (on left above) is staying for awhile. She's somewhat of a 'superhelper' and we like these a good deal!!