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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    Its not really mind numbing but it is bloody hard work. Isn't the grass too long to sheet mulch. I think its too vigorous as well. I find laying out newspaper hard work too. Actually i like digging with my mattock - and if you read the comments, i'm not the only one :). I"ve got a routine going now. I dig in the mornings when its cool - just enough for two to four pineapples or until i'm exhausted. I leave it all day. In the afternoon, i plant the plants, in the morning i put on the leaf mulch - to take advantage of any overnight rainfall. Despite all the rain we've been having, the ground is still quite dry under all that grass. Progress is fast than I thought it would be and as a consequence, i am not afraid of the job. After I finish the pineapples, i'm hoping my shrub cuttings are big enough to plant out. They are going to form the next row behind the pineapples. They are mostly not edible.

    Observation: I've noticed that since i've begun raking the leaves under the fig tree the grass is starting to grow. It's the good grass, the name of which i can't remember. Maybe it can be nurtured to make a nicer grassy area underneath after all. If i can do this, i might not resent the fig so much, even though its still huge.
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Isn't it nuts that people pay to go to the gym to get exercise, and buy Vit D capsules because they don't get enough sun exposure? 2 hours of digging each day - save the gym fees, get your Vit D from the sun and get stuff to eat. The world is nuts....
     
  3. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I'm in total agreement with you about the gym. I think it looks really boring. I much prefer to have some nature to look at when i walk or run. In sydney i used to enjoy looking at people's gardens. I'm sure i'm getting a good workout here in my garden, even cardio.

    Since i'm writing anyway...

    Yesterday a friend gave me some taro for my pond. And i succumbed at the markets and bought a lemon grass plant.

    I discovered my hen doesn't liked being picked up and, after discussing hens with my friend yesterday, i figured that perhaps its a breed thing. These black ones don't like being picked up. I was having trouble shooing them out of the duck pen and i felt like i was traumatising them all when i was chasing htem all over. They'd discovered my cherry tomato bush and were going to spend the afternoon under it instead of out in my yard dropping their valuable poo everywhere. Its funny the ducks like to visit the chickens house and now the chickens like to hang out at the duck pen. Perhaps i should swap them back. (kidding - that's not going to happen.) As mentioned elsewhere, i found my first hen's egg today. How cute. Its about half the size of the duck's eggs. Maybe tomorrow I will post a photo.
     
  4. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Yeah,free sun if you go to a beach,or a nice river or even a natural pool,great places to get n stay healthy in the great outdoors
     
  5. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    https://www.photoblog.com/entries/2010/10/12/saved/ About the fig tree as per my other post - Today's new project.

    I haven't finished the pineapples yet but it was hot out there and its cool under the fig so i prefer to work there. I still managed to plant three pineapples though.

    On Sunday a friend came to visit and she persuaded me that chopping down trees would be much easier with a big axe instead of the little hatchet i've been using. I've tried using the big axe before but its heavy and I am afraid i might chop my leg off as sometimes i miss my aim. Anyhow, i did use it today and it was so much quicker that i will probably stick with it and just try to improve my technique. I'm concerned that i will never be able to persuade Dad to get out his chainsaw again even though he's admitted that there are too many trees here now. I asked with some trepidation about the golden palms. He didn't object. I hope he sees it as a good idea rather than just giving in. He's never been very much into the garden here but i know from a third party that he likes what i'm doing on the whole.
     
  6. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    update: It rained today so another great day for working out in the garden. (i love this rainy weather and this premature wet season). I've filled the top boundary with pineapples finally. I've got about 10 left to plant but that will take me round the corner onto the northern boundary. I think i've put in about 40 so far. I haven't actually counted them yet. Anyway, it feels like i've achieved something. On Sunday i got another box of tops. I think i am going to end up with too many pineapples after all. Perhaps i will have to go back and plant some in another front row - which is not a bad thing consider my fence objective.

    Farmer Joe dropped in this afternoon. That man could talk the legs off a table. (is that how that saying goes? Somehow i think not? I'm hopeless at sayings.) I'm exhausted from a long day in the garden when Joe arrives and he talks and talks but he's a good man. Its all i can do to not push him in the car and send him on his way. Anyway he brought me news of my next chickens. He said they will be due the day before he is heading off for a holiday. Fingers crossed they hatch on time. He also brought me some tropical fruit. He brought me grumichama cherries which i find delicious - I've never had them before. I am not sure if they are better than ordinary cherries but they are not far behind. So i'm going to grow those from the seeds. He also brought me a bag of star apples. The fruit is ok but the tree is lovely with its copper underside trees. He told me some of his branches broke with the weight of the fruit. He lives in a high rainfall area so all his tropical fruit trees do amazingly, without any tlc. I'll grow one of these for the beautiful fruit. If anyone wants to try this fruit I can post you some seeds. If you live down south, it wouldn't matter if you don't get any fruit off it because the fruit is fairly ordinary but the tree is lovely, though you might need to germinate it in hotter weather. Joe said he likes the fruit with icecream. I just ate two and quite enjoyed them. I should photograph and pblog all these things.

    But the more exciting work of today for me was to start on my garden wall. As i said elsewhere i'm thinking about building a cement wall-seat where the terrace is. As it might be some time before i am able to build that cement thing, (I could aim for next winter), i decided to build a temporary wall using old corrugated iron. Today i put in some star pickets and then Joe arrived so that's as far as I got. I'll photograph progress soon but today my pblog has to be about the lourvres in the house. I still haven't processed them but the family in the emirates wants to see them. I still can't find the axe.
     
  7. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    update: Today i'm putting up the roof for the chickens. You might want to call it makeshift but i think it will be fine in a cyclone and I can put it up by myself. I'm using the same heavy duty wire i used for the walls. I'm fixing it to the walls with wire and then i'm covering it all iwth a few layers of tarp. I've put a lean on the roof so the rain will run off. I don't think there will be much trouble with the sun as the chicken shed is in the shade and its already got a layer of shade cloth. I'm putting on a sheet of plastic in good condition to keep the rain out then some old tarps to provide added protection.

    I sewed some coleus today for my new garden bed.
     
  8. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    For the purposes of documentation and blogging...

    https://www.photoblog.com/shangrila Picture of suffering pineapple.
    I'll put up a picture of my chook house roof in here too.
     
  9. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    great pics and gardens Sun burn.... very nice... looking great
     
  10. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Believe me tezza, the garden is a mess. Its just that its very green at the moment and there is a lot of stuff growing here. So even at its worst its still a pleasant place to be. The long grass is horrifying (but not as bad as it used to be) and i constant little battles iwth my father about it. He likes to poison it. He doesn't like the holes i make in teh ground when i pull it up. He also worries that the soil will be left unprotected when the rain really gets here. He used to also worry about his logs being exposed to the sun. I am gradually winning the argument but I don't know why he likes this grass so much really.
     
  11. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    he he he are you a presenter on better shacks and forests... (homes n gardens)...Yeah the "oldies" my parents are like that,Hope we are the new generation,to show the way back to (normality)

    A generation,totaly out of touch with the envioroment, Does he worry his logs will get sunburnt? sun burn...
    My dad grew veges back in the 60s,and his grandad had a large orchard,How come im the only real green in the family....am i the black sheep or the GREEN sheep of the family..My great grandads orchard,was a place i remember visitingas a young boy of under 5 i think,i cant remember much apart from being mezmarised under his orchard,and using an outside toilet,with newspaper for the "paperwork".....
    My parents were stunned to hear my recollections,as iwas only so young,they both thought i was a baby still,all this was rememberd a few years after getting into permaculture,

    I think its sacriligious not to teach our kids some forms of self relience for life....... Thankfully I managed to teach em a few basics,and thankfully they both "aware types)
    I give up trying to hassel,bug,persuade my parents and brother a long time ago8)8)8)8)8)

    Tezza
     
  12. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I think he worried that the weather would damage them for future wood turning episodes but somehow i think he's realised the ants will beat him to those logs anyway.

    Update: I was putting away some building materials around my sister's house and I hit upon what seems to me a good way to quickly, effectively and painlessly kill off lots of the grass I've got to deal with and which you might have seen me mention in recent posts. There's a lot of black plastic lying about and i realised it would be a good to lay it on top of the grass for a while.

    I chopped down a fairly big tree today. So much easier with a man-sized axe. I am glad i don't have to wait for my father any more to a) get out his chainsaw and b) fix the lawn mower. I think i am gradually learning a little self-reliance. If i could afford it, i'd probably do the chainsaw course.

    https://www.photoblog.com/ShangriLa/2010/10/18/

    https://www.photoblog.com/ShangriLa/2010/10/17/accidentally-excellent-exora-tree.html This post is about my exora tree.
     
  13. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    how big is your property.... i missed that bit :(

    gee youll need tons of plastic,such a shame,maybe you need a vegation eater for those places... do you have geese or perhaps aggist smones small horses or young lambs,cows etc,just long enough to get the heavy work eaten down,dont get goats,and dont havetoo many or too long......

    Tezzza
     
  14. aroideana

    aroideana Junior Member

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    Instead of chopping down all of the Golden canes , just thin them out . Leave a few tall stems , and remove all others .
    Looks awfull for a while until a ball of leaves develops down low . You can then let a few more canes grow up and hack bacvk all others .
    Gives a great look , seen many like this in Rocky , and local Council are doing it here . brtw I am at Lat 18 and see that you must be half way up Cape York if you are anywhere near Lat 14 ;-)
     
  15. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Tezza, we've got a hectare. Would geese eat that long grass? If only I had known before. I think its a bit late now. I'd love a cow for milk but I don't think that's going to happen.

    Mike, i've settled on chopping down four and they are almost all down now. The other four i am thinning out a little.

    Yes to my great embarassment, i picked the wrong number for my address. I think its about 16, not 14 but i only realised that recently and I don't think i can change my title.
     
  16. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Geese Love grass,grass and lots of grasss..youd need a flock buy a pair and let em breed or get about 6 or so,where its long and thick u could thin out with mower but after awhile,theyd be able to manage it better.
    Down south in my garden,all that green vegetation eg grass,dies off,but some grasses hang in there....
    baring that,let chooks,ducks out as long as possible to help keep those grasess at bay....
    For some areas it may require planting out with trees etc,Rome wasnt built in a day,and NEITHER WAS ANY "PERMIE" Paradise..
    Some jobs just have to wait,untill your ready,or seasons allow,
    I got a good mower/mulcher,it destroys weeds etc,great for those heavy duty weeds or woody weeds,no good trying with just a lawn mower..as itll probly wreck it.Throw away the catcher,just let it drop on the ground..Never underestimate the digging,turning over power of poultry and or geese.....

    Of course it wont happen over night,but taking photos like you do,will show the difference after just a few weeks or months......
    If only veges etc grew as fast and healthy as some weeds........

    This pic of geese was taken of my next door neighbour garden,with my original geese,I gave to my neighbour few years back,geese love lawns,as they cut the grass not chew or pull it out as they graze it,leaving an allmost perfect trimmed lawn:party::party::party:

    Tezza
     
  17. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    NOTE : dont' read this if you already read my post about building a tree house. I am just posting it here for the record. but of course any comments here still welcome.

    Ok this is probably a mad idea at first glance but i've hit upon doing this and need to explore construction methods.

    I've got a small forest patch which is about 100 x 50m i think. I had a look down there yesterday and there are a few spots where there are clearings large enough for room space.

    I found this design which has inspired me most so far...https://www.treehotel.se/sv/rummen/a-room-with-a-view but my own ideas have developed a little on from that. That after all is a hotel apartment. I need a house.

    I have decided on three stories
    ground level - kitchen, bathroom, work studio and dining
    1st level - living and office
    2nd level bedroom
    and then there is a lookout deck

    alas i won't be able to get high enough to see the sea.

    I want to keep the hosue open as possible since its tropical here and air flow is everything. Rain and weather come from the southeast and so that wall will probably have to be closed off peramanently especially on the upper floors.

    On teh ground floor i have to close off the east wall as this forest patch is very close to a busy road.

    I've looked at a few images of houses but i can't see how they are attached properly to the trees. Some, like this one has build on independent steel poles - a route i may not be able to afford.

    I want to be able to make lightweight rooms - floors and ceilings from readily accessed materials that are easy to work with since I myself will be doing most of the work. My father is going to be too old to help me much i think. Anyway i'd like to be able to do it on my own though i am making connections iwht locals and i may be able to recruit them for my most difficult jobs.

    I want to make woven bamboo or frond screens for some walls, floors and ceiling for aesthetics. I've decided i need to grow my own bamboo. I've got a few books out on that. Beofre i couldn't figure out where to grow the bamboo but now i think i will put it down int eh forest. This will help with screening from the raod too.

    I will work on the ground floor first. At present i am living in my sister's half finished house which is so lovely its motivated me to hurry up and deal with my own house because I don't want to move back into my previous flimsy accomdoation on a long term basis. They will come back next winter to build the kitchen and bathroom adn I will have to move out for a couple of months then.

    Do people have any ideas for buidling materials. I won't be using corrugated iron, though I like it sometimes.
    Steel mesh could be useful. Can you put cement sheeting on top of it for a roof?
    Thatching would be nice.
    I like the idea of a manure floor but i think its a bit soggy where i am in the wet season so it might not be good unless I can build it up.

    When thinking of cheap, bear in mind that it has to be dirt cheap. I have zero money at present.

    I wonder how you go about using existing trees for structural strength in teh house with out damaging them. Most of the trees i will be able to use a silver quongdongs - they are nice and straight. Rose butter nut is massive but not so striaght and simple. I can't remember what else there is that will useful. I wish i had more karri pines. I am going to have to plant some more of those.

    I have a large hoop pine that we can use after chopping down. It doesn't really fit in this garden but it would make a good pole if i could transport it down there.

    I've thought of using steel cable for strength. I hope my trees are strong enough.

    As you can see this is a bit of a jumble of thoughts. Please feel free to share any of yours. I will try to post some pictures at some point.

    note: crossposting this with my members blog.
     
  18. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Tezza do you have to supplement geese feed? Or is the garden enough for them?
     
  19. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Sunny....You shouldnt have to supplement a gooses food,they will eat grassses all day ,but will appreciate,some left overs,just like you would with other poultry.....Geese only lay once a year...usually spring to early summer,they lay untill they collected enough eggs,then start sitting,untill hatching....

    Chinese geese are very nice looking geese,and apparently,better guard geese...(they can be as good as a dog to scare of predators)...scare only...they cant kill or defend emselves though :(..
    Chinese or the normal white or grey Emdens will suffice...If you got a Trio,after a season or two you could have a nice little flock building up.... Sell or EAT any excesses,remember geese used to be a delicacy years ago,AND they lay extra large eggs,that are valuable to those Fabergee eggs that people are allways looking for

    Tezza
     
  20. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I'll keep all that in mind Tezza. Its a nice idea having a big variety of birds. As regards predators, can they scare off dogs? As i think dogs are the only predators apart from snakes that we need to worry about here.

    Update - will post a few pictures later i hope.
    Yesterday I noticed that quite a lot of my cuttings are over ready to be planted out so today I am going to start with the clearing. Its too sunny to plant. I will wait for a rainy day for that. I'm wondering how much space I should leave behind the pineapples. I'm thinking 1.5 metres - 2 might be even better so as to avoid the bushes overhanding the pines. Its these sort of bushes... https://www.photoblog.com/shangrila/2010/10/16/shrubbery-aspirations.html

    Yesterday I pinched a few little shade plants from the Botanical gardens. I love our botanical gardens. I didn't take any pictures but its the most gorgeous tropical garden. There's a section on bamboos and I got a few names of things that i like the look of. Bamboo in pots is so expensive.

    My last two ducks that haven't been sitting on their eggs have found hidey spots for laying now so that's a bugger as I can't find their eggs. I am a pretty tolerant mum but when I get in touch with this woman who wants to buy them, there won't be any more hiding the eggs from moi!

    Down in the vegie patch, the kang kong is doing brilliantly though i still haven't dared make a meal of it yet. The sweet potato is running rampant up the paths, so is the pumpkin which will probably end up in the bush. The tomatos are growing like steam trains in the mill mud but bacterial wilt is the getting the bettter of them and one by one htey are keeling over. The amaranth showed up and seems to doing fine. The beans are probably going be too much for the small spot i gave them. I have to get some more eggplant happening now that i know what to do with so many of them. The basil - I am eating a lot of pesto. So long as things are growing, i am happy.

    I planted seeds yesterday for grumichama (which is a lovely juicy cherry fruit and you can make wine from them as well) and star fruit which I am only going to grow for the lovely tree I think. People can try them as a novelty.

    My guava seed from Eden Seeds never came up. :-( They must have been old.

    The cat is having a wild dream. His paws are quivering.

    Oh i just saw a Ulysses butterfly flutter by. The sun is shining, the birds are tweeting, Dad's sleeping and all is well with my world today. I bought a new pair of working shorts yesterday but I hope my prince charming doesn't stroll past when I am digging by the roadside as I don't look too good in them, especially not with my crocs and socks. :)
     

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