Latitude 14 Eastern Australia

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by sun burn, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    lablab, pinto peanut and ducklings and chook

    https://www.photoblog.com/ShangriLa/

    Today i've begun work on my garden sculpture i talked about some time ago. I am very excited about this concept. Maybe if all goes well i can turn it into a source of income. I have so many ideas and one of them is to use my front corner as an exhibition space.

    If i can make money from this, life will really become good for me. I'd much rather make art for a living than grow vegetables and fruit or make jam.

    The ducks are loving the new pond but they only use it for washing not for idling. I love to hear them flapping about in it.
     
  2. Chief Cloudpiler

    Chief Cloudpiler Junior Member

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    It is a temperate zone plant - not perennial but self-seeding - that gophers, moles, voles and mice just hate. They beat a wide berth around the roots of this plant. I don't know the scientific nomenclature, nor whence it originates, but I will report on it when I have discovered those facts.
     
  3. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Watermelon

    I opened my first watermelon today. Maybe it could have been a tad riper or it was just that it had had too much rain but it the flavour was a little weak. It had a nice fragrance though. Anyway after i'd finished eating, i took the seeds and sowed them straight away into a patch that i had weed-killed recently with plastic. Which made me realise i should indeed plant these areas up quickly with groundcovers if i dont the grass to come roaring back. So i put in some more sweet potato when i ran out of watermelon seeds.

    I put some sweet potato down the front on the highway as well to keep down the weeds and the council contractors who just like to spray and kill everything. They killed my young raintree so i replanted that today.

    I've had a busy day in the garden.
     
  4. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    #2 Mandala Garden prep

    I know i talked about this some time ago. I also started it back then too but i got disheartened when i saw that the poinciana roots were growing into my compost pile. I haven't finished chopping down the tree yet either.

    Still today, because of my new morning routine, i start again on it and this time i am determined to get it all mulched and composting properly. The grass and the weeds are getting away so something has to be done quickly. I got a barrow of lettuces of my neighbour to put down but got the pile of newspapers and a cardboard box and laid them out first. I spent ages and ages getting to hte point of hosing down all the newspaper before i could put on the lettuces. That's how it is in my garden. Start one thing and other things demand to be taken care of first. In this case i went to get the hose, decided i had better wet down all the pint peanut i planted yesterday. It made sense to do it first since they were between the tap and the mandala garden. Then one of the connectors started giving me trouble and i had to fix all that up. Probably took about an hour to water down the newspapers as a result of all that. After that i covered with full palm fronds. I haven't got time to fuss about anymore. So i am just putting them on whole. I got three armloads and had to walk across teh block to get them. So this is also time consuming. I might get time to chop them up a bit later on. For now ijust want to get the whole area mulched as good as possible. We've got tons of fronds lying about and i might as well use them up here. They are not so good where they are either as they catch and hold rainwater and breed mosquitos. Later on, i will put manure over it all so it composts properly. I don't want to make it too tasty yet otherwise it will all leach away.
     
  5. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Rain and overcast, ergo big planting day

    This is my list of achievements today as I wrote them on my goal blog from the list of things I was meant to do today. :)

    DONE
    3. water the young shrubs and cuttings i’ve planted and hte cassavas... I don't need to do this now as it rained enough last night. yippeee! one less job.
    2. plant sweet potato cuttings down the front to stop erosion
    3. i've also planted some winged beans in the permaculture style. Ie not in the vegie patch but whereever they might grow. I've got extras for the vegie patch but need a teepee.
    4. Finished planting up the front boundary with white hibiscus. and a few red or pink.
    5. plant sweet potato cuttings around the front corner for ground cover.
    1. plant 5 pinto peanuts
    6. I've put in 3 crotons and about 9 of a bush which is green and white don't know the name yet.
    7. I phoned Joe about getting the extra 2 chickens tomorrow.
    8. i planted 1 frangipanni and then realised with all the grass in the way there was no room to plant more.
    9. i sowed almost all the lablab
    10. i planted only 5 red shrubs. Although i have put plastic down to kill the grass I am sure its not fully dead yet so i had to take time to dig some of it out. then i moved the plastic to a new spot. I would have put in some green too but i haven't any ready. This was time consuming so i didn't plant as many boundary shrubs as i hoped.
    11. I have started thinking about putting in the others

    DIDN'T DO YET
    5. more fronds on my mandala
    7. get some more cuttings red and green from M. I seem to have run out.

    food for poultry :There weren't any fresh lettuces in Ms piles today so I will have to make another trip for the ducks this afternoon. I am trying to pay more attention to reducing the amount of grain they eat. I am feeding them eggs daily and lettuces from my neighbour. I don't want to have to buy more than one bag of chook food a week, especially if i am not getting anything for my eggs.

    Lablab: Well i was a little started to see how much the seeds had germinated in the barrow. A bit too much and maybe they will be damaged in the sowing and not grow. They are like been sprouts. Long and crunchy. But fingers crossed cause they are tough little buggers. I think i should not have let them stay there more than one day but at this moment I am not sure if I left them there 2 nights or three. Anyway I have covered all the sunny spots on the property now that are not still covered in grass. And i still have more seed to sow.

    With this rain that is forecast I am trying to do intensive planting of my cuttings. I want to get them all in the ground before the end of january so that have a lot of time to take advantage of the wet season. Since i put the pinto peanut cuttings in a holding bed of mill mud i don't have to rush to plant all this out now. I will just do 5 a day just to keep on with it and devote the time to other more urgent things.

    I think i will rip out the sweet potato from the vegie patch now that its not going to be hot anymore for a while. I've sowed lablab through the vegie garden too so i need the room for that to flourish. I will put sweet potato in cuttings around in other needed places perhaps.

    My winged beans have come up. It took me a while to think what they were. I planted them under various trees where they will get some sun. I've got more than enough to grow in the vegie patch.

    I'm feeling exhausted now but i still have finished for the day. I've got to feed all the animals and clean out their pen. And really i had better find some more room for the rest of the lablab seeds. I have to try not to tread on all the lablab seeds.
     
  6. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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  7. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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  8. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Under Pressure

    Lately i've been feeling pressured by all my projects. My imagination is too big, too greedy. I work hard for a day and then i feel exhausted the next. I look at all the grass growing like mad, and the weeds, and feel overwhelmed by the size of my gardening problems, er project. The notion of plant, don't weed is a good one to keep in mind when feeling this way. Nevertheless, i can't stop myself weeding and believe i need to do it anyway. My weeds are huge you must understand. I really should have a system of weed, mulch plant all in one day movement but i simply can't be that organised. I will keep it in mind as a method to strive towards.

    Dad mowed over a lot of my lablab seedlings yesterday and also some of my pinto peanut plantings. But i was already feeling a bit of a failure over that as the last lot i let grow a day too long before planting. I am lucky i've got a couple of kilos left for the new vegetable patch.

    I've got a new morning routine to help me be more systematic about getting a few important things done daily like keeping feed costs down and pollinating all the things that need it and not getting started too late in the garden. This has been a good idea. I've also started a new system to help me get through a lot of weeding and planting. its simply this, weeding in the morning and planting in the afternoon. It means that i have to do at least some weeding in the morning and at least some planting in the afternoon. I still feel as though i am not getting enough done but I know i should let that idea go.

    I was feeling so down about my lablab that i started to lose confidence about being able to write a column for the newspaper. I have had to do some serious self-talk to get over that and today I began a new piece and i'm taking a more personal approach. Since i am not an expert gardener, i thought it would be a good idea to present myself as a novice and try to encourage other non-gardeners to have a go. I'm just not sure whether to consider it as a weekly thing or a fortnightly thing. Of course its not certain yet that i am going to do it. When i phoned up the editor said he'd call me on the 6th, ie tomorrow. I don't know what the process will be. I'll probably have to submit a sample or two to be considered. I think that most other people who contribute a little column in this newspaper have businesses so i am the odd one out there. But down the track maybe it will serve me well to have this public profile. I feel a bit stupid for not having a reason for people to give me money but there you go, its my altruistic contribution to society.

    When my first column draft is ok enough to show here, i will put it in the previous thread about writing for the local newspaper. https://forums.permaculture.org.au/showthread.php?8816-Writing-a-column-for-your-local-newspaper

    New Years Resolution: so far i think this is a good idea. Although i don't have a lot of produce coming out of the vegie garden today, I feel a good pressure to make this resolution happen and I am no longer neglecting my vegetable gardening as much. Also today i picked a ripening soursop that has been protected from the bats in a plastic bag. Ironically, it was a fallen and half eaten soursop from higher up in the tree that fell on the ground after being eaten by a bat that reminded me to check the one i got. Last night i made fried rice with kangkong. Today for lunch i had davidson plum jam on bread and butter. I don't usually have jam on bread for lunch but this is where my NYR has taken me. I put in some new rockmelon seeds, some new spiny cucumber seeds and planted turmeric, and arrowroot from plants that Joe gave me today. I also put in seeds from my butter nut pumpkin that I grew last time. At least if there's nothing else to eat, i know I will not run short of pumpkins for a while. There are a few lying around in the gardening ripe or nearly ripe. And i've still got a few on top of the fridge.
     
  9. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I went down to collect things for dinner before the light goes. I found 5 aubergines and decided to cut all the basil in the dinghy down so i can plant some tomatoes in there tomorrow. I was starting to feel good again. I was already feeling better than this morning.

    I locked up the ducks and the chickens and thought i'd take a turn past my boundary shrubs to see how they are growing, before heading back here to finish my glass of wine. Then i noticed that dad had mowed over my crimson frangipanni. Now I feel all horrible. I know this feeling will pass but dad's wilful carelessness is upsetting. He's not at home today so I can't say anything until he comes back, not that it will make any difference.
     
  10. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Paving stone design

    https://www.photoblog.com/shangrila I am leaning towards the lighter shade of stone against darker mortar. I was a little worried about the tree roots being covered in cement and pavers but last night i thought i could build in little holes by fixing a tube in the spaces when i pour in the wet mortar. If i can get them out after you'd hardly notice the holes.

    I've got a useful little book about building treehouses out of the library. Its reinvigorated my earlier ideas about building in the trees. Most of the rooms will still be quite low but i think it will be much easier (and also cheaper) to use the trees as upright supports. The book i've got out is by Black and Decker. There's another one in the library i will get too.

    I was getting a bit tired in the garden and its good to make the switch to these other projects for a few days.

    Its just finished raining heavily for a few minutes so that's saved me some watering. I just lifted the plastic in time over the weeds for the last lot of boundary. I will start clearing that soon.

    Today I've been feeding the poultry cooked liver. I had some for the cat and he won't eat it all. The poultry love it and are getting such a diverse diet these days. They get eggs nearly every day. I have reduced the amount of grain though. On Monday or Tuesday we are going to kill the poor rooster. I can't afford to feed him and it was always intended he wouldn't be around for long. We've let him live quite a while longer as it is. I"m not looking forward to it though.
     
  11. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Hey sunburn - I found this - treehouse workshop

    Not sure if you have seen it already but I though you'd appreciate it.
     
  12. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Treehouse, Expanded Lath (for ferrocement), paving stone confusion

    Thanks eco, I think i just found his site the other day but i haven't had a proper look yet and I had forgotten all about it. I believe this guy has been producing good books on treehouses for some time and the reviews of the latest one are very positive so I will probably try to get one down the track. What led me to him originally was finding a book in the library called Build Your Kids a Treehouse by black and Decker. Not very "inspirational" but it had good clear drawings and I now know how I can structure my treehouse. There's another one in the libary that seems to be popular for building treehouses so i will get that one out. The treehouseguide.com reviews books and so does amazon. There aren't that many tree house books out there so its not that confusing.

    I had another little breakthrough yesterday. I went all the way to Cairns to visit Onesteel to try to buy some material to start experiments with, only to be told to go home and phone the Locker Group in Townsville (though they are all over the place - see website if interested). The prices of the material seem reasonable. In general I think it will cost $35 per metre square for quantity of steel i will need in a metre square of ferrocement. Given that there is not much cement involved, the overall prices looks like it might be reasonable. I am trying to work out costings but I am getting confused about all the different types of sand and gravels and whathaveyou, since I am also trying to research my paving stone project as well. Anyway, now that i have found a source of the steel and got a sense of its cost, that's one question answered, and I can go to the next step.

    This morning i felt overwhelmed by all my little (building and gardening) problems and decided to runaway for a couple of hours. I went to visit my friend B in Port Douglas. I love going to her house. Its such a beautiful garden and she is artistic. Between her and her hubby they have renovated their little fibro shack so beautifully and the place is full of ideas. I took some eggs along today and she gave me a bag of passionfruits which were the biggest I have ever seen. One was the size of a small medium sized apple.

    One idea that is nice that I shall use in my house if i can is for the polycarbonate/laserlite roofing. they have covered a pergola with it and underneath the pergola to block out a little light/heat, they put a stick blind. Its a good effect.

    We talked a bit about my paving stone project. B loves the design. They both had some good ideas about paving and sent me to look at a place not far away. That place had made very small slabs but very large paving stones or irregular size and placement out the front and in the basic pale grey cement colour. I can see where that would be perfect here. Out the front of Dad's door where each year a mini flood comes rushing past, some built up large stones like that would be perfect. But anyway, seeing those made me rethink the colour of my stones. I've decided that getting the colour right was going to be either too expensive and or too difficult. There seems to be so many options. So now I am thinking of sticking with plain light coloured gray stones for my paving so it will look nothing like the slate in the picture. (i must start taking my camera around with me everywhere to capture all these wonderful things i'm seeing). I am also thinking of different ways of making them. Next door to the light gray slabs were some border edgings of small look like bricks but not. I took a close look and noticed that they had been laid all at once as concrete and something dividing the cement to make it look like brick placed halfway down the stone. AT least that is how it looked. Its a method I could try to use in my project. They were also really nice as edging.

    While in town, i saw the council gardeners and attempted to find out the name of the dark leaved hibiscus tree that is still a mystery to me. The nice guy said he'd phone me when he found out.

    This morning before i got to Bs place, to help clear my mind, I wrote out a list of all my problems thinking it might help me figure out how to deal with them all. Here's the list. I know we have the answers to these problems. They look simple enough but either because I don't have much money or because I am disorganised or lazy, i haven't been able to address them. There seems to be some obstacle to most of the things that just causes me a lot of head stress.

    Anyway here's the list....
    1. Cost of feed for poultry is too high (i need to feed them 2.5kgs each day now. I have 5 hens, 2 chicks, and 9 ducks now. (Until yesterday I had one rooster as well.) I need to buy about 2 bags per month at this rate, maybe even more. We killed the rooster yesterday as the first step to take in dealing with this and i've decided to kill two or three of the male ducklings as well for this reason. I really don't want to buy more than one bag a month. My neighbour has gone away so no lettuces. I've got eggs to feed them. I'm getting about six hens eggs a day now but they are small and I can't find the blasted ducks eggs again.

    2. Need to find a better way to kill the ducks. Yesterday Dad killed the rooster. I found it really awful and we need to find a better way to do it. He caught the rooster very easily with his leg hook but i don't like animals being carried by their legs. Then he hung the rooster upside down in leg hook he's made especially. We did it in my vegie garden because the chickens never go in here now. Dad's approach was to pierce the brain. He made a sharp tool and you push this through the roosters mouth into the back of his head. It looked difficult to get in. And then although dad said he was dead, I was sure it wasn't. I am sure i could see him breathing while he was bleeding. In the end, i made dad have another go and he cut off the rooster's head. I really would like to know that he died quickly but I have a terrible feeling that he didn't since it was only after the head was cut off that he did that nervous flapping thing.

    So now, I don't want dad to do anymore killing and I certainly am not ready to kill the ducks. I think i need someone who is good at it to teach me how to do it. I would like to learn the method of breaking the neck but i don't think i am strong enough to do it properly. Also i read that if you birds are used to being handled it can all be done so quickly they wouldn't even know what is happening. I really want to be able to kill my birds like that. And I wouldn't mind going like that myself when its my turn.

    Tonight I cooked the Roosty Soup, which isn't a soup at all but that's what i've called it in honour of Roosty, the rooster. I made a casserole of chicken pieces in a tomato sauce with herbs, lots of garlic and white wine and I added chick peas. It was not bad at all. I cooked him for 1.5 hours on 150degrees in a ceramic pot. It will make a few meals i think.
     
  13. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Treehouse, Expanded Lath (for ferrocement), paving stone confusion

    Thanks eco, I think i just found his site the other day but i haven't had a proper look yet and I had forgotten all about it. I believe this guy has been producing good books on treehouses for some time and the reviews of the latest one are very positive so I will probably try to get one down the track. What led me to him originally was finding a book in the library called Build Your Kids a Treehouse by black and Decker. Not very "inspirational" but it had good clear drawings and I now know how I can structure my treehouse. There's another one in the libary that seems to be popular for building treehouses so i will get that one out. The treehouseguide.com reviews books and so does amazon. There aren't that many tree house books out there so its not that confusing.

    I had another little breakthrough yesterday. I went all the way to Cairns to visit Onesteel to try to buy some material to start experiments with, only to be told to go home and phone the Locker Group in Townsville (though they are all over the place - see website if interested). The prices of the material seem reasonable. In general I think it will cost $35 per metre square for quantity of steel i will need in a metre square of ferrocement. Given that there is not much cement involved, the overall prices looks like it might be reasonable. I am trying to work out costings but I am getting confused about all the different types of sand and gravels and whathaveyou, since I am also trying to research my paving stone project as well. Anyway, now that i have found a source of the steel and got a sense of its cost, that's one question answered, and I can go to the next step.

    This morning i felt overwhelmed by all my little (building and gardening) problems and decided to runaway for a couple of hours. I went to visit my friend B in Port Douglas. I love going to her house. Its such a beautiful garden and she is artistic. Between her and her hubby they have renovated their little fibro shack so beautifully and the place is full of ideas. I took some eggs along today and she gave me a bag of passionfruits which were the biggest I have ever seen. One was the size of a small medium sized apple.

    One idea that is nice that I shall use in my house if i can is for the polycarbonate/laserlite roofing. they have covered a pergola with it and underneath the pergola to block out a little light/heat, they put a stick blind. Its a good effect.

    We talked a bit about my paving stone project. B loves the design. They both had some good ideas about paving and sent me to look at a place not far away. That place had made very small slabs but very large paving stones or irregular size and placement out the front and in the basic pale grey cement colour. I can see where that would be perfect here. Out the front of Dad's door where each year a mini flood comes rushing past, some built up large stones like that would be perfect. But anyway, seeing those made me rethink the colour of my stones. I've decided that getting the colour right was going to be either too expensive and or too difficult. There seems to be so many options. So now I am thinking of sticking with plain light coloured gray stones for my paving so it will look nothing like the slate in the picture. (i must start taking my camera around with me everywhere to capture all these wonderful things i'm seeing). I am also thinking of different ways of making them. Next door to the light gray slabs were some border edgings of small look like bricks but not. I took a close look and noticed that they had been laid all at once as concrete and something dividing the cement to make it look like brick placed halfway down the stone. AT least that is how it looked. Its a method I could try to use in my project. They were also really nice as edging.

    While in town, i saw the council gardeners and attempted to find out the name of the dark leaved hibiscus tree that is still a mystery to me. The nice guy said he'd phone me when he found out.

    This morning before i got to Bs place, to help clear my mind, I wrote out a list of all my problems thinking it might help me figure out how to deal with them all. Here's the list. I know we have the answers to these problems. They look simple enough but either because I don't have much money or because I am disorganised or lazy, i haven't been able to address them. There seems to be some obstacle to most of the things that just causes me a lot of head stress.

    Anyway here's the list....
    1. Cost of feed for poultry is too high (i need to feed them 2.5kgs each day now. I have 5 hens, 2 chicks, and 9 ducks now. (Until yesterday I had one rooster as well.) I need to buy about 2 bags per month at this rate, maybe even more. We killed the rooster yesterday as the first step to take in dealing with this and i've decided to kill two or three of the male ducklings as well for this reason. I really don't want to buy more than one bag a month. My neighbour has gone away so no lettuces. I've got eggs to feed them. I'm getting about six hens eggs a day now but they are small and I can't find the blasted ducks eggs again.

    2. Need to find a better way to kill the ducks. Yesterday Dad killed the rooster. I found it really awful and we need to find a better way to do it. He caught the rooster very easily with his leg hook but i don't like animals being carried by their legs. Then he hung the rooster upside down in leg hook he's made especially. We did it in my vegie garden because the chickens never go in here now. Dad's approach was to pierce the brain. He made a sharp tool and you push this through the roosters mouth into the back of his head. It looked difficult to get in. And then although dad said he was dead, I was sure it wasn't. I am sure i could see him breathing while he was bleeding. In the end, i made dad have another go and he cut off the rooster's head. I really would like to know that he died quickly but I have a terrible feeling that he didn't since it was only after the head was cut off that he did that nervous flapping thing.

    So now, I don't want dad to do anymore killing and I certainly am not ready to kill the ducks. I think i need someone who is good at it to teach me how to do it. I would like to learn the method of breaking the neck but i don't think i am strong enough to do it properly. Also i read that if you birds are used to being handled it can all be done so quickly they wouldn't even know what is happening. I really want to be able to kill my birds like that. And I wouldn't mind going like that myself when its my turn.

    Tonight I cooked the Roosty Soup, which isn't a soup at all but that's what i've called it in honour of Roosty, the rooster. I made a casserole of chicken pieces in a tomato sauce with herbs, lots of garlic and white wine and I added chick peas. It was not bad at all. I cooked him for 1.5 hours on 150degrees in a ceramic pot. It will make a few meals i think.


    OMG, i just lost a massive amount of typing because my post was too long. So maximum words is 1000. I didn't get the chance to hit save all and cut and paste beciase I hit the wrong button then. I haven't the heart to write it all out again now but that's a bugger because i was going to copy and past the whole thing to my proper garden diary.
     
  14. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Lime for housebuilding and other gravelly matters.

    Today I am very excited. Last night Don sent me off looking to Lime as an alternative to cement for my building projects....

    Following on yesterdays visit to the landscape suppliers where i was talking to the man about roadbase, I considered that i should phone up some quarries to discuss it further. That gave me the good news that i can get some materials from a local quarry at a great saving over what the landscape suppliers can give it to me for. So this place produces roadbase and crusher dust, then i thought i might ask if there was anywhere nearby quarrying sand. I found them and in the course of the conversation, the woman told me that she gets her lime from chillago so i began to see who I could phone about that. I also phoned chillago about marble but that's much too expensive. So there in those few calls i found out much cheaper sources of all these building supplies i might need.

    The man from the lime place up at Mt Molloy didn't know anything about building with lime so i told him what Don had passed on to me.

    Then i rushed up to see what google had to say about building with lime and there is a book called Building with Lime or to be precise and "An INtroduction to Building with Lime: A practical Guide. I tried to order it on Amazon but things got a bit complicated. I am still trying.

    Before i tried to make that order i ordered six books - one about raising ducks, two or three about treehouses and two about Designing and working iwth concrete. The latter books i have out from the library. They are nice books full of wonderful ideas of one or two guys who work in concrete. I don't know if they are going to be very practical but the ideas themselves are so creative i thought that these books would help me with many projects I want to do.

    The treehouses books and the duck book i have had on my list for a while. Its only because the one i mentiioned above by Maurice Berkely i have out of the library now and it doens't appear to be that interesting though good on the safety facets. But i read a great review of the Black and Decker book so went ahead and ordered it and another one.

    I have nearly used up my book budget for this year now although because of the dollar and price of american books, its all a great saving. I've got some aussie books i'd like too but aussie books are so expensive.

    Gardening procrastination continues. Although i must say yesterday turned out not as bad as it looked . At the last minute i decided to pot up the cuttings from the day.

    About two days ago, I came up with a work schedule that should be easy to follow

    1 hour of weeding
    1 hour of planting
    1 hour of cleaning up in the garden and or house
    1 hour of costing and pricing and that sort of thing. This will turn into more work labouring in my projects once i get all the paperwrok done.

    but since i came up with that great little formula, i seem to have done less. That's what happens when i get overexcited or obsessed with one job. Though i must say that today i did spend some time tidying up and vacuming my house. And i have managed a little weeding.

    but i really do need to get back out in the garden on a daily basis. this is so important to me. I must not let it all go to pot.
     
  15. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Highs are always followed by lows

    Yes, that was a false excitement yesterday. Building with lime is not so simple or straightforward after all. Suffice to say I won't be able to use it but i am curious to at least try a few little experiments.

    So depressed was i by all this news that could barely get out of the house today until late this afternoon when i decided I would go and get those roadbase samples to start earth floor testing. HOwever, before it got to the car i decided i needed cheering up and that i would go and see my architect friend Andy to discuss all matters. Being an architect i thought he should be able to give me the nuts and bolts truth about lime.

    Yes so its no good. I can't remember all the details. I find it rather hard to understand but basically the two main points i cna think of htat are relevant are

    1. lime needs to be treated before it can be used for building.
    2. lime was used in mortar between rocks. It wasn't used in the way that concrete is used to make a building and its not strong enough to work as ferrocement either.

    He also mentioned, i think that all those old buildings that people find and say have been around since forever, are not actually functional or safe. They are ruins.

    Anyhow, he gave me good advice about paving project and we talked it through in detail so now i think i know how to tackle that.
     
  16. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    New Duckling Makes his first public appearance.

    https://www.photoblog.com/ShangriLa/


    Necessity, the mother of invention is a fantastic person.
    Two new items i have and am on the way to recycling. The sort of things that ordinarily i would not think of having a use for.

    1. A screen door that my neighbour gave me, ostensibly to use as the door for my chicken house. I don't need it for that but its just the thing to make a dry floor for the ducks. I am going to go back and see if he has more.

    2. I found a heap of broken concrete slab the other day and had some wonderful ideas about how to use it if i could cut it up into slivers. That proved to be too expensive but i am going to go and get it anyway. I will use it first as an immediate solution to provide stepping stones in our flooded entryway and then when i get around to doing htat area properly, with gravel and nice stones, i will use these slabs elsewhere as crazy paving. In the book i have out of the library there is a nice example of crazy paving that would be lovely with these slabs. The pieces are spaced quite far apart and grass is grown between them. They are placed around the base of a tree. Doing it with this method would not upset the tree at at all and provide a nice appearance. Or in in our case, i could put it around the pump which i think would benefit form such a treatment though not perhaps absolutely essential. Anyway there's no need to rush into it.

    The sun is out today.

    I been to get samples of road base to test brick strength for my earth floor and samples of sand and gravels for trying out my concrete pavers for my outdoor dining area. Today would be a good day to work with those but first i want to go and get this concrete rubble.
     
  17. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I've laid the slabs and got bogged getting them.

    Well getting the concrete was a bit of an adventure but boy did i get off lightly. I couldn't collect as much concrete as I wanted because most of the pieces were too large for me to manhandle on my own. This was just as well because as i drove off the block, I drove into a big hole and the trailer wheel got stuck. I ought to have checked that patch of ground before i drove into it but I think i was too lazy and thought it would be ok. It was a different way to the way i had come in.

    Anyway the wheel was sunk at least half way down. So i went to look for help in the industrial estate where i was. It was a Sunday let me remind you. So although there were lots of cars parked outside the buildings, no one was there. But once i established that fact, a guy drove up and agreed to come and help me. Well Ben is my hero for the day because he lifted my trailer out of the whole as i throttled forwards. Yes i had emptied out the trailer of concrete first but he offered to help reload it. What a nice chap.

    This afternoon, i unloaded the concrete for the second time and placed it in the walkway where its meant to be. Fingers crossed dad won't stub his toe. It all actually looks pretty good though its a pity i couldn't get more of it. Maybe i can rope dad into help me get some more.

    I thought down the track, i could go so far as to mosaic it to make it pretty. MInd you the pale concrete against the dark green grass doesn't look too bad either.

    Today there is a second duckling. I think its a girl. Its got no black patch on its little head like its Daddy. Last time, although with a black patch on their head were males and the girls had none of that. The first one born this time has a black patch. Hopefully tomorrow there will be more little quackers. I've already caught them. This time i want to get them used to being handled.
     
  18. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Bamboo and duckling #2 and general duckling melee

    Yesterday I went up to my friends house to get a bit of bamboo. I don't know if she knew what she was doing but i think she gave me half of one her bamboo clumps. And yes it was damned hard work and I was very impressed with the tenacity of my friend. I'd get tired after a few shoves with the crowbar but she was picking up one tool after another and got them all wiggling and shaking that beast out of the ground. I will post pictures soon. Yesterday i was too busy with the actual task to take any snaps but i still haven't got it identified and i'd really like to know what it is.

    I've chopped up the long culms so that i can try various things with them. I chopped up some with the growth bits coming out the nodes and will see if i can get these to shoot too. If so it would be fantastic but I'm not holding my breath.

    As to the ducklings. Things are not going great there. There are now two little lovelies which is good but the mother has booted all the eggs out of her nest and abandonned it altogether. They are getting around the yard where there is too much water and in my view it can't be ideal for the ducklings. At least its not cold. But i worry about snakes and exposure. So last night i tried to catch them all, after trying to get them to sit on a new nest of straw but to no result. Its been somewhat traumatic for all of us i think. I've caught the ducklings a few times but i can't get mum to follow me. At one point i took the ducklings up to put htem in the nest with the other ducks last night. So that they wouldnt' run away or attract destructive attention from the other ducks, i covered them with a big bowl while i went back to try to get the mother but was unable to catch her. I gave up in the end. And brought back the ducklings to her. What a mess. I am not happy with the status quo. Once it starts raining again, there will be no escape from the wetness. Meanwhile there is a lovely high and dry shed just a few metres away but they won't go there. I need a big box but don't seem to have one. And now i've run out of straw.
     
  19. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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  20. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    One thing leads to another.... more concrete, new chicken house floor...

    So I made a temporary path with the crazy paving as i have already told but this morning i was able to persuade dad to help me get some more and this time I am going to use it as a floor in the chicken house. That should make it a bit easier to keep clean. I don't think i will mortar in the cracks in case i decided down the track to move the chicken house somewhere else, but i'll put some sand in the cracks . I'll cover the floor with stuff that the chickens like such as sawdust and straw which will also help me keep it clean.

    Well this idea was so not on my agenda but reusing that old concrete is a great idea.

    Just as we were leaving i noticed that the skip on the building site next door had some stuff in it so i asked dad to lets go and have a look. I got some heavy steel mesh that will do just great in the border concrete of my paving area. This will save me money which always makes me happy.

    We also got a wooden pallet. I don't know what i 'm going to do with that at this point but something will turn up.

    And a few pieces of large pvc piping. I wondered if i could rig up some sort of chicken feeder with that. I haven't got a proper chicken feed dispenser yet but i've seen them and it might be a good idea. Certainly a water dispenser could be good.

    I've also made a small start on my paving area. To help me get over my procrastination, i've got a plan to do one task a day at least and posts a picture of progress. So here's the first picture. Notice that its been modified in photoshop. I quite like this affect. You can't see the string but it is there.

    https://www.photoblog.com/shangrila
    https://www.photoblog.com/shangrila/2011/01/26/part-b-so-many-adventures.html some more duckling pictures.

    I should say, we still haven't made much of a dint in that pile of concrete. I know i could easily use all of it but the pieces are getting bigger. I'll have to go back with a sledge hammer and break it up a bit, unfortunately.
     

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