Wednesday, May 23, 2012

small steps towards ....

it can all be very overwhelming you know ... buying a piece of land in order to create a sustainable life .... not just for you but your children as well ... it is a huge responsibility.

and you have to take the time to slow down and do it right .... getting it right is important at this stage.  there will be lots of experimenting down the track .... but we need to get some basics down first up.

we need trees
lots of trees
to create a food forest
to give us shelter
to feed us and give us fuel

so we are startin' small .... by getting a few pioneer plants on the property.  some to improve the soil, some to become nice big canopies for us.  just a few for the moment .... to get things going.  we have put in an avocado (great canopy trees!), an acacia, casurina and a silky oak .... all these will be great for the landscape.

but wait.  oh geez .... how do we water them???? tend them while we are waiting for them to take?  and at this time of year when we don't get much rain?

enter one very creative husband and an old garbage bin. this particular line of trees is planted on a slope on the fence line .... so we have placed the garbage bin just above them ... lid, which happens to have a small hole in it, turned up to catch any rain (wishful. thinking!) .... and the obligatory brick to weigh it down.

brilliant!  thank you sweetie!

this will allow us to continue to plant up and down that line of trees for a few months yet, and ensure that we have a source of water that we can go out to as we build up our forest.  eventually we will have a rain water tank in with a gravity fed ag line i'm fairly sure .... but in the meantime, every other day i am bringing out 5 x 3 ltr containers of water and a 10 ltr container.  watering the trees and putting the extra in the garbage bin to keep the storage growing.  it seems to be working!

the other thing we need to do is create soil.

it is at the heart of what JustEarth is all about .... acknowledging that soil .... this good earth is what will enable us to create a sustainable way of life that will go on into the future.

so we need to make compost.  it's really a family affair at this point .... and i think the kids enjoyed themselves!

we've placed a thick layer of cardboard down with a trailer load of wood chip and mulch clippings on top.  this has been watered in a bit and the next layer will be some green kitchen scraps and more grass clippings. that should do well.  i expect there will be a number of these piles appearing all over our land.

and on one final note.  we don't have a lot of money and we need to get this property under control with all the tall grass.  can't afford a machine to slash (a waste of money) .... and would hire someone to slash, but even that is a lot.  if we can get this slashed we can start creating straw .... which will create our beds later .... quick answer?  a scythe!

i reckon this is pretty ambitious.  but it also means we can do a section at a time get it under control and then move on from there.  on face value a good plan .... and good for the health too!  we will certainly keep you informed of how this one comes together!


  1. Oh maggie,
    so enjoying watching you all achieve 'the dream'.I think one day I am going to be very envious of your garden in paradise!

  2. oh kim! it's so exciting for us! i can't wait until the designs are done for the property! should be in the next few weeks. our permie designer has done a great job and he's worth every penny. i can't imagine you being jealous! i envy your life .... loved your most recent post and it just reiterated for me that we have to find an excuse to head back to sydney for a holiday and stay at your place for a few days! it would be wonderful! thanks for your kind comments .... next steps are caravans and animals i think .... still scared of the four footed kind though!