Archive for May, 2012

75% done

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Things are slowing dramatically at the moment.

Just about every day has some sort of rainfall event, ranging from the annoying to the work stopping. The temperatures are already approaching zero overnight and we are back to allowing 2 days between pour and strip down of the moulds to allow the earth to harden enough to avoid damage. The cold is also bringing large amounts of heavy fog and dew which coats everything and having to “dry” everything again slows the processes from cleaning to oiling and resetting.

It’s all rather frustrating, but that is the joy of building with mud.

Current farming activities

Friday, May 11th, 2012

As you may have guessed, with 140+ acres at our fingertips we also are partaking in some farming activities.

You may have also guessed when the weather for building is not suitable we’re busy working on other projects for the farming side of our enterprise.

These projects are conventional at the moment but we soon plan to introduce some of the unconventional.

We have several woodlots planted across the block with hundreds more trees scheduled to be planted late in August this year. The trees will be part of a managed forest so we are able to reap benefit from the trees through selective harvesting for firewood and lumber. There will also be many stands of high quality fodder trees planted allowing us to continue feeding fresh material to our animals long after the feed in the paddocks has died off into summer. With the tree lots will come bee hives and honey will soon be available.

At the moment we are free ranging quality beef and sheep in conjunction with one of our neighbours. We would soon like to add pork, ducks and chickens (meat and egg) to that list of free ranged livestock. We also have plans for rabbit and quail although these will be intensively farmed to protect them from predation and the rabbits confined to mosquito proof housing to protect them from the calici and myxoma viruses.

Part of the unconventional will soon include an aquaponics setup. Aquaponics is the combination of hydroponics and aquaculture that delivers a symbiotic benefit to both systems. With fish present this also means chemicals such as synthetic fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides CANNOT be used, making the end produce as good as organic – without the certification of course. In this system we will be able to grow a variety of delicious heirloom veggies, bringing back true flavour to the dinner plate.

On the fish side we hope to soon be able to bring native perches and freshwater shellfish to the market.

Once this is all in place farmgate sales will be ready for retailing produce direct to the consumer.