Soo…. my lil hiatus is officially over! Did you miss me?? So what have you been up to? How’s the farm and kids? What have you grown lately?
So I’ll be blooging regularly again. I’ve missed writing to you and quite frankly I’m not sure why I’ve been gone so long when we have so much to talk about. Here are some highlights of happenings while I’ve been gone:
Seriously though not much has changed since my last ramble. My place is still on the market, I’ve come close to getting an offer a couple of times but their finance has fallen through. I had an inspection last weekend with a really nice couple and I’m hopeful they love it enough to make an offer. It seemed to tick all the right boxes for them and it’s what they’re looking for so I’ll just have to be patient and wait to hear from them. I’ve got another inspection this coming weekend so that’s plan b I guess 🙂 One of the bonuses to having a house inspection is that my house is so sparkly and clean, it’s a really nice feeling.
Check out the sky the other day, it looked painted after the storm so I had to take pics 🙂
One thing that has changed is that I’ve started Geoff Lawton’s online Permaculture Design Course and totally loving it. I can’t remember if I mentioned wanting to do it here before (I’ll have to read my own blog!) but it’s turning out to be more than I hoped for and I’m seriously inspired and learning so much. I’ve had a few ideas on things to do around the place but I’m still going to move as there are too many things that just aren’t right about the place for me that even permaculture can’t remedy.
BUT I have found a new plot of land recently that would be just perfect to build my straw bale house upon. I’ve even come up with a name for it but I’m not going to share just yet as I don’t want to jinx it. And I need to sell this place first before I start looking too far ahead. I may or may not have looked up domain names and WordPress names for this place and contemplated buying a domain for it… again… trying not to jump the gun too much hehe.
Duck update: I’m down to two – Bruce and Blondie. I had 4 for the longest time and then 3 of them did a little disappearing act but came back a few weeks later after I’d rehomed the drake (Frank) who was left behind as he was stressed out living all alone. The two girls disappeared for a week a short while later and only Blondie came back so RIP Chicken, she always was a big ole scaredy cat. I was almost a grandmother again this year as Blondie went all broody in the coop again this last month but fate stepped in and the weekend that they were due to hatch, the eggs mysteriously disappeared. I have a feeling this big guy:
snuck in the coop and had himself a lil duck dinner. I’d seen him hanging around the house for a week or two and of course now that all the eggs are gone I haven’t seen him back. It’s also starting to get colder so that could also be why. While I love the ducklings cuz they’re so darn cute I really didn’t want them right now if I’m about to move out (depending whether the new owner is interested in keeping them of course) so while it’s sad that they were eaten, it’s also, selfishly, a good thing. The circle of life n all that.
Anyway I just wanted to pop my head in and see how you are, glad you’re well 🙂 I won’t be a stranger, I promise!
Hmmm so it seems another month has gone by…. how is that actually possible?? Damn you WP for not posting all those kickass mental posts that I’ve thought up in this past month. Geeeez.
I’ve had the last two weeks off work to sort out some shit and during this time I’ve come to a very regretable/sad/kickingmyselfinthebutt/dumb realisation. This place is not “The One”. I’ve almost been here a year and it’s taken me all of that time to work it out. Dumbass.
The fact that I still haven’t fully unpacked and have only just recently unpacked my ‘study’ should have been a clue. The fact that I was so fkn impatient and just wanted to get out of my Mum’s house should have been a clue. The fact that the tidy sum of money that I had saved from the sale of my last place and which I’d intended on using for the renos etc to make this place what I wanted it to be but was wiped out because I had to use it as part of a 20% deposit due to the size of the land should have been a clue. The fact that there is no area for grazing animals should have been a clue. The fact that I should NOT have trusted the agent when he said that the council had been out inspecting weeds and found nothing should have been a clue. I should have tested the soil depth and quality so that I didn’t discover that I’m basically sitting on shale rock with 5 cm of soil on top so I can’t really plant or grow anything unless it’s in a raised bed. The house is functional but needs updating and now that we’re back to winter again it’s really cold and I wryly find myself thinking… wouldn’t be cold if it was a fkn strawbale house dumbass.
Don’t get me wrong I LOVE this place, the seclusion and serenity, it’s just not the right land for what I now know what I want to do. And I’m never going to be able to save up enough money to do the house improvements that I want to do or install solar, or improve the soil or plant an orchard etc etc etc ad infinitum ad nauseum. When I had to give up my little pot of money for the deposit I thought “oh it’ll be fiiiine, I’m not in a rush, it’ll work out when I need to find money to do things”. That day won’t come. There’ll always be something cropping up (like the weedspraying which I still haven’t done and have to get cracking on this winter). So many things I need like a ride on lawnmower/slasher to keep this place under control but that’s not gonna happen either. I should have fkn clued on and said impatience begone! and walked away from it. I do remember having second thoughts about it but just brushed them aside because of the strong strong feeling of just wanting to get on with it and have my own space again. Maybe this is also a lesson in second thoughts and gut feelings for me.
And despite finding this place and loving it, I have to acknowledge that I still have in my heart that need to build my strawbale house that I’d planned before. I should have stuck to my dream and just given myself an uppercut and waited til the right bit of land came along. Instead I compromised. Bzzzt, wrong, thanks for playing.
So I’m going to sell. But of course, in this Part 2 of LESSON IN PATIENCE I can’t do anything for another year because part of my mortgage is fixed (also a mistake) and reading the fine print says that it’s going to be super expensive to break that fixed portion early. AND I’ve still got to find the right land AGAIN. Last time it took me one and a half fucking YEARS to find this place… I just need to have faith and hope that because this time I am doing what I set out to do in the first place that it won’t take as long. I have already started to have a look around and found a nice parcel of land that meets those previous criteria (except there’s no real water on the land except a couple of dams but with all I’ve been reading on permaculture and dam building that shouldn’t really be an issue, just on the wishlist) but I can’t do anything yet.
I don’t want to torture myself too much with looking because financially I can’t do anything til that fixed portion can be changed back to variable but it’s so hard not to. I just feel so dumb about all of this. To be back at the start again. I’m trying to just concentrate on the fact that it’s just a giant lesson in patience and sticking to your dreams and not compromising on what you want.
Check check it ouuuut! Fiddy cent in da house!
Huh?? Well… More like on the house – my door and window to be specific ;). This lil guy comes every night to feast on the moth and bug buffet that I so generously provide by keeping my curtains open at night when the lights are on. I call him Fiddy because he’s only about the size of a 50 cent coin so he’s only little (about 3cm or 1.18 inches for those non 50cent havin folks). And that’s me assuming it’s a he… um… no idea how to detect the difference if you get me. All pics can be clicked upon to make them bigger if you want to see him in his full glory.
(flippin a peace sign, so gangsta)
So last night he decided to drop by with his girl du jour (some hussy from the pond no doubt).
(Do you feel like you’re being watched??)
(tappin on the window – check out my biatch yo)
I had to close the curtains because it was freezing last night but next to the window is my front back door which has glass inserts and they adjourned there for some alfresco fine dining. You can kinda get a bit more of a better feel for how big they are in the pic below too.
I got up the nerve to slowly and carefully open the door to see if I could get a pic of their backs (I was having visions of them jumping off into the house or in my face! Thankfully they restrained themselves from doing that to me) and eh voila below is what they look like:
No idea what kind of frog they are apart from cute. And I had no idea that frog’s eyes glowed in a flash until now. I can add him to the Spot the Wildlife list. I’m trying to get some pics of the Black Cockatoos (aka Pterodactyls) that have taken up residence in the pine trees nearby. They have the strangest bird call I’ve ever heard (hence the Pterodactyl) and a really beautiful shape when they’re flying as they have really long tail feathers. I think they’re yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos based on the sounds I’ve googled https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_Cr8uzwMPI as the red-tailed sounds a bit more shrieky than dinosaury hehe.
Weirdly enough I’ve had ‘Scribe – Not Many’ going round in my head writing this… wrong rapper (and probably better *gasp*, Youtube it 🙂 )
There they are, all in a row. Tick! Off the list 🙂 hehehe
Eeep! Just realised the babies are a month old… which means I haven’t spoken to you for a month already! I really need more hours in the day so if someone could organise that, that would be great. Or maybe an automatic blogging feature to plug in to my brain because I often thing of posts and then just don’t have time to type them out!
Anyway just wanted to update you on the babies. Luckily the weather has been turning so it looks like Mr Goanna has gone into hibernation somewhere. I did lose 1 duckling to a predator unknown when they were 2 weeks old and sadly one drowned which is my own fault. I felt so bad about it seeing what had happened but lesson learned. The remaining six are doing SO well! They’re getting so big and just devour any food that comes their way. This week they’ve gotten too big to slip under the coop door so they don’t sneak out to greet me every morning for breakfast (which used to give Mummy a cardiac and she’d be so anxious to get out by the time I walked down to the coop). They all look mostly identical except one guy who is almost all black and the blonde/white one. If I were to judge by size I think I have 2 boys and 4 girls as there are definitely two who are bigger and have chunkier legs than the others.
(the almost all black one and the blondie)
It’s really interesting to see how similar this batch are in behaviour as the last lot. The way that they run to greet me every time I step outside and how they follow me around. This lot follow me more than the last and I don’t think Mummy likes that very much as she has to race to keep up with them. They also make their distress call when they can’t see me which is interesting so I hope they’re not imprinting on me too much. They’re just starting to get the first dots of their feathers coming in and subtle colour changes. I’m SO curious to see how the ‘blonde’ one is going to turn out. I can see a darker undercoat coming out beneath the fuzz so may not be white after all. Ummm can you tell I’m thinking of keeping them? Haven’t decided yet and keep changing my mind!
Gotta love cute fuzzy duck butts 🙂
I’ve started taking more photos around the place and to keep a more regular blog schedule I’m going to start a Farm Photo Friday post with images from around the place. And I’m going to look into the WordPress app so that I can write mor posts! I really do have so much that I want to share with you so in those free moments I have and can’t get to a computer I think it would be a great idea to even just get a draft down.
Other than duckling news, things are starting to progress on the veggie patch. My idea was to make wicking beds because the “soil” is just hard shale and being on tank water I think it’s the best way to kill 2 birds with one stone as wicking beds are more waterwise. I’ve been trying to track down someone who has cheap IBC tanks for sale and might have 2 soon. I was also talking to the girl at the stockfeed store and she said that they might be getting in some moldy hay soon which I want heaps of to start making some actual soil on top of my shale.
I got fined by the council for not dealing with my noxious weeds 😦 Basically I’ve been too broke to do it but I’m going to have to bite the bullet and get it done before I get fined again. I’ve got to do the serrated tussock over the winter months and have the blackberry and st Johns Wort done by 1 Dec so I have a little time to take care of the others. It’ll help to split up the payments but I’m worried about the chemicals and the ducklings as they forage around the place. I think I’m going to have to get the guy to do everything except the house yard and just try and take care of the house yard by hand. I really HATE the idea of all the chemicals but I don’t have another option. I even looked at goats and whether they could take care of it naturally but they don’t make a big enough impact on the tussock to prevent future growth. I wish there was a better way to take care of it but my hands are tied apparently. just gotta get it over and done with!
I’ve also had some ideas on how to make a bit of extra cash while letting my creative side roam. But more on that another time 😉 See you Friday!
A duck mandala!
So it looks like the bushy thing that I thought was an agapanthus turns out to be nothing like an agapanthus. It suddenly started blossoming with these white lily looking flowers. I asked around work to see if anyone knew what it was as the foliage is all wrong for most lilies and it looks to be a Hippeastrum. So the hippy (me) is growing hippies hahahahaha!
I’ll have to take some better pics tonight as it really is quite lovely.
How did I not know about this before???? I stumbled upon Duckoponics this afternoon while watching some permaculture videos and it’s basically using ducks in the nutrient water system instead of fish (or as well as fish depending on your set up). This would actually solve my clean swimming water problem that I have with the ducks because I’m having a lot of trouble keeping it relatively clean for them. I was going to get a little blue clam shell kiddy pond which would be easier to clean but this would be stacks better as they can keep using the bathtub that they currently use, I just need to sort out a solar pump for it.
Found this video on YouTube by Charlie Mgee that would be a perfect setup for me. Love the idea of using the blue clamshell pools as the grow beds:
I’m really looking forward to the Christmas holidays because things are going to start cracking around the farm. I’m getting 2 IBC tanks which I’m going to cut in half and make my 4 wicking beds to start the veg going. I’ll be taking pics of the whole process so I’ll keep you posted on that. I’m all inspired by the Quackuaponics so I’m going to see what I can do with the existing setup. I might have to move their bathing bathtub from it’s current location though so I’ll have to put on my thinking cap to work out the layout for everything. Just a little bit excited now hehe. My brain has started firing with ideas again after my little lull. And by not doing anything for the last couple of months I’ve saved up a bit of cash so I can set it all up properly from the start.
I’ve also been thinking about getting some miniature goats for goats milk (and just general entertainment and garden helpers). I’ve got the perfect area for them but I need to reinforce the fencing and modify an existing structure to make them a stable. Do goats live in stables? I have no idea what a goat house is called! Goat barn maybe? I dunno. Anyway that’s on the cards too…. maybe some mini pigs as well. Brain firing I tells ya!!
Yes yes you heard that right, despite not having any human offspring of my own yet it looks like I’m going to be a grandma to my featherbabies whether I like it or not. And not to the usual broody biatch who has now gone broody 4 times and I’ve managed to break it every time thank Darth Vader. No, no it’s the white duck this time and as she’s the smartest one of the bunch she’s nesting under the house in a part that is too small to crawl under and is juuuuuust out of reach of my rake. She is coming out for food occasionally but is mainly hanging out under there on the eggs so looks like in a month or so I might have some ducklings.
Completely NOT what I wanted thankyouverymuch young lady. Sure they’ll be cute and all that but I’m not going to be able to care for them properly as I’m not at home all day and the ducks roam wherever they want on my property. Their coop is too small to keep them locked up in all day and even if I tried they’d just fly out (which is usually what the white duck does anyway). So I’m sure some will get picked off by the resident kookaburras, snakes and hawks. Bit sad but I’m not sure what else I could do for them because I don’t want to take them away from their momma as she can probably do the daily care better than me. Will just have to see how it all turns out.
And for some good news! My Dad is going to build (and pay for!) a screened verandah enclosure for me! I have verandahs running full length on both sides of the house and one end is going to boxed in with flyscreen and a door so I can sit out there on nice summer nights and not be dessicated by mozzies. He’s coming over this weekend (with a trailer of mulch yay!) to measure it all up and will come and stay with me in Jan to build it. Can’t wait!! Guess birthdays are good for something after all hahah.
I got flooded in again this week as it was just bucketing down all weekend. Apparently Cooma got a record 66mm of rain so I’m not surprised there’s so much water coming down. I’m building up a nice collection of flooded river crossing photos haha. The good thing is that I got to meet one of my closest neighbour who seems really nice. He even offered to help me chop down the big tree that is dying and in the way of my proposed orchard area so that was really great. I was working from home… and by working I mean pulling up weeds and trying to stop the bloody rabbits from digging up my flower beds. I’m going to have to look into some sort of control mechanism for them as they’re starting to be a nuisance….
(click to enlarge)
Hope your week isn’t as soggy as mine! Happy 70th post 🙂