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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    Ferrocement

    https://milkwood.net/2010/11/08/how-to-make-ferrocement-garden-beds/

    I think this could be my method and medium.

    I found a ferrocement forum and website https://ferrocement.net/ which has some good articles on ferrocement. The forum will help wiht my particular questions i guess.

    I'm not sure wobbly curvie is really my style but i do love Gaudi the Spanish architect and i've seen some wonderful ferrocement houses. I just didn't know it was called ferrocement and I didn't understand the difference between that and concrete construction.

    Ferrocement is fairly cheap i gather but very hard labour. It does not use formwork that is typical of concrete construction so that makes it cheaper and easier.

    I"ve got a number of small projects to work with before trying to build my bedroom. I want to make flagstones, a retaining wall, those garden walls look worth a try, there's the dam project at hte bottom of the block to catch the runoff and so on.

    There's a couple of inspiring houses that you can see on the net in ferrocement - steve kornher i think and probably timolandia - tim sullivan. These people are in a book i am looking at called handbuilt shelters.

    https://matahina.blogspot.com/2010/04/timolandia.html
    https://www.flyingconcrete.com/index.htm Looks like its not good for a flat roof though.
     
  2. DonHansford

    DonHansford Junior Member

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    Hi sun burn - have you looked at Earthbag construction? Ideal for retaining walls (with the proper design/planning of course), houses (not just domes), fire shelters, etc. I did a course earlier this year at Cal-Earth (calearth.org) that was a real eye-opener in the possibilities for this method.
    Again (like most relatively cheap methods) it is somewhat labour-intensive, but if you work to a rhythm, and plan things properly, there is no limit to what you can achieve.
    Depending on the soil type you have (or can get), you can use either no, or very little, stabiliser such as lime or cement. Instead of reinforcing steel you only need barbed wire, and you can use second-hand bags, saving them from landfill.
     
  3. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Cheers Don. I have seen the earthbag construction. The thing is i don't have any earth here to use in a house. I mean i do but i don't want to take the ground away from the garden. And if i did the labour of collecting it and taking it down to the site would be enormous. I can't take the ground from the house site because its in my forest. I need to build in amongst the trees and try to avoid disturbing them too much.

    My house is going to consist mainly of roof and floor. I don't want walls at all as much as is possible. I don't need walls here. Look at this lovely little place. https://www.materialicious.com/2008/09/love-shack.html This would be ideal but i am afraid of wood because of the technical skill involved and having to go buy it. There's also a lot of structural steel in it too and i've seen what's involved with that. (a lot of hard technical work also). I live an hours drive from the city where materials are available. It looks like ferrocement is good in terms of volume. Yeah i have to buy the steel mesh and rebar and cement and sand but looks so comparatively easy. Its not a lot to carry compared to other building materials. I think. I want to see if i can get a ferrocement floor off the ground as well. Because its thin i might be able to do that. I can use some sort of plywood for formwork i think and reuse it for all the other rooms.

    And the above brought me back to where i started which was seeing Leonie Norrington on Gardening Australia talking about how to build a passionfruit trellis arch from steel mesh and star pickets. My first design idea was just to enlarge her idea to house size. Somehow. Certainly that shape would be doable in ferrocement. But in a book i've just seen a lovely dome in which a lot of glass is used to let in light (i wouldn't use glass but could use small flat polycarbonate sheets if i wanted to achieve the same sort of thing. It looks like they've been inspired by a the construction of a yurt too with its centre circle at the peak. Anyway I haven't settled on anything yet but i do like the idea of building something that i can do myself entirely and if that requires more labour then so be it. But i think ferrocement looks less labour intensive than those earth bags.

    I've got this wonderful book from the library called Home Work Handbuilt Shelter by Lloyd Kahn which is full of inspiration. I think i saw earth bag houses in it too.
     
  4. DonHansford

    DonHansford Junior Member

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    Love the look of that love-shack - might get a bit chilly here in winter, though!

    How about bamboo? You would be able to grow most of what you need onsite. Or even combine the ideas, and use bamboo lattice in the cement instead of steel mesh? From memory, the bamboo needs to be dried before it is put in the concrete, so you should start planting now! :rofl:
     
  5. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    About being chilly in winter I think those orange panels are shuttable doors. But its not that cold up here in winter.

    Don I would love to do more with bamboo. But to buy the plants is very expensive - about $80. I spent a few weeks exploring some options around here. Its just not working out. Though i have one friend who might be able to give me some to grow.

    I must say that i am surprised by those who have been growing it here - they all don't like it. They say even the clumping bamboos are hard to manage. As topical said you have to use a chainsaw to chop out culms. I think if you are going to grow it you have to manage it annually so it doesn't get out of control ever.

    I haven't given up on the idea of using bamboo entirely.

    Treating the stuff to prevent rot is not easy. Bamboo lattice in the cement would be a great idea if i could get hold of enough. I am still hoping to grow some in my forest. I think i can also look for second hand steel too. and second hand mesh. Apparently you can use other sorts of timbers too from the forest. But frankly i find all that collection of stuff a bit hard since I don't have a truck to transport things. At this point i don't even have a tow bar on my car and I'm not having any success at finding one secondhand. New and fitted they are expensive (over $400). the best I can do is $175 to get a second hand one sent up from brisbane but i have to wait for them to find one first. I think i bought the wrong sort of car and dad is not keen to let me use his car freely, though i can't see why we can't share the both of them to be honest. He's got an outback with towbar. To date i've been using his old subaru forgetting my mill mud but he's going to sell this car soon.

    The thing about my house is that i am not going to build it all at once so while i may have to buy all the materials new for the first building, as time goes on i might find better and cheaper sources of materials.

    I was talking to my father about our water tank which is ferro cement. He built it about um 1-15 years ago now i think. The trees have penetrated the wall. Its probably due for a clean out but its built under a fig tree and you know how invasive they are. Certainly if it was my house i would be able to fix any things like that.

    I start to think that the first building i build should be my dressing room which would be an extension on an existing besser block bathroom. The reason for this is that its really impractical for me not to have my clothes near the bathroom and i end up with towels and clothes all over the place and mostly in the wrong place. I've thought this bathroom needs rendering for a long time now anyway so this could be my chance to fix that. If i do this, it won't matter that I don't have a bathroom in my house.
     
  6. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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  7. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Duck doings, working out with the axe and talking to Mike. Oh and a ferrocment forum.

    Update:

    The ducks are misbehaving. Or rather Bertie is. He's kicking the ducklings out of the yard and so they are sleeping outside the fence tonight. Last night i let Mavis out with them and they went back to their first home for the night. I had tried to send Mavis and her brood to the tented house i had set up for them so i could fence them in safely and Bertie out but she wouldn't go. Frankly i think her interest has been rekindled in men and she's a bit torn between him and her kids at the moment. She hasn't abandonned them entirely but things are not as they were. At least most of them are quite big now, already. When i checked on them earlier, the Lucy, the little one was cuddled up in the middle. During the day things were a bit more settled and Mavis and her kids were left to get on with eating and drinking in the shade for the most part. Until choooks came along. Although Ive clipped their wings they have found a way through the fence - they are not as big as they look - and spend the whole day down in the duck yard. They are bullies and force the ducks and ducklings to abandon their position next to the food. But i go down there often and make sure everyone has enough to eat and drink and chase the chooks away to give the ducks a break.


    I found the eggs today - six. This is why i've sent the ducks back to the duck yard. This time i've left one in the nest and so hopefully they will keep laying in that spot. Its under the mint plant.

    I start to think that the duck yard might also be the right place for the chook pen but i want to wait to see what happens during the wet season before making a decision about moving it.

    Poinciana : I didn't complete my main goal today but i started it which is important. The goal was to chop down the poinciana tree because its in the centre of where i want to put my #2 mandala garden. I love the tree but the roots are going to be a big problem and i can't figure where else to put this garden. To compensate for what i'm doing, I've decided to plant one or more down on the corner of the block in the future, instead of the yelllow shower flower trees. So the tree trunk is quite large and the wood harder than i thought it would be in the centre so i didn't get right through it. It might take another day or two - given that i can only do this in the late afternoon or early morning.

    Mike: So i phoned this stranger that i met on a forum somewhere, about some shell gingers and he sounded like a friendly chap. So one of these days i am going to head down there in my buggy and say hi.

    Forum: I joined this forum called ferrocment.net Its not too active i think but it should be a good resource for me and my building projects.

    The Grass is getting long again and I think I will have to mow tomorrow because the place is looking a bit wild but since we haven't had any rain for a week, i think i better go and get that last load of mill mud tomorrow too. But its so hot now that I can hardly move out of my shed during most of the day so i am not sure if i can do both. We'll see.
     
  8. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    The best way to manage bamboo is either plant it on an island in a pond or dig a 2 foot ditch around it and keep it clear of debrie.
    Not that I've done it but that was what I was told to do when I was thinking about adding bamboo to our place.
    Apparently the roots,while very tough and persistent; are shallow rooting and so dont grow past their ditch.
    If I'm wrong then a mattock or front end loader was reccommended, but I think the later was suposed to be a joke.
     
  9. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    From what i've heard i don't think it would have been entirely a joke. A ditch sounds like a fair idea but if its running bamboo i've read stories about it growing under a house and coming out the other side. It could be that this is an urban myth though.
     
  10. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Update: I don't understand what's going on the ducklings world. I am not very happy that the ducklings are being forced to sleep on one side of the fence (outside the duck yard) while mum stay inside. But I have just been down there in the middle of the night (wasn't able to go earlier because I have been on the phone all evening) and tried to encourage them all to go and sleep in their lovely dry comfy nest that i made for them. This failed of course. They all wanted to go back to their cold and vulnerable position they'd taken up earlier.

    It rained quite heavily for a short while late this afternoon. The ducklings all ran for shelter but to a little pathetic clump of weeds and saplings. I think they would have been cold. So i got out my umbrella and helped them find a nice dry spot in the shelter i had made for them (same one as above). It stopped raining but they stayed there. Bringing htem food and fresh water helped too. Mum hung about for a bit as well. But come evening, they abandon their cosy dry shelter - its got some lovely dry mulch hay - and went back to sleeping on the wet grass on the wrong side of the fence with no protection. WEre it to rain again, they wouldn't have the smarts to go in the shed. They'd probably just get wet and cold.

    I know. I know. Its best to let them muddle it out. Its hard though. I mean they are still only three weeks only and as i've mentioned before, one of them is barely bigger than when she was first born while the others seem to be almost half grown already - though still without feathers.

    Spent the day going to get another load of mill mud. My farmer friend wanted to give the chance to save a bunch of crows nests ferns from imminent devastation. He's got some guy there with a dozer pushing down forest by a creek so that he can grow more fodder for his cows. Well i tried to persuade him that this was a great shame. He said he was almost convinced but i am not sure i am going to win this one. He said he will call me when the man is going to come back and push down some more forest so that i can come and rescue the plants. Still i brought home one small fern and one elkhorn. The ground is full of rocks. I don't think its even going to be very good for the cattle and i think he realises this too. The view across the valley is stunning. It looks over at a range of blue hills. I tried to show him the beauty of it all and how the already cleared part would make a good house site and that the land would be more valuable if left as is. I must say that i was shocked at what he was doing. As we were driving there, i said oh all you cane farmers are lucky with the lovely creeks you all have running through your properties. He said, we don't see it like that. The creeks are in the way. I compared what he was doing to the situation in india where the cow growers were killing tigers on the tiger reserves so that they could continue to let their herds graze unmolested. I think its pretty much the same thing though a biit more dramatic in india.

    For all this, there was no nastiness. I don't think i came across as being too lecturing and he didn't seem to take offence at my reaction. But i was shocked. And he probably regrets showing me the area because i've probably made him feel guilty. It was so pretty the trees and area that was being bullldozed. Not good for anything else really as there was such a lot of rock there. But the trees and other plants were doing really well.
     
  11. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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  12. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    A bathing pool for the ducks, architect visit, other small notes.

    hmmm, i thought i had added another post.

    Oh well...

    My house: I went to visit my architect friend today to discuss my latest ideas. I don't know if its just that he doens't know much about ferrocment but he didn't think building in FC even laminated FC would be doable for a cost point of view. Not to mention the hassle the council will give me. He also estimated that the cost of complying iwth health and safety regulations when building a house adds 50% to the cost of the house. Isn't that crazy. He gave an example that scaffolding has to be used to build a house now,( if its more htan one story i think was the unspoken condition). He said if he'd done that to build his house it would have cost another $20 000 and that was back in 90s. As it was his two story house was built without the use of scaffolding. The more I learn about council regulations the angrier i get. I mean i know some health and safety and some other rules are necessary but it seems like all the rest is mere insurance. I might be forced to build my house with no council approval. The problem with that is where my house is located is not at all remote.

    While i concede that the ideal building material for my site would be timber, i thought it would be too expensive and beyond my skills and ability. But my Archy friend suggested that i should put in a wood floor.

    Last night my father suggested I consider FC planking. He said make a plank. I will do that because that will demonstrate to anyone - archy friend, council whoever, that it is strong enough - ie if it is in deed strong enough. And to me will show me the exact cost and difficulty.

    The website FC forum conceded that an FC planked floor is possible. But he also told me to get my floor off the ground (to protect the trees below), i'd have to follow a pattern of timber construction - posts, stumps, joists and beams. All those can be made in concrete and FC. So now it starts to look to me a question of whether doing this in concrete is better - easier and cheaper - than doing it in wood.

    moving on...

    The duck pond... I found an abandonned old plastic wheelbarrow in the skip across the road from my Archy friend's house. So i rescued it. My Archy friend cut off the rusting metal bits with his angle grinder and all i need to do now is get some silicon to plug up the holes. And then my ducks will have a wonderful pond to swim in. A great solution as far as i am concerned because its big enough for them but small enough for me to empty frequently and refill with clean water.

    I also retrieved the base of an old trolley because the 4 wheels are in perfect condition and i figure they might come in useful at some point.

    I haven't done any gardening today. I wanted to mow the lawn but now i think i might even let it go, although now is the perfect time to be out there doing that job. We had a lot of rain last night nad i do have to mow soon. I want to mow the whole place before going ahead with planting lablab seeds in the ground where its not already cleared.
     
  13. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    More ducklings

    https://www.photoblog.com/shangrila

    Its too hot to garden today.

    I did get around to the mowing yesterday but as usual i rode over a root - and yes Mike, i now know what you mean by buttress roots on the poinciana. I've been looking for them and saw a lot in Mossman. Anyway, the root I rode over belonged to the fig tree. Doing this put a sudden stop to my mowing as it dented the blades cover and we haven't been able to bang it back yet. I should finish up with the little mower today but I can't remember the petrol mix. Its only a 2 -stroke. And I probably can't pull the starter as i am left handed.

    Now the big job is to keep on with planting of hte lablab. According to the BOM its going to rain again on Sunday. I want to be shoving lots of seed in the ground but its too freaking hot to get out there. And i have been sleeping in lately. This has got to change. Last night though i woke up at 3.30 and didn't go back go back to be for ages. Getting all messed up with my sleeping habits doesn't help me get the gardening done.

    I wish there was a spell checker with this program. On the ferrocement forum, there is one and its great to use. I've never come across one on a forum before and i need it because i am such a bad typist.

    Oh i wanted to write about my concerns about my shrubs i planted recently. I am concerned that the mill mud might be killing them because it was still warm. I am going to write a post on the growing plants branch.
     
  14. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Shrubs, and things.

    I went to chat with Helga (from the nursery) today at the markets. "For therapy" i told her. We discussed all my garden problems in detail. I didn't get any definitive answers from her but that's because there probably aren't any to be had. Except that she said that mangosteen take a long time between growth flushes and perhaps the one that isn't flushing just had its growth flush before i bought it. I don't think so but anyway... She did suggest the possibility of digging the fruit trees out and add in more ordinary soil but with the fruit trees, i think this might just upset them more but it may not be a bad idea for the little shrubs. On the other hand, the rollinia looks pretty borderline critical.

    Anyway for my shrubs, i went and got a whole new lot of cuttings today and i am going to shove them straight into the ground this afternoon. Its going to continue raining now frequently so i think they will be fine if its not too hot for them. I am not going to dig out what's there: I am just going to put a cutting in the same spot and if there are leftovers, i will put some in between. This afternoon, i feel very motivated to go putting things in the ground as its not too hot. But a friend is coming over soon for a xmas drink so that's that really. The weather report says it will rain for the next few days so it should be good planting conditions. I won't go to town as i had thought i might. I will stay home and plant things. I used to not like planting but now I like it a lot. Now that i have seen that things do grow, even if not all.

    I got more green and pink acalyphas, some more exora including a white one and i have decided to put them on the red corner to make it a red and white corner. I've never seen that before and I think it will look pretty good and unusual. Today was the first time i have ever actually seen a white exora i think. I got it from one of the resorts. Helga told me they take about 2 months to get going so that explains my lack of success so far - lack of patience. I am going to put the cuttings straight in with the varigated cassavas so that if they take off, that's great and if they don't the cassavas will keep the space looking good. Here is the white exora. This site it is very rare!. https://www.mgonlinestore.com/WhiteIx/ Conceivably i could also make this patch a mix of all ixora colours. I think that would look good too. I wonder how risky it is to try to strike these in the ground?hmmm?

    I also got some of the things with the red furry tails. I forget what they are called. They are quite spectacular when there's a lot of the tails on a bush.This. acalypha hispida or chenille plant. https://www.flickr.com/photos/sftrajan/2712213557/

    Lablab: Last night and i went and threw a whole bunch of just germinated seeds over a patch of ground that i hadn't dug up. I am keen to see how they go. If this works, I might be able to do this with all of them. Just germinate the seeds and then scatter them. I guess it will be tricky as they then have to burrow down into the hard uncultivated soil with their delicate little tap root and not dry out. And not get ruined by the sun. But i am hoping that the predicted rain in the next few days might help this along. So i am going to go an germinate another big bunch today in preparation. To do this i just mix the seed in the bacteria slurry as normal, then mix it all up with some mill mud and let it germinate. I just keep it in an icecream container though i could spread it out a bit more so that it gets a bit of light through the soil.

    About the seedlings that the growing strong in their nurseries. I am not sure what ot do with them now. I should plant those out too. Maybe I will be able to that in the next few days. ...Oh please heaven let it be cool, overcast and rainy in the next few days as the bureau of meterology predicts.

    What else: I mentioned the new duck bath... here comes my guest. gotta go.
     
  15. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    My Sweet little Lucy died. I am very very sad about her.

    I'll come Lucy later.

    First when M. got here we did a tour of the garden. She brought me a present, a grandadilla. Sounds good. I might try to put a trellis up in the wet season vegie patch unless its going to be too hot there. I read they prefer a cooler spot. hmmm Might have to do it with the passionfruit vine instead, they love the sun and seem to tolerate the heat well.

    We also saw signs of life on the rollinia which makes me happy. So now, of the fruit trees, its only the mandarine and the mangosteen that i am waiting on.

    I did go and put in all those cuttings after M. left. I will need more though.

    I am glad i covered up the mill mud with a tarp because last nights rain was torrential and the sound light show truly spectacular. This morning the wheelbarrow is full of water. Dad said it was 3-4 inches but a wheelbarrow full sounds like more than that to me. But i am not good at understanding rainfall.

    LUCY: Before it rained though, i was heading off to bed and went down to the duck yard to see how everyone was. The details on the raising poultry branch but the short story is that i found lucy in the midst of being squeezed to death by a carpet snake. She might already have been dead by teh time i got there. I was a bit frozen to the spot and only yelled for dad to come and kill the snake with a shovel. It was awful. It is no surprise that Lucy is the one that got picked on. She's too slow to get out of the way and doesn't react very speedily either. Today i am moving all the ducklings up to the chicken house and also the ducks for night times. I am even tempted to put the ducklings in the car. Well i will see how they go tonight and if there's any trouble between the big and the small, i will put the ducklings in the back of my old subaru. Nothing will get at them in their. Though me trying to catch them will upset them quite a lot no doubt.

    Lablab: those germinated seeds I threw about are not really doing good so that idea was a dud. Not unexpected. Anyway today i got a kilo of seed and mixed it up with a teaspoon of bacteria and have been out with my gardening fork planting them. When i saw Joe the other day he told me that when it starts raining all the time, they seem to succumb to the high humidity or fungal conditions. I can't remember which it was. That was disappointing because i haven't heard that possibility before. I thought they were able to hand hot wet conditions. For now they are doing fine, those that are in teh ground, although there are signs of insect attack but nothing too serious. I suspect its a ladybird because the leaves are full of little holes like what i've seen in the sweet potato patch. I think they will cope though.

    Its pretty warm at the moment. We are heading up to 31 degrees today and rain later on. Probably tonight. At the moment the sun it out.
     
  16. aroideana

    aroideana Junior Member

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    You have to learn to live with the snakes , they were here first . Making a snake proof enclosure is very difficult .
     
  17. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Well i am not doing to do what my neighbour does and keep his chickens permanently locked in their hen house which I might as is not that big. At least they have nice clean home and are well cared for apart from that.

    We were doing fine living with the snakes before. We generally managed to keep out of each others way though we did see each other in passing from time to time. Its a bit hard not to be reactive when you just lose a loved one though.
     
  18. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Golden Shower Flower Tree and a little timber patch.

    https://www.merinews.com/newPhotoLanding.jsp?imageID=13317

    Also known as cassia fistula. What a beautiful specimen in this link. Well this is what i am going to aim for on my property down on the front corner. Today I planted 6 seedlings i think. I had to put up star pickets and a rope to notify the public not to park their cars here anymore. I haven't put a sign up but this is where people like to display their cars for sale. I figure they will understand its private land by the presence of the posts. I hope so.

    Anyway i got motivated this morning to put into this effect a long term plan to put these on this corner. And in doing so i realised the great potential of this spot. I am now also going to plant a forest of agati for timber here. Its a very sunny spot and there is only grass here otherwise at the moment and it will be a while before the golden showers need more room.

    At time goes i will probably thin out the golden showers. At this point i've planted them 4 metres apart. We wanted something spectacular on the corner. But i've been looking around lately and most examples of this tree have been left to fend for htemselves and are not spectacular. I have only seen one that is excellent around here and it is in Stratford Cairns. It was my inspiration for this spot.

    Also if i ever decided to build a shop or stall on this corner, the trees won't interfere with that.

    I want the wood to make hte sticks for my "security" walls in my house. These should be perfect.

    Now i just need to find the seed and innoculant.

    Other things: We've had some good rain and i am doing my best to plant as much as I can. Although when the sun comes out, that pretty much puts an end to work. Planting those 6 trees in the sun got me drenched and exhausted. Now i just have to wait till about 4pm.

    I've been putting more black plastic around to tackle the tough grassy areas. Its really too difficult for my mattock. And even for the mower.

    I am going to try to get as much as my cuttings in the nursery into the ground this wet season as possible. I might just have to shove them in anywhere just to get them growing while its raining. Then they can multiply and and i can pull them up later for regrouping. Or take cuttings and replant.

    I should try to go and take some pictures of my golden shower flower corner today to show you the before picture. Right now i think i will process the garden tour pictures I took recently and put them up.
     
  19. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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  20. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    A day in town

    I left dad in charge of the animals and went to town to research my building project a little bit and collect some cuttings from a friend. Mainly for mulberry cuttings as the ones i got earlier didn't take except for one piece.

    phew its hot here this morning...

    A friend i stayed with unexpectedly gave me an enormous vanilla plant. I will have to put a shot of it up on my photobog soon.

    No one here seems to have heard of expanded lath which is the building material i need for my FC house. I know it can be got from Brissie but that's quite far away and will be expensive. I might have to find an alternative type of steel mesh ot use. I saw somethign interesting at my other friends house when i was up there yesterday but forgot to ask her what it was. It was a tiny square mesh - about 3mm. And it was in a roll so its probbably flexible enough too.

    I spoke to a couple of engineers and the council. That was useful.

    I'm now considering the possibility of having the roof supported by floating joints on the trees. This would save me the difficulty of building long poles to carry the roof. I would need to get an arborist in to assesss the trees anyway so this would not cost me any extra. I think this method of construction would be easier to implement than erecting tall poles. And I really like the idea that the roof floats over the rest of the house. Of course it will still be quite difficult. If i do it this way I should build the roof first i think.

    At my friends house, i got my mulberry cuttings and a few other things. She has a lovely place in Kuranda in the forest. We saw wallaby. She has lots of wallabies and they eat lots of things in her garden. They also have pigs and she showed me her pig trap. They caught one once. What else did she give me? um... mulberry, winged beans, aralias, pepper vine and seeds, Maybe that's all. I didn't take too much from her house this time.

    I also bought two books - Tropical Food Gardening by Leonie Norrington and Linda Woodrow's Permaculture for the Home Garden. Boy are they expensive books. Moreover Angust and Robertson put on a extra price on the books - and luckily my complaint about the price got the rate back to the retail price. The buggers.

    Last week i booked my flights to Darwin for my cycling adventure. I have to buy a few bits of gear for the trip and i checked out a thermarest and sleeping bag in town, although i will buy them online. Deliciously comfy. Meanwhile i had taken my sisters' foam to sleep on at my friends over night and i had the most rotten nights sleep. I might as well have slept on the floor.

    I had intended to look into irrigation prices but forgot at the last minute. Nevermind. There's plenty of time for that.

    Back home and i was watering the shrubs and vegie patch into the night. We haven't had rain for a few days now and its been very hot. I think some of the shrubs are starting to recover and the new ones i planted look fine. The ducklings are showing new white feathers. I was amazed at the difference in them in two days. I think that hens can't see in the dark.
     

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