Latitude 14 Eastern Australia

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

  1. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Ahh sunburn - methinks there is more going on here... The door is just a metaphor for some issue between you and your dad. You don't have to share what it is here, but I reckon if you have a sit down and think about why it is getting you so hot under the collar you'll work out what the connection is.
    What I did with mine (and I can't guarantee that it is snake proof but so far it has worked) - I had some of the PVC piping that I used for the dome left over, so I measured up a piece and cut it to be about 10 cm longer than the bottom of the door opening in the dome. I then got out the roll of bird wire and fortunately the width of it was just a bit more than the height of the door opening. I cut off a piece the same length as the PVC piping and fixed the piping to the bottom by rolling the wire over the pipe and "sewing" in place with tie wire - like making a pocket for a rod like you would for a curtain. Then I "sewed" the free edge of the wire to the top of the door opening - which is smaller than the bottom, so I made a few pleats in the wire to take some of it up. So you then have a door that you lift from the bottom to get in and it is heavy enough to always fall shut behind you, and for the chooks not to be able to fly at and push open.

    To add extra predator proofing to it I got some shade cloth and cut out a square piece with the same length side as the height of the opening. One side got sewn to the free edge of the door, and the immediate next edge got sewn to the side of the door opening to make a kind of gusset so that nothing can sneak in around the edge of the door when it is shut. I hope that makes sense...

    And be nice to your dad....
     
  2. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Don't worry eco, i am not going to make an issue of it with my father. I learnt some time ago, if i can fix it, its better to do it myself. I think i can see now what i have to do with the door. Its mainly getting a wood frame next to a wood frame. Dad kept putting the wood in the wrong places or not long enough pieces of wood and obviously didn't notice the gaps. But before i had no clue as to how to go about building a door or a chicken coup. I've come a long way.

    That chicken and her little ones have just about dug their way to china by now. I guess there aren't many worms in there. Yesterday i let them out for an hour. I might go and do that again right now.
     
  3. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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

    Pond under construction. I like to post pics reguarly and couldn't wait until it was completed to post pictures. I thought i could use some black plastic we have around here but its full of holes so I will have to go and buy some proper stuff.

    I'm not sure what edible plants i can put in. I have got Kang kong. And i don't know where to get them from either. I'd like to get hold of some taro if not for this, some other pond that i will make. I also want water lillies and don't know where to source them either. At least not fancy ones. I just remembered i know where i can pinch some mauve ones.

    Ooooh my wrists are sore from all the digging today. Tomorrow i think i'll give my mandala a rest and do something else. I've done four beds and have two hard ones left to go.

    Eco, what is that food you were growing for your chickens. I like the idea of that. Do you still feed them grain as well? Or do they just eat the vegie patch and your manure crop.
     
  4. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Nice start to the pond. I've been told that if you plan to use regular black plastic then you should use about 5 layers of it, and that a proper pond liner probably works out cheaper in the long run.
    Green Harvest have sacred lotus from time to time - I want one for my pond....
    Water chestnuts, water cress, yams - there's plenty of stuff that will grow in or by the water that you can eat.
    Bugger digging. That was the best bit about having the landscapers here recently. 6 healthy specimens of manhood, outside my kitchen window, digging for me. :blush: It was terribly hard to drag myself away to work!
    Is there a particular post about what I feed my chickens so I know what you are referring to? My chooks stay "captive" in the dome 99% of the time so they rely on me for all their nutrition. They do still get grain - about a 500 ml jug full most days (8 chooks - down to 7 now:( ). They get kitchen scraps from my kitchen, plus I have a deal with the others at work that I bring in eggs if they give me their scraps too. (They keep wanting to give me money but I tell them that scraps are PRICELESS) The chooks also get things like the bottoms of the cabbages and lettuces, and the tops of the turnips and carrots when I harvest them. When I plant up each guild I plan for about 30% of it to be chook food. I have grown barley and cow pea for this so far. I just leave it growing until I move the chooks back on and then let 'em go nuts for a few days eating it all. They don't get grain for a few days while they eat it all. And I don't give them grain for a few days before each move so I don't get it sprouting in the new bed.
    I also let any weeds that start growing in the bed after I've planted it up stay there so long as they aren't out competing the other stuff so the chooks get those to eat as well.
    Today I harvested all the broad beans out of the first bed that I planted in Autumn so that I can move the chooks onto that bed tomorrow. This time I did my 30% of the bed with the broad beans as I think they'll enjoy eating the greenery. I also toss in a few buckets of compost complete with worms and critters each time I move them. They love the bugs and they spread the compost over the bed for me.
    The other treat they get from time to time are fish frames from the fishmonger. My mum gets them for free for me. The left over left over bits (ie what is not touched by the chooks) go in the compost bin.
    When I started I hoped that I would be able to eventually make do without grain, but I don't think that is ever going to happen. Some days I'm just too busy to do anything other than toss in the grain, and I can use a grain feeder if I'm going away for a few days. A $25 bag lasts about 6 weeks so about $200 a year and in return I get about 2 doz eggs a week. That works out at about $1 a dozen for the best organic eggs ever, so I figure it's worth it!
     
  5. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Lovely post eco. Your chooks must be the happiest chooks in the world. I reckon you could say they've got a gourmet diet. Have you eaten any yet? I bet they'd taste excellent. But they are probably your friends so... Maybe you should get a rooster (to annoy the fence building neighbour as well) so you can get little free range organic boys to eat. (LOL i'm supposed to be a vegetarian). I wish I could have a rooster for this purpose but its been forbidden. However, I told my farmer (who supplied me with the mill mud and ducks and chickens) that i'd be happy to buy his decaptitated roosterlings for eating. He's giving me a free drake to eat this week since i've taken all his ducks.

    Yes there was a picture of the chicken manure crop. It must have been barley i saw. Its was pretty long green grass looking.

    Have you noticed that the chickens like the little cherry tomoatos. I've decided to let some self-seed and grow next to the chook pen so they can pick them off. They are the very small ones i am talking about not hte size you see in the supermarket. My neighbour is growing some of those and she says they aren't getting ripe. Strange.

    Hmm about the plastic. WEll my father said it wouldn't be good enough and maybe he was right but its too late cause i've sent him off to buy some. I guess I will find out if its no good. And you are right, if i have to buy five layers then i might as well buy the right stuff first off. Actually i've seen a design which puts on some felt over the top of the plastic layer so perhaps i should do that as a preventative. Or just use the damaged plastic over the top. I wonder why one layer isn't good enough. is it the sun, or some creature chewing at it?
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Yes they are friends. The local council rules won't let me keep a rooster and I'm pretty sure Fence Lady would have the inspectors around about 15 mins after the first crow!
     
  7. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I'm taking a break from working on my chook house door. Its 2pm and i think i began at about 9am. Who would have thought it would be so time consuming. I've got pictures but its still an unattractive door. I will only be proud that its a door that keeps the snakes out and the chooks in. Next time I make a door, at least i will know how to do it and then I can work on it being beautiful. I do know now, that its hard to do beautiful when you just don't have a clue about technique.
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I don't know how harworkinghippy does it. Functional AND looks like an artwork. I'm restricted to cable ties and duct tape, can't do hammer and nails!
     
  9. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    https://www.photoblog.com/ShangriLa/2010/09/20/snakeproofing-the-chookpen.html#comments

    The chookpen door is on.

    Well eco now i don't feel so bad. I can do hammer and nails at least, and having a drill to use made the whole thing a lot easier as well. We had an arguement over the drill. I got it stuck in the wood. I asked Dad to come and help me get it out. He took too long to get off his backside with no indication that he was going to help me, so i kept trying myself and ended up braking the drill bit. (That's when we argued). He was not pleased that I wasn't satisfied with his door and got cranky. (and i never even complained about his door, until now when i just said it wouldn't keep out the snakes). (Just reporting this for mild amusement. I don't require counselling about it.) Anyhow, so I found another drill bit - a blunt one but it didn't break throughout the remainder of construction.

    I begin to feel a little accomplished and think i might tackle the chookhouse roof on my own now, though i might need some muscle to lift the iron into place. With all the rain we've been having the whole of the chookpen is damp now, except for a tiny patch under the tarp. More than ever I am glad of the laundry cupboard for the hen and her little ones.

    Its been nice working around them today. Several times they came in and out of the chook house. I was beginning to think they just wanted my attention. They must be quite used to me by now.
     
  10. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Update:

    I've started planting my mandala beds with things that will hopefully grow through the wet season. I'm trying out some things i've never tasted and never heard of until recently so i am looking forward to this whole thing. I've still got two beds to make but they will be a lot of work since I have to clear the bush first. And with the rain we've been having and the met's forecast that we will have more than usual rain until the end of the year, I could see no reason to wait.

    So this is what i've done. I don't have the right plants to put in the barrier zone, so I've put in some peanuts and sunflowers by seed. But only around one bed. I'll try other things for the others.

    Bed 1 - i've only put in amaranth so far.
    Bed 2 - I put in Okra. There's some pumpkins growing too where i planted them before i decided to do the vegie patch down here.
    Bed 3 and 4, not made yet.
    Bed 5 - I put in some tomatoes. I don't know what these tomatoes are going to be like. They are called Thai Pink Egg, and i've put in a lot of basil next to them. I visisted my hydrponics neighbour today and he gave me big bunch of basil seedlings plus some other things.
    Bed 6 - this is the one where i left the tree still in. I put in some lettuces and some coriander seeds though I now believe its going to be too humid for the coriander. Oh well!
    The centre bed - i put in Kangkong. Cress which will probably not grow cause again i found its going to be too humid. Some vietnamese mint that my neighbour gave me.

    I'm going to grow various sorts of beans in the centre of each bed on trellises but i need to buy yarn to make those. There's more to go in the beds but either i haven't got the seeds yet or the seeds i've planted in trays aren't yet ready. Anyway i hope they grow quick because i can't wait to see a lot of green bushiness down there. All this took simply ages to do today. I don't really like planting. I'd rather weed or dig. Planting is such fussy work isn't it. But, you've got to do it if you want to eat things.

    I also planted some peanuts near my bananas and i noticed that the pinto peanut cuttings that the farmer gave me recently are growing. They survived!

    hmmm the 7.30 report is about the indian games. I'm going to check it out... What a disaster, not to mention huge embarrassment for indians.
     
  11. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    We should live together you know. I hate digging, but love planting. We could be like Peter the Pumpkin eater and his wife!
     
  12. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    You'll have to come up here though cause I don't want to leave home. :)
     
  13. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    How hard does everyone work in their gardens day after day, week after week. I ask this now because my energy just went somewhere. I don't know where. Its going to have to come back of course but i just am not as motivated as I was last week. I did step out to mow the lawn today and quickly got frustrated. The wheel fell off the little mower, 20 metres after our visitor arrived to start the mower for me. (I can't start it as i am a leftie and the mower is a rightie and my rightie is too weak to start the mower. Dad can't start it cause his shoulder is f*cked at the moment and we think he might even have a virus, given how stiff he is all over. Dennis said Ross River fever, i'm thinking more like Dengue but anyhow dad is not well. Its like he's aged too quickly in recent months. I hope its nothing serious. Its also not good cause when he's not well he gets a bit grumpy and uncooperative and I really need him to help me with some essential aspects of the work that has to be done here.

    I tried the other mower, the rideon, but i haven't yet learned how to get fuel in the pump and Dad was busy with Dennis pulling the clutch out of his car and didn't want to help me. I've been waiting all week to mow the lawn and now i will probably have to wait another week. Time just flitters away and things do not get done. It bothers me.

    But i did do something important today. I poisoned the African tulip trees with diesel as Farmer Joe suggested. I like the African Tulip trees, they have lovely red flowers, but you can't get rid of them by chopping them down and you can't stop them from turning up everywhere. I hope this poisoning thing works. The roots have invaded one half of the nursery where the ducks live and the bananas are growing. The roots take all the moisture and all the nutrient I was told. I also hoped to grow other things down here so we can't have this unfair competition going on.
     
  14. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Yeah it comes and goes the enthusiasm. The trick is to make your system resilient enough to cope if you decide to slack off for a bit.
    I spent from 7 am to 5 pm in the garden on Saturday and loved every bit of it. Other days I only feel like feeding the chooks. I think it's important not to feel like a slave to it. Pleasure is surely one of the yields of a permaculture system.
     
  15. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    True, eco. I don't want to be a slave to anything. But i do want to transform this place and that will take a lot of work. I guess they key is to just keep on doing a little bit often and I am doing that at least. We had a blackout this morning so that was a good opportunity to go and shift some leaves to the compost heap, pick up some rubbish that i've been wanting to get to and pull up a few sensitive weeds (always one of my favourite jobs anyway).


    Here's some pictures of the house my sister is building here. https://www.photoblog.com/shangrila
     
  16. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Update:

    Yesterday I started planting my pineapples. I have about 30 I think - although i thought i had more originally! They've done really well in potting mix and now with all this rain i just have to get going on them. It will be slow as i have to clear the grass with a mattock as the lawnmowers have continuous problems. I think it was the lawnmower problems that depressed me for a bit. I can't fix them - my father can but he's got Barmah Forest Virus which has him stiff as a piece of stale bread. I'm good with the mattock but its slow work.

    My peanuts didn't come up. These were the ones i bought in a packet from the supermarket. I now regret not having gone to the Peanut Board when I was up in Tolga recently. I really want to grow peanuts.

    I love the sweet potato that's popping up everywhere. It came in the mill mud. I don't even care about the sweet potatoes that much, I just like the foliage and the way its so easy to grow. I hope i don't regret letting it go wild.

    I also can't use the chainsaw and am waiting on dad to do the business on a lot of trees here. I don't know how long i will be waiting so i got out the axe yesterday. The little one. Its more satisfying than waiting.

    In the new vegie garden, the following are all doing reasonably well - kang kong, tomatoes - thai pink egg, okra, vietnamese mint, basil, cress, everlasting shallots and sunflowers though its early days yet and some of these might not last for long due to the humidity. The New Guinea bean are just coming up. I've begun putting in my capsicum seedlings as they seem to have moved out of their dormant stage. I hope they go this time. I've decided not to do the last two vegie circles at this stage and have planted rosellas there.

    Of the four little chickens, it appears that one might be a rooster. Poor little bunny.
     
  17. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Great Thread Sun burn and good help from eco......

    Keep it up Its good to read others trials and tribulations... Reminds me of all my episodes in my early days getting into permaculture....


    as Eco said.... Its ok to have time off from the gardens... Permaculture allows and Teaches us to do our gardens,so they dont become a chore,and if/when it it gets to the i wanna weekend off sorta thing,well it can be done

    Dont be a slave to your garden,Go and find a shady spot and relax for a few hours....Dream about it,Imagine about it.Meditate over it... in other words "ENJOY IT"

    Tezza

    As an Extra bit about snakes in chook houses.... I think chooks are much smarter then we give credit for,theyd run a mile if saw a snake,or the snake will slither a mile if a chook started making noises.....Snakes can apparently squeeze thru small holes, and locking chooks in the shed maybe will trap em in there with the snake...

    Chooks dont need a fancy house in all cases..JUST somewhere,DRY,Warm, weather-proof, and safe from predators on the ground.... Chooks with encouragement will roost above ground.
     
  18. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I'm not sure i'm willing to take the risk of letting a hungry carpet snake grab one of my sleeping chooks. Apparently the snakes grab the chooks and squeeze them to death before trying to eat them. My ducks are currently not so well protected as the chooks and i'm inclined to think that they may be able to resist a snake. So far no snake has gotten hold of my cat and he's always out and about.
     
  19. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Its about time i posted some pictures. I've been slack lately but i've got my mojo back a bit now. Here's the link but i'm going to add a picture of me shortly just to jazz it up a bit. I have yet to take it but will step out and do that now.

    https://www.photoblog.com/shangrila

    I was thinking, this is really the time to be planting planting planting. It rains a little almost every day. Normally you wouldn't be able to plant at this time of year. It would be too dry and hot and would require too much extra work - unless you had your whiz bang irrigation system in already.

    Note when looking at the blog, if you move your mouse over the screen, you may sometimes see little boxes, these have notes in them for extra miscellaneous info. If anyone knows what the flowers are, i'd love to know thanks.
     
  20. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Have you considered sheet mulching the area rather than pulling up the grass by hand? That looks like mind numbing hard work...
     

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