Chookie's Patch

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by Chookie, May 30, 2014.

  1. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    chookie, type the word bunya into the search box, there is plenty. : ) i'm glad you didn't get beaned.
     
  2. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    Sounds like you need a Hard Hat Chookie.
     
  3. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    Thanks for that :) It seems you can just eat them raw or you can boil or roast them. So will be trying a few things soon as see how it goes. I also didn't know if I have to let it sit longer and wait for the kernels to pop out either.

    In this pic the kernels just fell out and 1 gentle squeeze and the Bunya nut pops out. The others still seem quite solid.

    [​IMG]


    Glad I can use the nuts for food and this scary tree is good for something and I also know where NOT to put a shed.
     
  4. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Beware the gas factor! Eat 20 or more of these suckers boiled and you'll make enough methane to run a tractor! Guaranteed to make you fat and shiny though.
     
  5. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    they look amazing every time i see one of them. wish they would grow here. : ) in the USoA we used to have chestnut trees that produced tons and tons of starch food mass that could be used by the animals and then disease came along and took them mostly all out. the countryside now supports much less than it used to. the native americans that managed much of the forest areas in this country would not recognize the woods we have these days.
     
  6. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    lol point noted! Looks like you can store the Bunya nuts in the fridge, so I can just use them when needed ;)


    Very similar situation here, such a shame to see the environment disappearing so fast. Disheartening at times and feels like fighting a losing battle but I guess all we can do, is do our part and hope we can slow it down...
     
  7. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    Well the recent rains put a damper on things. We had a huge amount of rainfall. The new seedlings planted did not cope with being waterlogged for so long and then being hit with the hot sun straight after. The seedlings in trays were put away in the dry were fine, thank goodness.Growth has slowed down a bit this month due to all the weather changes.

    Here you can see how flooded the backyard can get, behind the garden you can see the river that flows through the backyard during floods, it does come very close at times. Was forced to dig trenches to stop the water flooding the chook shed. Will be thinking of gravel pits and ag pipe for next year.

    [​IMG]

    I now have Solar Power which is just brilliant. The hot water system I have put on a timer, which is a cheap quick fix to stop it from boilling over all day every day.

    Unfortunately I could not source the reflective paint in time and will have to paint around the Solar when I get to doing it. Also need to get some gutter guard for when the tanks go in.

    [​IMG]

    These are one of the many nasty critters we have roaming around the property. These are Australian Jumper Ants which not only bite but are venomous and have a sting much like a wasp. They pack quite a punch when they get you! Highly aggressive and will come and hunt you down. Often they will jump out of trees and shrubs onto you if you get too close. Disturbed by the rains they have all come out and are making new nests.


    [​IMG]
     
  8. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    I am jealous, love that you got the solar up and running and want it really bad for our farm. That flooding is pretty wild, hope it doesn't get you. Now those are some nasty ants, and here I thought our fire ants were bad, they don't look so bad to me now. :rofl:
     
  9. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Chookie!! OMG!! Between the floods and the venomous ants and the bunya nuts you need a hazmat suit with a helmet and an inflatable boat! All that pineapple looking stuff for one nut???? Are they good to eat? Can you sell them for about $50 apiece??? Are they compostable? Burnable? Will goats eat them?? Will they choke a gopher and kill it? (Don't we wish!!)

    Thanks for the tip on folding the toilet paper rolls! I was just about to do a whole tray of them, assuming they would cooperate, but I think as a gardener I am going to toss that word "cooperate" off over a cliff!! I can never predict what will happen these days.

    It is the craziest things that happen that are the best stories that we can always tell in the future!!

    :)
     
  10. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    I forgot to mention, I have lizards, too, although not that big, I don't think. And when I am watering pots they run towards the stream of water, so I leave them a saucer of water, not knowing whether they ever use it or not. We have lots of fog and the grass in the morning has enough condensation for them to drink. But I might trying lightly spraying them to see if they like it. I never got the impression they would hold still for it.

    Some of my pots I keep shade cloth over, and have found a big gopher snake under the cloth but over the tops of the plants I assume going after the lizards. I don't think there are enough mice that hang around there. Lucky Lizzie has found a safe place! Very cute!

    :)
     
  11. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    Thanks Bryant, not fully self sufficient as the Solar is still feeding back into the grid but I made sure the inverter could be switched to battery storage in the future. Looking forward to the next bill ;) We have fire ants issues here in QLD as well, they are bad news but haven't seen any one the property thank goodness. They probably see these guys and turn the other way :D

    hahah! Yes its an interesting place to live but I just love it. Feels like the place is alive and constantly changing and every time I walk to to garden there is something going on. Having the creek through the block is a magnet for the wildlife as well. There are heaps of 'bitey' insects, spiders and snakes about but have just learned to use lot of insect repellant, thick clothing and gloves whilst out and about:)

    The Bunya nuts were tasty, I had a neighbour make me some pesto from them. It was fantastic! Each cone had about 50 nuts. I have the left over kernel waist in the compost and they are doing great so far. I did leave a couple of undersized nuts left in the compost and they were dug up and eaten by the possums that night. They love them and its and finders keepers game, if you don't find the cones the day they drop, you lose :giggle: Cant see why you can't burn them but the moisture in them is quite high, would have to let them dry out. Goats would love them for sure but they would be very spoilt goats! I have never seen a gopher and don't know much about them, are they as annoying as possums?

    Lol I agree the toilet roles can be tricky as they don't stand up straight :giggle: so I had to lean them all until the tray was full enough and I then I packed them together so they didn't topple over. They worked a treat, I didn't end up planting them straight in as I think they would take too long to break down but they just 'unwrapped' and then used in the left over cardboard in the compost.

    Its great you have some lizards, I'm sure they love the free drink you give them. I think it just makes their life a little easier that day. They are such a great companion for the garden. Mine go through the garden everyday searching for bugs and are not shy at all anymore. Often when I'm weeding or doing in the compost they come and sit around me scoring any disturbed insects running or flying away, smart buggers they are.
     
  12. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    Chookie, can you slice the bunyas and dry the slices to keep them longer?

    hope the solar setup works well for you. : )

    can't imagine why a hot water system would be actually boiling, sounds
    like you could downsize it or move more water around to have more
    hot water storage or a larger tank or... i would so love a hot water
    heating system here for the sunny days. it could cut our expenses
    and pay for itself in 5-10 years and also give some extra heat on the
    sunny days in the winter. which i would much rather have than burning
    propane.
     
  13. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    songbird, I know it's cold where you are in the winter. But I'll bet your summers are warm, yet you still need hot water. I have made a solar hot water heater from an old hot water heater, stripped off the outer sheet metal layer and the insulation, painted it flat black, put it in a plywood box lined with 2" solid insulation (all bought at a salvage place) , put an old shower door over the top, that already has a hinge on it, and it heats water like a champ on a sunny day. The added bonus is that it can dry socks on top of the shower door on a sunny day because the temp inside the box is up over 150 degrees F. Socks are so slow to dry, and I am so pleased that this works so well. Our box is on the ground, and we hand pump the water up to a small, high tank to use it in the shower. But an inline water pump could easily be installed to pull the water from the box to the existing hot water tank, filling it with warmed water. they are called batch heaters. Every day it can help is a day that saves propane :)

    The only thing that surprised me was these core tanks in the videos seem to be from electric water heaters, and they are smaller. In my part of the world most water heaters are gas, and they are a lot wider with a hollow space up the center with baffles for the heat to go up through. That means with a gas water heater the box has to be bigger, and the shower door has to be big enough to cover the whole width of the box, so those are the calculations to make as you find each component. My shower door was not wide enough, and we've had to make sure it doesn't leak when it rains.

    Here are some examples on YouTube:


    https://youtu.be/9IDcWbjm7W8
    https://youtu.be/VZxBQRyfKzo
     
  14. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    Sweetpea, the problem isn't lack of ideas, but the lack of the owner of this place not wanting to make such changes... if it were just me, i'd have already done it... i have to work around things as best i can until i'm no longer needed here. that might mean i do some work on other places to help out. we'll see... : )
     
  15. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    I've had similar issues in the past with house owners not wanting to fix or change anything, just more rent! Can be so frustrating.

    Not sure about the slicing of the bunya's but I could try that and see what happens. Might be worth experimenting and leaving some out, some in the fridge and in the freezer and see what stores the best.

    The hot water system is an electric system that works by heating an element inside the tank which is controlled by a thermostat. As the temp drops it kicks in and heats up to maintain the temp. Its only a 180L and loses heat much faster then the bigger tanks. So even at night whilst I sleep it's turning on quite a bit which is why I had the timer installed, so it's only heating up at times we are using it. With that said Ive been without hot water since the Solar was installed, not sure whats up with it. Had it checked and all seems to be fine but not heating. Turned the thermostat right up and it kicked in again today, thank goodness but will have to looking at fixing it as I think it may be the thermostat but not sure. Will look at getting another one soon but hopefully I can get a bit more use out of this one.

    Thanks for the links sweetpea:) Will take some time to save up and will have to put a bit of thought into this one, so the more ideas the better, cheers :y:
     
  16. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Songbird, oh, bummer. I also have a smaller version of a batch heater that is portable, and it isn't plumbed into the house line. I always keep a large black canning kettle, painted flat black, plus the lid, in a small box I made from plywood that comes in precut 24-inch/60 centimeters squares at the DIY store, also painted flat black, and used hard insulation just as above, it sits on the ground (because the ground is good insulation and it's more out of the wind) in the sun all day near my garden and I can wash compost and creepy stuff off my hands, make tea, and rinse off coffee cups or even on a day where that stinging salt perspiration is running into my eyes, and it is a nice face rinse. It's enough water to do dishes in if it were nearer to the kitchen.

    I also have a solar oven that I love. It works more like a slow cooker, crockpot, and it can get up to 350 F/ 176 C when exterior temps are above 50 F/ 10 C. I am really pleased with it, although on a breezy day it needs stabilizing because of its reflective top parts are up in the air, and it has to be turned about every 20 mins to face into the sun and get the highest heat. I think I am going to make another one like the batch heater that just sits there without the "wings" going up in the air so that sun moves across it without having to move it. This particular one is expensive, but there are homemade ones that are not.

    https://www.sunoven.com/products-page

    DIY ovens:

    https://solarcooking.org/plans/

    Chookie, yeah, it's so fun to use the sun. The nice thing about using an old water heater is that it already has the pressure relief valve on it, and standard fittings work on it. It doesn't have to be completely full, either, so it can heat up faster, and be used straight from it by late afternoon, often having to cool it a bit with cold water.
     
  17. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    Well the veggie bed is finally showing a little growth, All quite small still but growing and recovering. About time :party: Still a lot more I would like to plant but all in good time...even buying seeds adds up after awhile :sweat:

    Pests are a big problem though, the random tomatoes I let go got hit quite bad. Mostly by caterpillars and these small grasshoppers.

    [​IMG]


    I think companion planing will be key if I except to reduce any significant damage to the veggie crop by pests. Still got so much to learn about companion planting and its kinda feels like a jigsaw puzzle arranging the plants. Will be fun to watch it evolve and see what works and what doesn't.

    The next green crop is ready...well more then ready actually as Ive left it too long, ops! When I checked today the crop is full of beans, so will have to get onto that. This time i'll be digging it in as well as adding more compost and then leaving it to rest and break down before planting the next crop.

    [​IMG]

    Well planting sunflowers in the enclosed garden is a bad idea, they grew so huge I've had to cut them prematurly to stop them pushing and stretching the wire. Good excuse to pop them in a vase and enjoy them indoors though ;)

    [​IMG]

    Behind the garden is the space I'd like to put the orchard and have started planting a couple things. Heres the banana I threw in a small compost pile. It's looking promising. My friendly neighbour gave it to me and said it was a 'miniature' variety. I've also planted the blueberries that were sitting in the pot and am thinking about what to put in next. The recent floods have made me rethink where Im going to have to put everything.

    [​IMG]

    This bugger has been hanging around the front door the last few nights in the same spot, I think there is some rodents about or something. Just hoping it catches whatever it is and leaves soon...

    [​IMG]

    Cheers Chookie
     
  18. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    Nice carpet python, sure he is hanging around for rodent treats. At least it isn't a Brown (caught one of those here in Arkansas, found out it came here via boat which unloaded in Galveston Texas. She even had eggs when I captured her (had been eating kittens and living under a man's porch)).

    Garden is looking lovely too.

    Cheers
     
  19. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    Cheers Bryant, Yeah the brown snakes are nasty thats why I don't mind this fellow hanging around so much. Had a snake guy tell me they are really territorial and should ward off the browns, so will let it stay as long as it doesn't get too big or takes my chooks ;)

    This breeding season I had dozens and dozens of chicks in the grow pens inside the main chook shed. All very small, vulnerable and easy to catch. The python had shed its skin just feet away from them one night, so I know it visits but has not taken a chook or chick yet. Somehow I think it knows if the chickens go, so does it's free meal ticket every night. Really its a win win situation ;)

    Had this happen a few times now but I'll be planting seedlings, then find these Cain Toads that dig a hole and bury themselves under the mulch. They are very much alive and hop off once discovered. Does anyone else have this happen as well? I'm sure they will be good for pest control but probably a bit too good and will eat the good, the bad and the ugly.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    Cain toads, nasty critters really since they exude a very toxic venom as their protection from predators. We have the suckers here but fortunately not in our area. I do have regular toads and they will bury up in the mulch. I am taking care of that by giving them "Toad Holes" to call their homes. Just some chipped clay pots, I knock out the chipped rim enough to make a door and set them out upside down so the toadies can go inside and be in the dark(ish) toad home. So far they seem to be taking to the new housing very well.

    On my own snake front, I have found a few king snakes, a good thing, they hunt other snakes and are probably why I have only seen one copperhead on my acreage in the past year.

    Cheers
     

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