Monday, 27 February 2017

Barn rebuild well underway

We’ve worked on and off clearing the barn to re-build it since we’ve been on the land yet with Arnaud’s help — it is now done. We disassembled the roof structure, removed all nails and fixtures and stacked it ready for re-assembly.

barn-arnaud-FR-helpx-2017-02-27-14-21.jpg

Of course, Jam and Joe were close by so they came over to inspect the progress!

barn-goats-2017-02-27-14-21.JPG

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Goat and chicken pens

Just past the garden area were pens built by the prior owner. Lantana had overgrown the area and it took Nick a great deal of effort to clear it. After the garden cover was in place we were ready to rebuild (as the goats, of course, often get up to mischief when not secure).

Arnaud and I finished placing posts, installed the mesh netting fence, and several strands of barb wire. We also got galvanised iron and mesh from the Bunker in Doonan and built our own custom-made gates.

pens-arnaud-FR-brett-2017-02-26-13-26.jpg

Monday, 20 February 2017

First substantial rain in our water tank and home alone

Rained off and on last night from around 17:30 onwards. Read 44mm this morning and appeared ~50mm new rain in the tank. While our spring still flows as usual — the grass has gone brown and even many trees are showing stress with curling leaves. This amount of rain, while not extravagant, will revive them.

Nick is still in Sydney and working from the AURA office today. It was Fair Day weekend — so plenty to do and see and always great to catch up with friends. While I enjoy the tranquility, sadly, that leave me to take care of his kids… Little Joe is always fun, as he dances around playfully. Jam is sweet, yet slow to walk along and kind of slow in general. Tik, however, remains the alpha goat. She is showing the most these days and hopefully will birth soon. They are entertaining yet quite a lot of time and work to maintain.

I spent much of the day working on the pens near the greenhouse for chickens and goat containment. I was able to reuse a portion of the old fence wire and chicken wire mesh. The post had to be driven, holes dug, trees fell (we have an abundance of standing dead wood in our forest — so harvesting them makes the forest safer during wind storms and great fence posts!) and finally, tamping the wooden posts into the ground. Its hard work — yet satisfying and certainly helps with fitness!

forest-fence-posts-2017-02-20-07-48.JPG

Bob the kookaburra perched in a tree nearby for a while to watch over what I was doing. Seems he must have been satisfied as he flew off after a while. I also found a new tree species… this, a massive near 20m/60ft tree with vibrant green leaves (even in the dry) and fruit that reminds me of chestnuts — yet about 10 times the size! Funny to hear them drop to the ground every few minutes — guess they must be ready. Must find out what they actually are before eating…

tree-like-chestnut-2017-02-20-07-48.JPG

The skies were clear much of the day yet as the sun advanced to set for the day, the dark flint colour appeared to the North West and a fantastic pinkish orange glared brightly towards the East. It was a stellar sunset period.

sunset-colours-2017-02-20-07-48.JPG

Friday, 17 February 2017

Cows invade the garden!

The three massive cows raided us (again) last night - up early to see the aftermath… Minimal damage yet goats are probably traumatised (as they ran past their Goatel before running through a fence nearby in the middle of the night). Went to neighbour downhill at 07:00 and roused him (James, who seems quite the mus’o has a bandstand rear building). He denied they were his cows, kept says QLD law meant both parties have to pay for any fence - yet we should’t need one since it’d been that way ”forever”. The said cows had been agisted 10 years ago, removed 3 years ago, these were left — and he couldn’t remember who owned them… Very frustrating… though James offered star posts and to “put up a few posts” — too much to do… Said we could discuss it another day — left to get cows out away from garden.

IMG_5517-2017-02-17-05-37.jpg

Spent from 08:00 until 15:00 replacing fence just downhill from front gate. A ravine washout area had had wire pulled back along remaining fence further down and wooden post had been broken off. 4 trees and numerous lantana were across the fence

Cut and applied filter media over agie pipe in white centre beds (only planters that were unsocked). Prepared piping and drain holes for sand on remaining planters. Added sugar cane mulch above sand layer (to reduce organic materials in water reservoir and prevent pH issues). Final layer topsoil to be added to all outstanding beds.

Terry Gill and his brother Ash came out near 16:30 and toured the place. Ash took off yet Tezza stayed for BBQ dinner. Come to find out, his family ginger farm is only about 20 minutes away near Imbil in the Mary Valley (we are on the edge of it).

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Nick the goat herder

Nick has finally taken to the goats… they were a LOT of work getting started. Each day they’d eat a new plant or tree that we’d wanted to keep. Now, after building some leads and weights, Nick has them under control (most of the time).

goat-herder-Nick-2017-03-2-06-57.JPG

Joy was quite keen on naming the pests -er, adorable creatures as pets.

Jamila (a.k.a. Jam) is Joy in Jordanian

Tikkus (a.k.a. Tik “the possessed!”)

JoeIan (a.k.a. Little Joe)