My Place

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by ozhank, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. ozhank

    ozhank Junior Member

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    It's hot and dry. Rain comes anytime of the year. Frosts to -6 over winter. Even though our average annual rainfall is 650mm, it can range from basically nothing to 1500mm, and is unpredictable. These posts will cover from when we arrived here to now.
     
  2. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    E Washington, USA
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    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Good start. Are you catching rainfall? (I'm assuming yes ...)
     
  3. ozhank

    ozhank Junior Member

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    We moved onto the property around Easter 2000. I was working full time so very little time to spend doing anything at all. I cleared by hand a site for our house, our shed, and chook shed and fenced off some small areas for growing vegetables. It was a full time battle keeping the kangaroos and wallabies out. Water was also an issue, as the annual evaportation here is 2.5 to 3 metres. We tried many different ideas for growing vegetables, and found the most successful was a tunnel made from reinforceing mesh covered with 50% shade cloth and raised beds, with plastic lined trenches.

    We saved up, and a passing bulldozer put in another dam for us, to allow a header tank about 20m about the house, with a 50mm rural poly pipeline to deliver water to the house and surrounding areas. I was still working full time, so did not get much time to spend here. Work started on the mud brick home, and the shed was finished off, and a solar system slowly installed, to all 24/7 fridge and lights and computer operation.

    After carting water for 9 months to survive during the last drought, we went travelling for 3 years, got work and managed to save up for a few things. We returned here in the middle of 2012. Work is continuing on the house, modifications to the shed, orchard has been replanted and a new chook complex built. I know it is not pure permaculture, but I have put in an aquaponics system, build from recycled IBC containers with river gravel as the grow bed media. The recent heat cooked all the plants and the fish, so will restart soon as the cooler weather comes along.

    Why did I bother with aquaponics? I am amazed at the amount of food that can be grown in such a small area, with so little work and effort. There is a tremendous saving in water, the only losses being leaks, evaporation and transpiration - no soil losses to the trees at all. I have to get shade cloth over it as soon as possible. The blown motor in the skidsteer has prevented me doing many things, but at least it is now in the shed ready to start work on. I am not well enough to do much physical work, hence the skid steer with hydraulics to do that for me.

    I am also going to build a OSE mud brick machine, to make the rest of the bricks for the house, replace the iron on the shed with mud bricks to reduce the temperature and to build a kitchen/ablutions area/training and eating area.

    I do have lots of pictures and some videos - coming soon.
     
  4. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    It sounds fabulous. Sounds like you're having a good crack at it anyway. I'm interested in the mud bricks (& I'm very interested in rammed earth if you know anything about that too?)

    Looking forward to the pics :)
    Pics are compulsory here you know ;)
     

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