Araucaria's habitat.

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

  1. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Hi Mischief,
    pinto peanut is a ground cover legume which is good for animal grazing and orchard under-tree plantings instead of just grasses. I grow it from cuttings, but seed is available which usually arrives pre-inoculated with N fixing bugs. It is quite dry tolerant and is in full flower here atm. Nice little yellow flowers. Don't let it get into your potted plants or vege gardens as it is difficult to eradicate, but spreads slowly unless disturbed. Another name for it is Amarillo peanut. There are no actual peanuts to eat, but pigs love digging them up and grazing on them.
     
  2. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Thanks, I just checked again and it had been the Pindar peanut.
    I will certainly remember Not to get the pinto peanut.
     
  3. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Hello all, I have been incommunicado or non compos mentis from the life numbing hot, dry weather and, generally without a computer for a while. Meanwhile back at the ranch..... Tonto has not been altogether idle... Harvesting and drying figs, making lime and Wampi cordial, Making gallons of pasta sauces from an abundance of tomatoes, egg plants, capsicum, chilli and garlic, run out of jars in fact. Rains having only just begun to arrive. I have collected as many heirloom pumpkins as I can and now have 34 different spots scattered all over the farm here to see which can fend the best and produce the tastiest and best storing fruits. The JAP (Just another pumpkin) or Kent leads with the Australian Butter and French, warty one not far behind. Little trombone is all vine and male flowers so far. The climbing beans have been attempting to emulate Jack's legendary specimens and topped the 2 m trellis after 3 weeks, then the added bamboo extension to 4m after 5 weeks, The old purple grew the most vigorously and fruited the earliest with the fastest growing beans, followed by the common green with snake beans coming in a fortnight later after a slow start. Tall trellises look good, but the wind blows them around and they are too hard to pick. In the tomato competition, all grown from seed, the most vigorous and healthy are the Italian Constoluto Genovese, followed by Beefsteak, oxheart and, dare I say a hybrid Apollo. The Rouge de Marmande and Grosse Lisse have fizzled with fungus and or bugs as have the Roma tomatoes. The first fruits are just colouring up now so will keep posted on the flavours, productivity and longevity. They all need staking, but I've planted them way apart and they have put out adventitious roots all along the way, so I'll leave them spread and place straw under big tomato bunches. Bran baited water traps have collected a lot of grubs under these tomatoes, so I expect some fruit attack from them and the ubiquitous mole crickets. Golden shouldered beetles are out in force and many have succumbed to the bug Zapper and a lighted white sheet covered in surface spray at night away from the food growing area. Bunya nuts are falling early because of the dry and the wind. I managed to harvest 30 or 40 kg of nuts, but you have to beat the wild pigs and rats to them atm. I need some more Arrowroot recipes as I'm all pancake and frittered out, will try processing some and drying the flour. Two Brown Turkey figs are 5 years old now and cut 5 kg from the two trees yesterday and the same again just now, great with a drizzle of honey and ice cream. I tip pruned them for height to 3 m and they are absolutely loaded and the Birds and Bats have left me alone so far. Bowen mangoes colouring up now and just huge this year from the dry air and hot weather. Lady finger bananas all bunched and bagged and the first summer bunches cut, they are so sweet this year that I am having strife keeping the King parrots and Satin bower birds away. I don't mind the blue-faced honeyeaters as they just visit the flowers. Finger Limes and tahitian Limes falling from the trees and made into cordials and Lime Limoncello. Plenty of Spring lambs in the freezer after losing 30 or so to repeated wild dog attacks over the drought period, all coming on a beaten path from the abounding National Park. Cunning mongrels too, the smartest I've experienced by a long shot.(No pun intended). Electric fences, guard animals, movement sensing lights, traps and baits have all been unsuccessful so far. Tip pruned all the citrus and gave them a barrow load of sheep manure each after the rain, a moderate crop of fruit this year after a very dry spring at flowering time. Planted strawberry runners out yesterday into a makeshift straw and sheep manure above-ground bed. Off to plant a few rows of late corn and to dig up and manure some future potato plots.
     
  4. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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  5. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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  6. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    At least you got Jaboticaba (if that photo is Jaboticaba). Our trees were decimated by Rainbow Lorikeets this year, didn't get a single fruit.
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I love Bunya nuts and they are hard to come by around here. Love hearing your news!
     
  8. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    Quite busy times then! Those dogs are most interesting.
     
  9. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Had the dogs here too Curramore, got all my ducks a couple of years back. The jabs and finger limes look great.

    Picked up a bunya nut the other day. anyone got any good recipes for them?
     
  10. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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  11. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    A moderate rain dance is required here atm. Last Summer overdid it a bit and nearly required an Ark after. Lots of moon tonight, so a few brews and a rain dance to summon the liquid launch is about to commence. Send it down Huey!
     
  12. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Boil in salted water, about a tablespoon of salt to 3 litres, chuck in 15-20 nuts, bring to boil, boil for 10 minutes or until they start to split at the pointy end. Split with a stout, sharp kitchen knife in half longways starting at the point on a stout cutting board. Dig out of the kernel halves and place hot in butter with garlic freshly crushed. Great with a cold frothy ale. Beware, such a combination in excess will provide more methane than a Blazing Saddles movie. Use above boiled nuts crumbled instead of store bought pine nuts to make a nice basil pesto. Hummus can be made a bit tastier by the addition of 100 grams odd of cooked nut with a 400 g can of chickpeas, the juice of two lemons, 2 tablespoons tahini, 3 cloves garlic and a teaspoon of fresh ground cumin seed all whipped up together with a stick mixer. Eat with toast fingers. Good for weight gain if you need it. Damn!
    One feral dog less in the world today. Now for the other 10000...., Native crayfish seen travelling overland this am just on first light in the heavy dew, maybe rain is on the way? Edible pink mushroom circles here in random places, unusual given the lack of precipitation.
     
  13. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Eco, next year just after Christmas I can spare you a few dozen bunya cones full if you like. I am not too far away as the crow flies.
     
  14. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Mmmmm yummmmmm! I want to try that hommus recipe with them.
     
  15. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Truly doing it hard this summer though the Sunshine Coast has had more rain than where we are in Brisbane...much more actually.

    I've got a 1000 plants waiting for the Summer rains, ready to go out, and it's killing me.


    I've never tried the salted boiling method, I do the hammer-cracking oven method. This time I mixed organic honey and nuts, and made a honey nut spread that is quite nice on toast.
     
  16. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Hi S.O.P,

    stacked of potted up plants awaiting transplant here too. Must re-pot many, thanks for a reminder.

    I've just returned from doing some volunteer mustering and destocking work on the eastern Downs where the surface waters are now gone and the bores are only just coping now. I've never seen so many tens of thousands of trees dead and dying on sandy ridges, even the bottle trees and Kurrajongs look mighty tired. The numbers of skinny kangaroos and wallabies crowding around what water is left is a sight I won't forget. The wild dogs are brazenly out and about everywhere looking sleek and shiny at that. I'd expect a few big, red dust storms towards the coast in August if this continues when the winter westerlies arrive. It is a dreadful job to have to be euthenasing large numbers of stock too poor to be mustered or trucked, very soul destroying, but I'm O.K to do it so the breeder and his family doesn't have to do it to the animals which were they've bred from calves and from generations of their breeding programs.
    As an aside I went to the local ammo shop and the shelves for that calibre were all gone already, it took three other gun shops in a radius of 500 km to even find any projectiles or brass for me to even make up my own. Waiting on a shipment from the US I was informed.

    I have been busily pregnancy testing, early weaning and trucking on my own places and doing general destocking and winter preparation work with the livestock for the coming winter, down to about 25% of normal carrying capacity. I have been steadily culling since the rains not arriving by November here and have a supply of fodder and winter supplements to last until September. Honed to the bone but prepared for a tough winter with the rainfall outlook grim. I am surprised how the SOI has hovered around zero and the 7 day forecasts on the BOM always show lots of rain, yet none arrives. The false hope that this engenders is really negative when the days pass and not a drop appears and the only rain depression that deepens is the one in the producer's psych.
    Some classes of cattle are down to 20cents/kilo in the regional saleyards, not even covering transport, and many cattle are now too poor to load so will have to be sacrificed if they can't be given away and walked on the stock routes to better feed and water. The northern cattle market for live export would normally have absorbed a million or so of the young cattle now perishing of drought. I hope the persons responsible for helping to shut down the cattle live export trade to Asian destinations are squirming! The time lag from joining cattle to marketing is a couple of years, so the follow-on effect is still whacking the Primary Producers over the head. The winter is fast approaching and the surface waters are fast disappearing in many areas of the state, the bases are loaded for a massive turnoff flood of unprecedented proportions throughout Central and Southern Queensland. I guesstimate that 2-3 million head of cattle alone will have to travel north or interstate or perish in the paddock over the coming winter. No amount of fodder is available and the unlike in the past where the fodder grain reserves were high, the supply has already gone. I noted in my local Agricultural supplies shop the other day that most of their bagged and hobby farm grains were imported from India! Ironic really. Energy , protein and mineral supplements are not much good if all the roughage has gone already. Sorghum, normally quoted at less than $200/tonne has topped $400/tonne if you can get it.

    On a lighter note......well a little anyway...

    Wild pigs and cattle wiped out the rest of the bunya crop here, sounds like a good combo with the honey. Would probably lend itself to a "Nutella" style paste as well.

    Planting some climbing snow peas and snap peas, drying a bumper crop of tomatoes, putting away the winter pumpkins in storage, laying down a few winter irish stouts, apple ciders and nut brown ales for winter cheer, sampling a few too seriously along the way, bandicooting new potatoes, picking the rosellas and cherry guavas for jams and jellies, the citrus is ripening early and surprisingly sweet from the hotter and drier Summer I guess, bananas beginning to be full and ripening, chokos absolutely loaded with small late fruit, passionfruits ripening, persimmons just finished a massive crop which the fruit bats, parrots and possums enjoyed immensely, monsteras ready to cut soon too. This week we are making sausages and salami if the cooler evenings and mornings continue, rosemary and honey lamb; tomato and garlic beef; venison and mutton with black pepper, cumin and fennel seed; Spanish style pork chorizo with heaps of smoked paprika.
    The stags are roaring in the hills at night in the distance, a bit early this year by about a fortnight. Nice to lie awake and listen to them, they are the harbingers of Autumn here and always make me want to fill the pantry, cellar, freezers and top up the wood pile and check on the supply of flanno sheets.
    Reading back over this I realise I must sound a bit Neanderthal, mayhap I am a bit primitive. Not such a bad thing really I tell myself. Could be worse, like a used car salesman, bank manager or ATO accountant?

    I hope that we all get some rain soon.
     
  17. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Hugs. That must have been tough even if they weren't your animals.
    I'm still lost as to why I'm paying $$$$$ at the shops for Aussie meat when they are practically asking farmers to pay to get it to market. Something rotten in the state of Denmark. Mind you I get stuff from the local organic butcher so it doesn't have to travel far, so I guess I'm not really in the market for the ones you are talking about.
     
  18. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Thanks eco, all part of the existence and the way in which Australia treats it's bulk food producers in general.

    The property on which I worked those cattle is organic certified. Even more difficult for them to source supplements and drought fodder because they have to buy certified feed. In a normal season their 8-10 month old weaners are separated from their mum's weighing about 280 kg and fed certified hay for a week in the yards and handled for future work to get them used to humans, yards, trucks etc., then are usually fed to be finished on a certified oats crop through the winter months for 120-150 days. They usually put on about 1 kg per day to be approx. 400 kg live at 12-14 months. The plan is they will dress out about 220-240 kg carcass with 7-10 mm of surface fat. Finishing means fat cover. Carcasses need to hang in a chiller for a week to 10 days for meat pH and other things to change, it's called aging, and without fat cover the meat dries out and the aging won't work. Most Australians are shocked that the meat in the butcher shop is so young, without any adult teeth yet, but the consumer demands meat which is paler red, with guaranteed tenderness and juiciness with a milder flavour than mature beef with cuts that will fit on a normal plate to give a 200-300 gram steak at 12-15mm thickness.
    This is exactly the type of place where your meat may come from normally.
    The animals over two years old generally go to export markets or as processed meats and their high end cuts are sold as bulk, budget cuts in supermarket chains and the like. 60-80% of beef production heads for export. The domestic market is much the lesser.
    The best money that an organic producer receives is about $3.60-4.00 per kg of carcass weight, bone-in for 220-240 kg carcass after they've paid $4.50 levy to the MLA, $3.50 for an electronic ear-tag, $30-$50.00 transport fees per carcass. Approx. 3.50/kg return after these costs. Add to this the annual certification costs and more expensive fodder cost.
    The abattoir slaughters and chills the carcass and costs about $100/head or about 45c/kg. Then the meat must be transported from the abattoir to the butcher about $50.00 per beast or 25 c/kg. The abattoir keeps the 170 kg of hide, head, feet and offal for further processing into potting mix, gelatins, fertilisers etc..
    The butcher may buy whole sides for $4.50/kg from the abattoir. This includes 15% bone or about 35 kg per whole beast, and probably 25-50 kg of to be trimmed fat, connective tissues and other, making it really 160 kg of meat at $6.45/kg for premium meat carcasses.
    The butcher must sell all the cuts to make any money, it's not all fillet steak at $25.00/kg, there's 25kg of mince to sell as mince or sausages at $9.00/kg etc. and shop rental, electricity, wages, waste disposal at 50c/kg for the bone and trims and unsold meat... Most butchers just buy in whole cuts and slice and value add them rather than trying to sell whole sides, everyone only wants fillet, rump or rib-eye and not the other 125 kg of other lesser cuts left to sell.
    I don't know of any organic beef production on or within even 200km of the Sunshine Coast. It is almost impossible for certification with tick and fly and worm treatments required here and the lack of available certified fodder. The majority of organic beef production is in the dryer, tick free country in the west.
    The supply of organic beef for the butcher will be tight because of the drought, so they probably will have to pay more to get it carted here from interstate, even from places like King Island.
    It may come as a shock but in my opinion the majority of extensive, range fed beef produced in Australia without certification probably has the same, if not better quality health-wise as the organic certified product claims. A wonderful marketing tool like A2 milk, permeate free milk.....
    Your best chance of consistently getting a tender steak is to buy MSA ( Meat Standards Australia) graded meat.
    My favourite is a 3 year old barren 4 tooth heifer dressing 300 kg with 12-15 mm fat , grazed on mountain legumes through the winter and Rhodes grass in the summer, hung for a fortnight to a month by the aitch bone in tenderstretch method. Taste, tenderness, even the topside is moist and tender.
    I digress....
    I can see the rain pouring over the coast 10-15 km away from up here, especially towards Maroochydore and can hear the thunder grumbling in the Brisvegus direction near the Glasshouse mountains, I can't see the high rises in the City for the low cloud. I shouldn't have cleaned out the tank strainers or taken the clothes off the line and wound up the car windows should I, sure to make the rain run away. Works every time.
     
  19. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Thank you - that explains a lot. I'm not sure exactly where all mine comes from but I know the pork and goat are coming from the Darling Downs.

    If I ask for this at the butcher will he roll on the floor laughing at me? Then ask me for my credit card?

    It just reminds me that my heart is still pulling me to live somewhere more rural where I can talk to the farmer and pay him for his meat directly. If such a place exists anywhere other than my fantasy…..

    So did you get any wet stuff fall out of the sky today? Good rain here over the past 24 hours.
     
  20. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Hi Eco,
    yes, 55mm here in the past 24 hours at the house and 65mm on my western creek boundary, no runoff as yet. I have been chucking lime and inoculant coated vetch, chicory and Wynn Cassia seed all afternoon into blady grass clumps and planting out some 30 overgrown Tallowood and Crow's Ash seedlings in the North western forested area. Very grateful for the welcome rain. Bought four new white hybrid layers today to replace the surviving two faithful black ones that are now 4 years old and not laying so well. They've been retired to roost in the the dairy shed 200 m away to live with the sheep and pigs in their retirement until a carpet snake, fox or old age claims them.

    The 300 kg carcass size for the butcher is a bit on the large size and he'll whinge about the 35kg of fat to be trimmed from the outside of the cuts and the time that it would be in the road in his coldroom, also you can only hang a whole carcass or hind half by the aitch bone and unless he has a specialist equipment for this it is too heavy to lift at 150 odd kg a half and you'll have to come to me or one or two others to get the grazing mix. So yes He would look at you quizzically and shake his head. Most people want a baby grainfed steer with hard, white fat and pink meat. I do all my own slaughtering and carcass breakdown, mince and sausage making and corning for myself. It is not legal for the meat to leave the property and be sold to others and the penalties are draconian. I have a slaughterhouse, coldroom/freezer, bandsaw, mincer and sausage filler etc. I can remember helping my Uncle at Yandina making snags (the slang name we called sausages back then)when I was about six and being horrified that he tasted the raw sausage mix to make sure it was right to go in the skins. Occasionally here a side or a quarter just goes missing...........I never know where.....We eat about 3-4 beasts and a dozen or so sheep a year with the aid of a couple of my voracious adult sons and the occasional visits from my 6 brothers and sisters and their 40 or so adult children and associated offspring, and that's just on my side of the family... with the odd 100 head family shindig for special birthdays and the like a couple of times a year. Just finished brewing and maturing an Australian Pale Ale, a Mexican Cerveza, a Sparkling Ale, a dry, sparkling apple and pear cider, a lemonade and an Irish stout for an Easter family member's 50th celebration here. That does sound a lot but there are leftovers for me for the winter and spring. I just wish we could grow hops here.

    Eco, Nambour is only 450 metres lower and 25km as the crow flies from here or 47 km by road via Maleny. I used to be able to see the steam formed cloud from the condenser chimney at the Moreton Central Mill in Nambour from here on a clear day, you can see the ships passing in the ocean, Bribie and Moreton Islands and Brisbane, the coastal fringe from Mt. Coolum South as far as Bell's Creek and up to Gympie also when the clouds are higher. To the South-west the backdrop are the Mountains ( Mt. Allen) of the Conondale National Park and the Bellthorpe Range and Mt Walli is to the North West. To the immediate North is Walli Creek Valley, then Kidaman Creek Valley, then the Obi Valley, then Gheerulla and so on. Gets a bit blowy up here as you can imagine, but at least we are too high and exposed for a frost. Donovan's knob is 670m elevation just behind me and is the highest point on the Blackall range, on the other side of that is Conondale and the Mary Valley where Crystal Waters Permaculture Village is located. So we are not really that far apart geographically. Just a lot different climatically. We are generally 4 degrees cooler maximum and 4 degrees warmer minimum than my Mum's at Nambour throughout the year, but have a good 15-30 km SE wind most of the year and evil, dry, chilling westerlies from late July to early September. Warm North westerlies from October to Feb. telling us rain is on the way.
    Planting climbing snow peas and sugar snap peas tomorrow, then some broad beans, a bit early for the broad, but I've limed and dug up the bed and it's cooler early this year up here. The persimmons and figs are losing their leaves already. The last sweet corn is in tassel, early potatoes are in flower, Heirloom Italian Genovese tomatoes are ripening, so I imagine that many jars of tomato, capsicum and chilli sauce will be made next week too. Pumpkin vines are dying off now, so will harvest and store them in a fortnight or so too. Tried a zillion different varieties, but the trusty Kent J.A P just outperforms all the fancy heirlooms by far. The only ones I'd bother with again are the Australian Butter and Musquee de Provence. The Japanese seedless mandarins will be ready next week, the best early variety here.

    What a ramble. Time to catch some Zeds.
    P.S Maleny Wagyu is just down the road from me and they sell beef sides and quarters for $14/kg. All legal and above board.
     

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