Araucaria's habitat.

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by Curramore1, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Hi Eco, the paddock falls 100 metres in 600 metres or so and the lovely council have directed a couple of Km's of sealed road runoff into my waterway as well, plus we had 300 mm in one day here with some very heavy falls. The jambu are very high in moisture content and I think that they would need a lot of sugar, besides there are a lot better plants around to make jam from. I think that the lot going on all at once sort of sums me up. I don't ever get a chance to get bored, besides your dead for a long time. I like the sound of your recent observations and studies, but I tend to shy away with no rhyme or reason from formalising, methodology and dogmatism, not being rude and intimating that that is what permaculture studies are all about. I don't really think that I fit the mould of a dyed in the wool permi, but I enjoy the interaction, ideas and conversation. Cheers.
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    My observations have lead me to understand that there isn't such a thing as a 'mould' for the typical permie. For me, it's about the intent - if anyone is doing their best to honour the 3 ethics with the knowledge that they currently have, then I reckon they can earn a permie badge.

    I'm not good at dogma either. I'm more a 'rules were meant to be broken' sort of person! But you have to know what the rules are, before you know that they are worth breaking.
     
  3. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Hi Eco,
    haven't been here for a bit. Now the wet, wet, wet weather has returned a bit of time indoors. Even though we may strive to Care for the Earth and it's people and accept we must limit our global population and minimise consumption you get a bit miffed when you are less than 1% of the World's consuming population, try hard yet don't even make a ripple of measurable difference ! Permi principles, strategies and techniques are really for the converted and a mechanism for upholding the Permi ethics.. I think what I really meant was that the ethics of Permaculture are simple and easy to direct your own life from, but collectively we are a very small minority in our society and are in general individually happy to do our own thing without the need for hierachy and conformity to a central ideal. I enjoy the diversity of the members of this forum.
    On a completely different and more mundane note, my new Chestnut trees arrived today from Kyogle in good health. The Reilly's already have burrs! I will plant these on the top of a steep, rocky slope with my seedling trees which have done so well here( that I proudly grew myself from perloined burrs from an old roadside tree in Toowoomba) so that they have good drainage, when the weather clears that is. The dilemna is, do I plant them now or let the leaves fall and plant them bare rooted in the late winter. I can imagine someone in 50 years enjoying the shade under them beside the pecans, oaks and persimmons in the summer, the nuts ready in late autumn and roasting them through the winter on the fire. My 5 years old English oaks have set their first acorns, they are much larger than I recall. I still feel a bit of silly guilt growing these Euro trees in a select part of the orchard that I call "Snobs Knob". I have no trouble with the "native" macadamias , varieties bred in Hawai, nothing like a bauple nut. The Wheel of Fire trees are still flowering in the front yard after months of continual flowering. How strange. Pumpkin vine now covers an acre or so, still setting fruit all over the place. We picked 131 fruit off it last year, yes, just the one vine. I got the original from one I found growing in the manure pile of a local dairy about 30 years ago. Looks like what they call a Kent. I just stuff half a dozen seeds into the soil at Christmas and let it grow over the kikuyu in the orchard and harvest the fruit in late April, to mid May whenever the vine dies off. The unmarked fruit last us right through to December, by then we are tired of pumpkin anyway. I milked 15 litres from "Daisy" one of our Guernseys out today 3 days after she calved as she was bursting and will attempt to make beestings tomorrow - here goes.
    17 yearling beef animals left today in the mud to some friends to be grown out North of Gympie. The cash flow will be welcomed towards materials for a "real" set of yards. Cherry guava jelly delicious, figs all dried and dusted in icing sugar, tamarillo jam just too tart, rosellas ready to pick next, macadamias dropping nuts everywhere, pecans on the turn from green to brown- wonder when the Cockatoos will visit?, 10 autumn beef calves yesterday and 4 today, too many at once in a small 20 Ha paddock, Mums trying to steal calves not their own and leaving their own, 9 cows and 10 calves? I cannot pick which has had the twins yet, but they are both boys and being looked after by a cow I think may be their mum, but not sure. Time to cook tea. Bye for now.
     
  4. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I'm a bit over the rain.... It can stop now.

    I had wanted to try chestnuts for ages - along with the whole roasting over an open fire and sleighs in the snow thing. Got my chance in Canada a few years back at Christmas time. They were not at all what I expected - more like roast potato than roast peanut. I don't have many nut trees at my place so I don't know when you should plant them. My approach is to whack them in whenever I have time. I have a macadamia - too young to set nuts yet, and I may have a pecan. I thought I killed it, but I noticed that it has sent up some new growth from the base of the plant. I'm just ignoring it for now and we'll see what happens. I didn't realise how BIG they get until recently and now I'm kinda hoping that it doesn't resurrect as it is right in the middle of my garden and is going to suck up all the water and block all the light. At the time I was thinking that it would be good there because it would drop leaf litter on my garden beds.

    My pumpkin vines are growing about a foot a day and threaten to bury everything in sight. I'm starting to look forward to them drying off - if it ever stops raining!
     
  5. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Back again, my Dad told me that some time in the '50's I think, it rained for 90 days straight without a break. The local butter factory boilers were wood fired and they ran out of dry wood so the factory stopped and the local dairy farmers did it really tough with little or no income for months.
    Chestnuts probably wouldn't grow where you are, I am in the hills on red soil at 470-500 metres. There are many types of chestnuts- North American, European and Asian, all very different from each other. Mine are of european stock from trees grown a century ago on the Alstonville plateau, sort-of adapted. The chestnuts I like are the Euro ones, much firmer, less floury then the N.A ones from my limited experience. I've also planted a Malabar Chestnut-waiting for it to fruit.
    I remember from my childhood in Nambour the huge pecan trees in Max Gamble's planted along the creek flats on the creek running from Dulong, Towen mountain and then along the flats at Perwillowen to meet Petrie creek. There used to be an absolutely monstrous one which covered an acre or more in the 60's and 70's in the dairy yard of Jack Lees, now Shailers at the top of Vinicombe's hill opposite the Burnside-Perwillowen Road junction. There is a house there now. My Grandad planted an orchard about 1900 at Perwillowen on the farm where I grew up, mostly trees were planted in the tops of tree stumps in the hollow, by the time the stump rotted feeding the tree and keeping it out of the reach of cows the tree was big enough to fend for itself. Terpentine mangoes, persimmons, mulberries, quinces, poor man's oranges for marmalade and a pear tree were all that remained in my childhood in the 60's.
    I've got a mutant Gingko a bit like how I think that your pecan will grow that I will have to move as it seems to grow 2 metres up and 4 metres wider every year even though I prune it in the winter. What are Gingko's good for except some ancient chinese medicinal recipe? I think they are dioecious as well, I wonder if mine's a female or male?
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I didn't know there were pecans along Petrie Creek! Might have to go have a look WHEN IT STOPS RAINING.... (feeling very housebound today).
     
  7. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Hi Eco, the trees I mentioned are on Perwillowen Creek ( pilly willowen in kabi) just about opposite the original QDPI gates at the beginning of the steep hill on Mayers Road. Hope you get over your Cabin fever soon.
     
  8. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Nine months already since my last confession! Five months of very little rain tries out the system and the psych. no end. My last post was when we were enduring a feast of rainfall. It is amazing to me to see the difference that a dry spring makes to the country. The tallowoods in the euc forest flowered like snow cover in all through September and October, Black wattle trees now are a mass of bloom, I've never seen so many magpie geese here before and the koels and channel billed cuckoos day in and day out mournfully and raucously in turn lament the dry weather. As I type a mopoke metronomically breaks the monotonous sound of crickets outside. A massive fig crop is a few weeks off ripening, although golden shouldered beetles gave them a touch up, mangoes are holding their set fruit, grumichama is loaded to the ground with ripe fruit, guavas and avocados are loaded with half filled fruit. Arrowroot, turmeric, ginger, galangal and jeruselem artichokes are all resprouting, globe artichokes flowering, asparagus setting seed, fennel all gone to seed like the coriander and parsley, chillies fruiting heavily, cherry tomatoes everywhere, leeks seeding, macadamias ready to drop, tamarilloes loaded and ripening, bananas desuckered and bunches bagged, custard apple flowering with no leaves, chokos rampantly vegetative with a lot of tiny fruit, yam beans on a growth spurt. The longest day is just past so the ewes are all horny and the rams relentless, so a big batch of lambs due in May-June. Cattle are mostly calved, the first time mums are doing it tough, another week without rain and we'll have to early wean down to 8 weeks on the '99 drop heifers. Dragged a poor number 6 cow (born 2006) with an early calf from a gorge this morning, still not up this evening so gave hay and water, hope that she has more fight tomorrow or this Christmas will be her last. Good cow, 4 calves without a miss so far, so feel a bit of guilt in seeing her so miserable after her accident and the dry season, salt, molasses, soymeal and calcium lick blocks consumed like I am with a packet of turkish delight. Planted a licorice plant, some yarrow, feverfew and salad burnett this arvo to add to the eclectic. Not many Christmas beetles this year, a few dung beetles and the occasional moth around the lights but bugger all insects compared to the wetter seasons of the past several years. Made plum sauce, chilli sauce, mint sauce and rhubarb tart and a couple of racks of lamb tonight. Gecko chirruping, doesn't sound like a native one, a lone wild dog howling down the valley and the calf belonging to the cow from the gorge bawling about the abruptly cut off milk supply. Time for another rain dance, then bed. Bye.
     
  9. Steve Burgess

    Steve Burgess Junior Member

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    We're just a little bit north of you, in the Mary Valley at Dagun. Long hard dry spell finally broke for us yesterday -73 mm. Whole place instantly transformed today - it's beautiful, a great lift in spirits. Hope your place is feeling good too.
     
  10. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    23 mm total here, better than a dry wind storm I suppose hey? Frustrating to see it hammering down twice that a km or so away in every direction. Ground cracks are 100 mm across in places and mature trees dropping all their leaves. I'm sure that rain is not far away. Lucky we have plenty of water in reserve and pumps etc. Mulching has been the saviour of our fruit orchard. I'll have to lift the spirits here with a bit of left over Christmas cheer instead. Glad for you that you had such a good break to a longish dry spell.
     
  11. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Your descriptions are always so vivid Curramore, but weren't you going to add some photos when I messaged you last? I'm spending a bit of time in Maleny now, how about a visit?
     
  12. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Hello S.O.P,
    look at some pics on photoblog if you like. www.photoblog.com/dinosaur. Bloody dry and horrible here at present. Please feel free to visit after the rains have arrived, also I am working flat out with the holiday season where I work at a local resort and things are not as organised as they could be on the home front. Maybe later in January? I have posted to a photoblog, any other ways of posting more directly?
     
  13. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Photos look great.

    I'm up and down the mountain, so no rush, or at all if you prefer.

    Nice spot by the way .
     
  14. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    750 odd mm of rain here this week, cyclonic winds, what a dramatic end to the dry spell! Some soil loss, mature trees and all in a couple of mudslides, lost all bananas, most figs and all mangoes and citrus fruit, much pruning! 40 litres of chainsaw fuel later... and voila-100 odd tonnes of wood, leaves etc, for mulch and firewood. Green as a bean now. No stock losses, found the last 40 head today several properties away downstream, seemed glad to be headed for home.
     
  15. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Postscript. Please remind me not to raindance so vigorously next time it is dry for a little while!
     
  16. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Sorry to hear about the losses. I suppose from the little deaths come the births of new things hey? The cycle of life and death, goes on and on. I will also tone down the raindances in the future.
     
  17. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Yes - I feel slightly responsible for the great deluge. I did do an AWFUL lot of asking the universe for some good rain....
     
  18. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Ahah! the plot thickens. Just how many of you were responsible along with myself?
     
  19. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Len probably is amongst our number, and SOP and Bazman...

    Next time we should agree on a few basic things first. Like no loss of life!
     
  20. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    April Showers

    A primordial urge occurs in me at this time of year to stock up the pantry for the winter and lay in dried foods, firewood, fill the freezer and a not so primeval check on things financial for the end of the taxation year.
    Planting legume seeds in the heavy rain by mulch planting a couple of hectares with Shaw creeping vigna, red clovers along with some wynn cassia and wooly pod vetch, with a smattering of chicory. The globe artichokes and horse radish planted this way in late January look just like the crop of spear thistles they have replaced. The amarillo peanut planted as runners in late January is doing really well, but not spreading much.
    Queensland fruit fly have invaded the citrus orchard so not much fruit juice to be had through this coming winter. Cherry guavas and Hawaians starting to ripen, chokos rampant, no pumpkins this year due to the wetter than wet late rainy season.
    A satin bower bird has built a bower under the locquat tree and is sampling ripening bunches of bananas daily.
    Cattle prices have plummeted due to the cessation of the Northern live cattle trade and them now being offloaded to the Southern markets creating a glut, along with the high Aussie dollar. Luckily offloaded most pre-winter here extras before this happened. Looks like depressed prices are here to stay until the situation changes. I think this slump will be similar to that in the early 70's where I sold 800 kg bullocks for a princely $70.00 a head. We will pregnancy test as soon as the rain eases and the yards dry out a bit. Usually 90% are in calf and the other 10 % empty are culled if fat enough. We try to send them in deckloads for transport efficiency, so we expect about 30-40 to be empty and fat enough to slaughter. We are contemplating killing all the breeding cows over 4 years without preg. testing to be able to ride out the coming beef slump, but the yards are too wet to truck several hundred cows away yet. Really hard decision to sell off the core of your business of animals that you have selectively bred and husbanded for a generation and worst of all probably mostly in calf too. Lose some sleep over that one for sure. Which is a lesser evil? A couple of hundred thousand empty yearling live export cattle to slaughter in Indonesia or four or more million cows, possibly pregnant to slaughter in Australia? I wish the do gooders would think a bit more on the long term consequences of their actions. Sure, there were some horrific cattle slaughter scenes overseas that no-one could overlook or ever condone, but the indirect result is that all the old bulls over 5 years heer were sent last week and all other breeding bulls will go this week weather permitting. The breeding herd over 5 years old will probably go after that if we can get a booking that is. We should see the cash from these in another week or so hopefully to pay for weaning and to buy in cheap, better quality replacement heifers later on. Weaning can start as soon as we can secure some hay, such a wet season that the lucerne and other forage crops were all drowned or washed away for a 500 km radius. 20 tonnes of round bales should get us out of mischief. The 200 kg weaners were worth $400 last month and $250 today, probably $180 in another month. We will keep this batch and ride it out for two or three years until supply lessens and the Aussie dollar drops in relation to the greenback.
    It is just as well that all of our eggs are not in one basket and that here farm survival relies on diversity, just makes for a higher workload and more juggling for time in each enterprise. The following is very tongue-in-cheek.
    Much easier to line up at Centrelink each week, live on anti-depressants, drugs and alcohol with my gold health care card, or run away to a FIFO mining job in the west to shore up the finaces and top up the super , or mayhap sell up the ancestral pile and buy a unit at the Coast and die of Golf boredom in a few short years.
     

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