My subtropical hub

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by Bananarama, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. Bananarama

    Bananarama Junior Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I've enjoyed reading the stories about your places. Here is a little about mine:

    The property is about an acre and a quarter, flat land at the bottom of some hills. There is a small spring fed dam that dries up in summer (I'm looking for ways to minimise evaporation and seal dam). House precociously does not take advantage of natural resources. I plan to build a dwelling that is more practical and tenant the house with groovy people.

    The property is full of trees erroneously planted in the '80s. Slowly chipping away at these.

    I'm retrofitting a food forest in a citrus orchard. Herbs, pigeon peas, native trees with bush tucker value, flowers, cassava & kumera poo piles. I have fallen in love with perennials!

    We've got
    ducks & chooks for eggs, poo, pest management and next-learning-curve, meat. I need better fencing around my new gardens as they hammer them in the day (and bandicoots take the night shift).

    Avidly researching and sourcing some sensible energy saving systems like solar power and hot water, composting toilets and grey water capturing & management. Mostly preloved, however functional. It's all very liberating.

    Some local friends commissioned a local permaculture teacher to run baby friendly classes, which I've been lucky to be part of for the last year or so. It feels like a movement!!
    As a corollary, there is a network or mumma-bubba pairs that gather and help each other in gardening ventures.

    Next step for me is to put plans down in paper.
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Which part of the world is home? (It helps to put it in your signature as you'll get asked all the time!) Baby friendly PDC's sound like a great idea! "scuse the drops on my garden design, it's just breast milk!"
     
  3. Bananarama

    Bananarama Junior Member

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    a derr .. Mullumbimby in Northern Rivers of NSW. Don't seem to be able to alter my profile yet
     
  4. Bananarama

    Bananarama Junior Member

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    argh, I worked it out : )
     
  5. Bananarama

    Bananarama Junior Member

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    I'm keen to get more written down as I plot and plan out my space. I'll put it under some headings as I get my head around it. I promise to circle back and add the botanical names.

    BANANA CIRCLES
    Recently made a banana circle near the house (japanese taro, green taro, ginger, turmeric, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, flat leaf parsley, basil, frangapani, lemon grass, common mint, cape gooseberry, cassava, sweet potato, abika (tree spinach), peanut ground cover, vetiver grass) and plumbed in drain from bath water.

    The bigger one down the back is pumping out sweet potato leaves. This one's plumbing failed so it's pretty dry and most plants are on a holding pattern until it rains. It has marigolds, curry plant, mature bananas (underfed), taro (jap and green), galangal, turmeric, pineapple, common mint, cowpea.

    FOOD FOREST
    80% of the canopy tube stock have survive - White aspen, fine leaf tamarind, native tamarind, she oak, *something* apple, lilly pilly, plum pine, grevillea robur.

    Fruit trees have all survived so far. Blueberry, logan, japanese rasin, Davidson Plum ( NSW & QLD varieties)

    Established fruit trees need feeding and pruning I think. Grapefruit x2 (also need mag sulfate to sweeten), mandarin x6, lemon x5, naval orange x2. Mangoes need to be coppiced. Grapefruit vine and raspberry canes need attention also.

    I need to transplant self seeded pecan, rose apple, guava from other places in the property.

    There are a bunch of hardy herbs, flowers and plants that are doing well - QLD arrowroot, rosemary, evening primrose, soapwort, geranium, calundula, flat leaf parsley, indian coriander, poor mans tobacco, pepino, sweet potato, pumpkin, finger limes, cassava, yarrow, galangal, cherry tomatoes, sunflowers. Green manure of japanese millet & cowpea are both in seed - I didn;t have the heart to slash em! Also good fooder for chooks, building up the seed bank in the ground and if there is enough left over I may cook up cow pea for me.

    VEG GARDEN
    Between me being away, the dam drying up and the heat, my annuals are no more. Waiting till the weather cools or the rain comes before I do anything here.


    POULTRY
    Our baby ducks are nearly full size and I can see a few drakes, so psyching myself up to kill and dress them. First time, and I really want to make sure it's done well and respectfully. Hopefully this means the young ducks will start laying soon.

    Hens are plodding on. Rooster has scaly foot, so been washing his feet with toothbrush dipped in dish-washing liquid in water. I have some lactobacilli spray that plan to spray around the hen house to improve health & resistance. I also looking to source sawdust or a shredder to keep bedding fresh as I've run out of straw.


    IN FRUIT NOW
    pecan
    mango
    guava - yellow
    wax jambo
    bunya nut
    raspberries
    lemon
    naval orange
    sunflower
    tomatoes
    cape gooseberry
    pumpkin
    cowpea


    GOALS for 2014
    worm farm
    bees
    better composting
    water gardens
    plant more fruit trees in autumn
    more diversity
    more flowers
    get annual garden cranking out food
    build raised beds closer to house
    define plan and zones
    grow most chook fodder
    'harvest' poultry
    research japanese quails and miniature goats
    learn how to use chainsaw
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Well done! Is there a class for women who want to use a chain saw? I want to learn too but not from some gruff bloke who can't understand that women's bodies work differently.
     
  7. Bananarama

    Bananarama Junior Member

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    That's a good question Eco4560 .. if I find someone I'll let you know !!
     
  8. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Well, to use one for employment, there are a couple of tickets you can get.

    Level 1 Cross cut is learning the basics, and chopping up things that have already fallen. Level 2 moves into felling. Then there is Advanced Felling.

    There was a woman doing my Level 2 course. She did great and passed better than some of the blokes.

    As for the basics, what do you want to know?
     
  9. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    Is there a class where blokes can learn how women's bodies work?
     
  10. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    I think it was cancelled due to lack of interest ...
     
  11. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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  12. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    You've got a woman haven't you?
    Ask her to show you might be a good start ... :) ;)
    And her goes another thread .... sorry Bananarama : /
     
  13. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    Hell no. She has me. And she is not much into showing me to much.:)

    I recently heard only 1 male in 36 is a full man, something about the X, I guess. On the scale of 36 I'm probably a 33. So I'm not much into telling women to do things. If I was a 36, I'd come to Australia and make concubines of all you singles. Ha! Just so we really divert the thread to another discussion. Rest in peace thread.
     
  14. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Jeez Helen you are on the mark today!

    I'd like to know how to select a good one to buy, how to use it to not chop off parts of my body, how to safely drop a medium sized tree and dress it (if that's the right word) and to cut firewood or building timber. That should do it I think!

    Diana Krall is one of my favourite singers. I can't remember which one of her songs it is but there's a line that goes - I want a man who treats me like my backbone is his own. The obvious difference is in strength so women have to think about how to do stuff rather than using brute force (fortunately we are better at things like reading instruction manuals and thinking), then you have to take into consideration that certain things stick out in different places that aren't on mens bodies…. And joints move differently. I remember a swimming coach who insisted that my elbow joints were all 'wrong' - but they are just typical female ones with a wider angle - they need to be like that to make way for the childbearing hips.
     
  15. altamira55

    altamira55 Junior Member

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    The secret is to get a chainsaw that's small enough to handle comfortably. I swear by Stihl saws. Below is a pic of me 12 or 13 years ago. I now have a new model, but same brand and size, 45cc engine and 18" bar. I know one should not use a chainsaw without wearing protective clothing, but also I find that if I wear a lot of protective clothing I tend not to be as careful, and really the protective clothing only mitigates the damage if you screw up; it doesn't completely protect you by any means. The basics are:
    never let the tip of a moving chain hit against anything; hold the saw so that it it kicks back it won't hit you in the face; keep the engine at full speed, so it has enough power to cut through whatever you're cutting and not get hung up; the saw *will* kick back from time to time, so always be ready to keep it under control (this is why you want to use a saw that's small enough that you can control it); keep the saw well maintained -- sharp chain, engine in good nick, chain properly adjusted.

    I limit myself to cutting saplings and cutting up firewood.

    The dealer from whom I bought the saw showed me the basics. This was in the days before the Internet. Now there are some very good videos online. I watch one every now and then, to remind myself not to ever be careless. IMO the most useful are the workplace safety videos that tell you how to handle the saw and explain why and what can happen if you get careless.

    https://huerto-de-altamira.blogspot.com/2007/03/chain-saw-madagascar.html
     
  16. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    And chaps. Don't do what she is ^ and go bare legs.

    The photo is actually a good example of technique, head and body to the left of the saw. I would have crouched to save the back though, right knee down.

    Felling a tree is exactly as Altamira says, plenty of videos online for technique. Secret of the professionals, is roping it (that way if it goes bad, you can still pull it down the direction you wanted and not look like an idiot...hopefully). Building timber requires a mill attachment and is amazingly hard work for the effort (hence why there are professional millers with machines. It's still possible to do though). Bush poles are probably what you should be after. Firewood is simple, lay your pole down, cut 4/5ths of the way through all the way along the log at 20-30cm spacings, roll your log over 180 degrees and cut "up" through the "slots" you created.

    Absolute best book on the subject, and all in one place (unlike online) is https://www.amazon.com/To-Fell-Tree-Jeff-Jepson/dp/0975525298. No doubt available in Australia, I've seen 2 copies bought locally.
     
  17. altamira55

    altamira55 Junior Member

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    You're right, S.O.P. I have Kevlar chaps and should wear them. There are plenty of images of ghastly leg injuries online.
     
  18. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Thanks Altamira. Apparently either the chain saw or the bare legs did it for someone. I find it mildly bothersome that anonymous people - who I presume to be male - feel they have the right to derive sexual gratification from a picture not designed to titillate and to pass comment on women's bodies as though they are simply objects specifically designed for the purpose of their sexual entertainment. But that's why people call me a rabid feminist I guess!

    Round poles with the bark stripped off is what I was thinking when I said building timber. I like organic shapes, not all that boring 90 degree angle stuff.

    I might have to stop talking about this and actually do it sometime…..
     
  19. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    The most surprising incident I've seen is not someone making contact with their leg with a working saw, it's the chain jumping off the bar and slicing the cotton on the chaps clean open. No amount of technique would have prevented 100 stitches there. I say that because some people believe they won't cut their own leg, sometimes things happen out of your control.


    Hence why it's wise to keep the saw in the chap zone. We use saws at chest height and nothing will save you there from unlucky circumstance. Minimise the risks, people.
     
  20. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Ok so now I'm NOT going to do it….
     

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