Thursday, 30 March 2017

WHAT a flood!

Following the impact of Cyclone Debbie (a.k.a.Hurricane) — we coped a downpour… Over 355mm or 14 inches of rain fell in under 24-hours. Needless to say, though we were well prepared for rain — we struggled to keep afloat during the deluge.

The garden area was flooded and we lost much topsoil and a number of plants drowned.

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Rivers of water flowed where none had ever before… actually sheets of water, often several inches thick flowed over everything and what was not secure was washed away...

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The barn, while well roofed and stable, was hit with fire-hose like water streams. I managed to secure a few sheets of polycarbonate sheering to keep much of the water out and worked through the storm. However, there was a LOT of water everywhere.

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We learned a lot about the property as a result of this downfall. We thought gravel was our answer for our road — yet we need much earthwork to channel the water away from it. We managed to get Kieran’s truck and our van bogged just before the storm came and it may be a week or so before we can rescue them. The prospect of parking near the gate and Andersons Road is looking more appealing all the time!

WHEW — we survived!

Monday, 27 March 2017

Jaffa settling in and garden thriving

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Jaffa has been troubled by thunder and passing traffic and goes into episodes of lapping the container several times when scared yet is beginning, with Nick’s attention and care, to become better adjusted and relaxed. He LOVES his twice daily walks to the gate and around the property.

 

The garden continues to thrive with perfect conditions of sunshine and water. The raised planters are doing well and everything seems to be getting established.

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Friday, 24 March 2017

Much effort to revive treasures

The barn refurbishment is going nicely. Nick has been scrapping paint (with his faithful watch dog watching on) from the beautiful oak doors we scavenged from the lane behind da bestest Shelias. They are are coming up FAB! (the doors too ;<)

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Joe & Owl watching over us

Much progress continues with the barn restoration… side walls and windows have been installed. Working now on windows and doors for the ends. Little Joe could not help himself — seeing me climb up and down the plank so many times to the barn… While I had lunch, Joe was inspecting the progress — seems he quite liked the view too!

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We went to Cooroy to do laundry and enjoy a nice Indian dinner out. When we returned, we found this beautiful and graceful owl sitting on our gate looking out over our front paddock. Eventually, it let us open the gate and while doing so it flew away gliding off into the night. What a sight!

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Rain, rain, rain!

Well, we asked for it… its been dry for ages and the water tank was only half full… The past 7-days has seen near 10 inches — yes, 250mm of rain. It has averaged about 40mm a day yet on a single night we had ~ 70 kph winds and over 100mm.

As per normal, when the van sees a wet patch, it bogs straight away. Sadly, as its near the lowest part of our forest track and PLENTY of rain has flowed under it — it may be a few weeks before we can get it unstuck and back to higher, drier ground. Such is the life in the country!

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The neighbour bordering us along Black Mountain Road had said he’d seen rivers of water flowing down the hills for a week after heavy rains… I could then only imagine it… Now, after our first real sustained downpour — I have experienced it first hand. This is the “driveway” near the entrance to the greenhouse. The van is in a MUCH wetter and softer soil area — poor van. The compost pile, having finally gotten the dampness it so needed, is beside the wheelbarrow and has started steaming in the early morning cool. That means its finally breaking down and activating all those great loads of goat dung and straw that Nick has been so diligently applying. Well done!

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

From North to South

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Seeing the grass going green again and the trees bouncing back after such dry conditions is fantastic. This panoramic photo captures Jaffa the dog near the front gate and pans around to the Spring and South end of the property.

Garden Update

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The gardens growing wildly now with the combination of warm sunny days and regular rain. We enjoyed our first garden grown tomato with Cat and Jeff. It was teRRiffic!

The veggie tally includes:

  • Heirloom tomatoes                
  • Carrots
  • Tomatillos
  • Capsicum
  • Cucumber                
  • Okra
  • Radish                
  • Broccoli
  • Yellow Onions
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Rocket
  • Mixed greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Japanese Pumpkin
  • Yellow Squash
  • Watermelon
  • Giant Sunflower
  • Sage
  • Mixed herbs
  • Chives
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Roma Tomatoes

We also have about a dozen varieties of trees and shrubs were growing from seeds to seedlings.

These include:

  • Avocado
  • Pecan
  • Mexican Tree Fern
  • White and Standard Peaches
  • Plum
  • Frangipani
  • Bromliads
  • Lyquot Tree
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Coffee Bean
  • Leopard Tree
  • Various native wattles and gums

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Barn roof back on!

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Jeff came out with Catarina Friday arvo and wanted to come back and help — help he did… we got the barn insulation, roof tin, and ridge cap on (all secure). Within 30-minutes of him leaving, we had the BIGGEST storm we’ve experienced here to date — near 100 mills / 4 inches in 20 minutes and thunder to rattle the bowels of hell! NO leaks — yet the walls are a tad airy and need work.

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Jaffa getting accustomed AND tired!

Jaffa the new farm dog has been getting used to life on the land. SO much to do… sniff thousands of new smells, chase goats, press against his new Daddies, be scared of thunder, and repeat… it makes even a young dog tired.

 

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SPECTACULAR fog!

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Nick, Jaffa and I got up, enjoyed our brekkie omelette then went for a stroll to our gate… It was a spectacular day — warm yet humid lately so the fog was SPECTACULAR! Amazing to see the mountains so clearly yet nothing in between. What a GREAT way to greet another gorgeous day!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Goats flourishing

The goats continue to enjoy the luxurious goatel. Jam wanted to sleep in yet there was grazing to be done and she does not like to miss a bite! Clearly, she was tentative — yet ate ALL day long (as always!)

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Coffee anyone?

Our dearest Sista years ago gave us two gorgeous coffee bushes and we’ve enjoyed them as potted plants for several years. Today they found their permanent home close to the garden and water tank in the shade of a nearby tree. The volcanic soil and position are perfect for coffee so we welcome YOU to come try our handiwork (in a few months) as they produce well already.

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

All things progress...

A day of rest after Arnaud’s departure was in order (only planting a few trees and hanging out with Jaffa). I started back at the barn early and between bouts of rain, managed to get half of the roof fir strips (for the tin to re-attach to) by mid afternoon. I had to get to Frank’s and pick-up the side wall tin and a few pieces of steel fence for the compost pens before 16:00. I managed, with Frank’s helper, Hamish’s help, to get everything loaded and back before dark.

Here I am with the barn fir strips half done (and looking serious! ;<)

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And speaking of progress… the planters, especially the tomatoes, are doing well and enjoying the heat and rain.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Cooroora Mountain conquered!

Arnaud and I were determined to climb Cooroora Mountain before he departed… all 439 meters of her!

We got up early, enjoyed a brekkie prepared by Nick and set off. We drove through a new (to us) area of Pomona to the lower “base” car park from where we departed (near 07:00). By 08:10 we were at the summit. The trail was loose at the start, got better, then weaned off to near-nothing but a chain near the top… then nothing but air. We passed probably 70 people going up or down the trek and made it, only two stops for water, and MUCH sweat later!

WHAT A VIEW - all 360 degrees of it! (even stretching to the ocean and beyond). Words cannot express it — yet, neither can the pictures - but here goes…

 

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Saturday, 11 March 2017

Meet Jaffa

Drove 40 minutes South to Yandina Markets to pick up our new dog - Jaffa (male Kelpie cross).

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Brett planted (sage, lemongrass, garlic chives, basil from cutting, chicory, mustard greens, rocket) and fertilised the garden.

Jaffa is obedient and smart but is suffering from separation anxiety so he won't leave your side. Tried to leave him in the Goat pen overnight but he cried continuously and ripped a whole in the wire fence and came running into the container and woke us up. Then I tied him to a tree outside the container while I slept in the hammock for a couple of hours to keep him company. When it started to sprinkle at 11 pm I went inside and left him at the entrance of the container on his bed. Surprisingly not much winging after that and then we all went to sleep.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Busy day... but finishing at the beach!

After the last few weeks of work - Arnaud and I have accomplished quite a lot. Yesterday getting the barn framing sorted, prepped and some raised… Yet today, we pushed hard and finished.

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It has been a joy to find, that even after a massive tree (over 60cm / 2 feet across) landed on the corner of the barn and it spent near 10-years in waiting… We have restored the barn as it was built — just replacing a single stud, two header plates, and a few repairs. Otherwise, it remained intact. While we saved the original tin framing brackets — we upgraded to the latest in large screws (known as bugle bolts here in Oz) so the barn is stronger and more rigid than ever.

So, after a week of active work — we (of course) went to the beach for some much needed relaxation and fun. Could not have done it without your help Aranud — thank you sincerely.

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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Barn floor done and first wall reassembled

After preparing the old timber. removing nails, and replacing weak pieces — we laid them out on the floor to start solving a jigsaw puzzle. The original builders used hand tools to create mortise and tenon joints and we stayed true to their style in recreating a number of the pieces broken or missing. It came together pretty well — yet at 2.9m high on top of a 3.3m foundation — it was pretty squirrel’y getting it all together.

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The floor was a GREAT deal of work — yet came together nicely. I’m told it is Brush Box timber cut from Fraser Island in 1941 and shipped across to build barracks for the US military for WWII.

 

Each afternoon, our building inspectors come around to check progress…

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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Short storm

Its been a week of high humidity and temperatures — that means thunderstorms! While we had a 5 minute rain, it was minimal (11mm).

However the lightening that passed over sure impressed.

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Sunday, 5 March 2017

What a place!

We occasionally take time to enjoy the area so with our French friend around we wanted to share among our favourite view… We drove through the Noosa National Park and onward to the Tinbeerwah Lookout. While it has a fantastic 360 degree view — photos just don’t do it justice (so we are sharing the view towards our place).

What a stellar place — magical in fact. Volcanic mountains now surrounded by forests and skirted by oceans.

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Thursday, 2 March 2017

Standing dead timber

The heritage barn on our property had been hit on a corner by a large 40cm diameter x 25M tall red gum tree. While the barn is amazingly robust, sadly it was knocked about. Arnaud and I had felled a smaller 30cm x 20M tree and it landed atop the carport. The next, a 50-60cm x 30M red gum landed downhill below the barn. The final tree was right against the carport and between the green lockers and a very tricky tree to fell. Gladly, it too fell just like we wanted it to - just alongside the end of the blue 20’ container and away from harm. Only after these three trees were felled was the barn and forest area safe. We will be proud to use the timber for the gazebo or our home when we get started with its timber framing. They are gorgeous and massive red gum trees which are perfect for construction.

 

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