Happy 2017!

Post date: Jan 12, 2017

Well, another year has passed and another birthday yesterday. My 10th 29th birthday! - one of the best I think.. Made a fire in the pizza oven in the morning while reading some stuff, and then made pizza for the 3 helpers plus 2 friend couples. Another couple came later on.. and then we had lovely fruit cake they had made - yum! ah, and Evita's gift on awakening - her first poem beautifully written on a small blank canvas frame we bought from the dump shop ages ago. Full of thought and meaning. A special gift I treasure. Who needs to go to a shop?!

In early January we have had some helpers arrive. One from Sydney, and 2 from Brazil, each here for around 10 days. As usual we are getting lots of tasks done.

Evita and I did this before the end of the year - the last duck area:

another duck area

and with all the hot weather and sparse rainfall, decide we needed an alternative to buckets and watering cans... got a 12V water pump 2nd hand at Woolies market (sold because pressure switch not working - bypassed it), battery from dump, old lawnmower frame and wheels from dump shop, and misc old irrigation fittings. We charge battery with a standard battery charger when the sun is shining and then push it to where the water source is, connect to syphon pipe or into pond, prime if needed, and switch on. Not heaps of flow, but decent pressure. Run until voltmeter shows about 12V. Image below is Evita using water syphoning out of the duck pond (i.e. fertigation) and the corn and squash 'love it':

portable 12V water pump

Caroline helped me finish the first rice paddy trial on one of the terraces. Clay sides with bentonite stomped into the floor - it held water surprisingly well the first time we filled it. Now, let's see if the rice will germinate:

rice paddy trial

We all concreted the floor of the superadobe dome one morning:

superadobe dome floor

Adding sawdust to the paths in the old kitchen garden (in conversion to perennial atm) after weeding them:

adding sawdust to paths

then adding lime to help balance acidity of sawdust and wood chips to follow:

adding lime to paths

Wood chip mulch on top. Hopefully this will deter weeds for some time and eventually break down to form more topsoil:

wood chip mulch layer on top

Decided to finally have a go at sealing the 2nd pond with clay that was dumped in when we last did some earthworks and excavated the new pond. Lots of stomping followed by lifting it up the sides and smoothing it flat. Also used geotextile between layers of clay to hold it in place longer term:

lining pond with clay

Thanks for help! let's hope it holds water for longer now...

Otherwise, planting seedlings, trees, more mulching, watering, fencing improvements, and so on. Off to Girraween tomorrow for a day off :)