Homeland

  • Harvest reflections

    May 9, 2021

    Autumn is almost done.  It approached rather suddenly and with my brother and his wife departing at the start of it I did not feel prepared to do justice to the harvest [...]
  • March highlight reel

    March 31, 2021

    Someone wise said you shouldn’t compare yourself to others’ facebook highlight reel. However, I’m getting very little time to write long blog stories nowadays, so [...]
  • My wife has a deep-rooted aversion to cleaning the honey spinner; and she has an equally deep-rooted belief that I can’t do it thoroughly. I clean it, then it stands [...]
  • Rico and friends

    March 2, 2021

    No, this is not about a Latin jazz band or a little Salsa congunto, but it might have been… Why would I give an indigenous Australian grass parrot a Spanish name? Well, [...]
  • Whodunnit

    February 25, 2021

    My goodness, I wrote this in mid January… Anyway here it is. So the festive season and supposed summer holidays rushed by in a blur of cold and rainy weather, chores, [...]
  • So we made in time. On the first day of Christmas… oops I mean on the first day of the school holidays, I put a change request in to shift my mid morning meeting even [...]
  • It’s getting to the pointy end of the project. We really wanted to get this done so we can introduce the birds at the start of the school holidays. It’s slowly getting [...]
  • The weekend was dedicated to waterworks. We’re using copper pipe because we don’t want plastic pipe inside the aviary where the birds can gnaw at it. And there’s a [...]
  • The last n days (n a large integer number) seems to be blur of… mesh! Putting two layers of mesh on a 9m x 3m x 2.5m structure is no trivial task – especially around the [...]
  • P Project Part II

    December 1, 2020

    And so the saga continues. I don’t really know why I called it the P project. It’s actually the A project – a big spacious walk-in aviary for small parrot type birds. A [...]
  • The P project

    November 19, 2020

    Well this isn’t strictly permaculture. But then, everything doesn’t necessarily have to be. The P stands for something else. But I guess repurposing a climbing frame may [...]
  • It’s a jungle out there

    November 12, 2020

    IT IS A JUNGLE OUT THERE So with Martin taking a forced hiatus from garden work it falls to me to make sense of the overgrown jungle our vegetable garden has become.  [...]
  • Chick alert!

    November 4, 2020

    Stop the press! Hold back the Tagasaste and Vegetable posts (yes I have at least two more in store) – the chicks have hatched! They literally hatched the day after my [...]
  • Flapping and buzzing

    October 29, 2020

    So although I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from the “urban farming” activities , obviously the birds and the bees have not been impartial to the coming of spring – even [...]
  • First winter rain

    April 5, 2020

    As we are busy experiencing our first bout of winter rain, it seems a good time to reflect on the strangest summer we have had – with regards to rainfall, anyway, since we [...]
  • Tumbling down

    January 13, 2020

    Wednesday dawned a bit brighter and clearer than the previous smoke-hazed days. It was a bit more pleasant out while setting the irrigation and letting the ducks and chooks [...]
  • Dry vs Drive

    January 8, 2020

    After a hiatus of a couple of weeks, I’m battling to get back into the swing of things. It’s as if the dry heat and smoke haze have sapped up all the drive and energy. [...]
  • The day that was Thursday

    December 2, 2019

    I don’t typically write “a day in the life” type posts, but last Thursday may be worth highlighting in this manner. The day started off quite special with a quick surf [...]
  • Fighting in the trenches

    November 29, 2019

    As I’m embarking on phase 3 of the battle against the kikuyu in the driveway orchard, in addition to the complicated terrain, two additional complications also set in. But [...]
  • Vegetable garden activities

    November 25, 2019

    I guess it’s that time of the year when you just have to be really busy in the vegetable section of garden. Actually, I don’t mind working in the Homeland vegetable [...]
  • K is for kumquat

    November 22, 2019

    Well, there is one way to get another harvest entry under “k”, and that is to use the alternate spelling! We inherited two little kumquat trees at Dreamland and this year [...]
  • Biodynamics update

    November 11, 2019

    We don’t write about biodynamics much, because it is something we just do as part of our periodic activities, so it normally just gets done without any photos or stories. [...]
  • Unscrambling carpets

    November 4, 2019

    For those who have been concerned that I may have been slipping on the driveway de-kikuyuing project – phase II – the battle for the middle ground, don’t worry, I’ve [...]
  • G is for Grapefruit

    October 30, 2019

    We’re currently in that weird time of the spring season, where most of the winter veggies are basically done, except for two beds of broad beans and peas. None of the [...]
  • Doing the berry shuffle

    October 16, 2019

    It’s has always been our dream to grow our own blueberries. Besides being delicious, they pack a punch in nutrients. In fact, all berries are good for my condition, and the [...]
  • Busy bee weekend

    October 14, 2019

    Our bees seem to have a thing for weekends. About three weeks ago they swarmed on a Sunday and our mentor Sam had to make plans with his girls to rush out to us to save them. [...]
  • Way back when, when we investigated the options for getting chooks, we built the chook tractor, because we initially thought we would get a small number of adult hens, keep [...]
  • Don’t pull it out!

    September 30, 2019

    Following on from our previous post about our bees swarming, this post is primarily about bee food. But there’s another story woven through about “pretty” vs functional [...]
  • Bees swarming!

    September 25, 2019

    We live in interesting times indeed – I had three stories ready to go at the same time! The framed chook greens one was basically finished, so it went out, but this is [...]
  • We’ve got the Jack!

    September 17, 2019

    Friday the 6th of September was a very busy day indeed. I’m only catching up to all the stories one at a time… As I mentioned in a previous post, we had to rush the new [...]

Dreamland

  • Devastation at Dreamland

    December 3, 2020

    In the last post on the aviary construction, I mentioned that we have the occasional wild cat and fox coming through here… In fact, there is a resident wild black cat on [...]
  • Random Ramblings

    October 24, 2020

    Yeah, I know, I haven’t blogged for many months. We’ll explore that, as well as a few random observations in this [...]
  • At the start of the process, olives are like juicy gems – so beautiful and full of potential.  You savour the fresh air while you carefully pick the berries from the [...]
  • I know, I’ve been pretty quiet on the blogging front lately. I can only blame the day job partly, but it, together with some other interesting developments have kept me off [...]
  • Saturday Saturday Saturday

    January 20, 2020

    With compliments to sir Elton John… so, now you know what my kids get me into, or me them, I’m not too sure who can be held responsible. With the still relatively new [...]
  • Cluedo anyone?

    December 3, 2019

    We have grown used to the idea that when you keep chooks and ducks – especially together – weird things can happen. But this latest tragic event that happened at [...]
  • PDC Exchange

    November 13, 2019

    There’s a new form of Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course afoot! Launching on 20 November 2019, it’s called the “PDC Exchange”. It is a brand new concept [...]
  • Permie + Pizza = Progress

    October 28, 2019

    We’ve always had it in mind to use Dreamland as a permaculture demonstration and teaching site. The first step towards this was to host a Permie Get-Together – basically [...]
  • Gimme a sign

    October 23, 2019

    No this isn’t about a Ryan Adams song, nor about a Kevin Rudolf or Breaking Benjamin song either, not that I have ever heard of either of the latter two… thank you, [...]
  • We’ve been on quite a drive to provide a steady supply of greens for the chooks in a more sustainable way. We’re currently trailing these low triangular frames where the [...]
  • Places of contemplation

    October 7, 2019

    A while ago I wrote that we needed some places of contemplation, especially at Dreamland where we have designed little areas especially for this purpose. So we had the [...]
  • Framed chicken greens

    September 23, 2019

    One of our goals is to reduce the amount of chicken feed we buy, not only to save money, but also to give the chooks a healthier diet. Even an organic medication-free feed [...]
  • Compost Bins in Dreamland

    September 16, 2019

    No this isn’t some weird nightmare… it was a real project to build and start using compost bins over at Dreamland too. Up to now, we have been carting all the compost [...]
  • Tanking up

    September 9, 2019

    Last summer was a costly one for us, especially at Dreamland. We had a newly planted edible forest garden, with new grass and clover paths, and it was blazingly hot and dry. [...]
  • Living with Fowl – part II

    September 2, 2019

    As I’ve said in a previous post, living with widely free-ranging chooks and ducks is an interesting exercise, especially in a delicate urban forest garden. In part one we [...]
  • Living with Fowl – part I

    August 26, 2019

    Living with widely free-ranging chooks and ducks is an interesting exercise. It becomes especially challenging when you have a relatively large flock in a relatively young [...]
  • An important part of community are the people who live right next to you. Well, we have been blessed by landing “by accident” (or is it destiny?) next to some amazing [...]
  • Chicken Greens part 3

    July 29, 2019

    For some bizarre reason we’re in the third phase of a lot of things – no-dig beds, paths and now chicken greens too. These phases don’t have anything to do with each [...]
  • E if for more Eggs

    July 15, 2019

    Supposedly as winter settles in, we should be getting less and less eggs, especially from a very young laying flock. When I wrote this initially we were getting between 5 and [...]
  • A while ago I said “when the heat is over, I’m going to plant more clover”, primarily for the bees. We plant all the open areas and paths at Dreamland with a mixture of [...]
  • In both the savannah forest garden and the vegetable market garden at Dreamland, our approach is to build up no-dig beds from the ground up. So at Dreamland, we don’t have [...]
  • Shelter from the storms

    June 25, 2019

    We’ve had a lot of rain last week, in addition to the previous big rain. In fact, we’ve now had four sunny days and our driveway still has so many puddles of water that [...]
  • Rabbits – grrrrr

    June 20, 2019

    I guess every place has their “pet” pests that you just battle to live with. Through my permaculture studies I have learnt a lot about integrated pest management, and we [...]
  • Bye-Bye Barry

    June 11, 2019

    Since he started growing – and he got really big really fast – Barry has always been a conversation piece. He just has that stand-out type of character and physique that [...]
  • When it rains it pours

    June 4, 2019

    I can’t believe only a month ago we were highly concerned about how long the super-dry hottest summer on record was stretching out. The tanks were all dry – all 120 000 [...]
  • F is for Feijoa

    May 27, 2019

    We’ve planted quite a few Feijoa bushes at Homeland, although they seem very slow in growing big enough to start bearing. However, just over the fence at Dreamland, [...]
  • E is for Eggs

    May 20, 2019

    In our post about our first honey harvest I mentioned how great the first harvest of anything new is. But I think that is because most harvests come in some quantity. I mean [...]
  • In a previous post I mentioned I’m busy with an interesting resource cycling exercise. So this is it. With our setup where we have big fixed fox-proof chicken coops, it’s [...]
  • Q is for Quince

    April 29, 2019

    One of the mature trees we inherited at Dreamland is a beautiful bearing Quince tree. It doesn’t seem to have the bi-annual cycles that many of the other fruit trees have. [...]
  • T is for Tomatillo

    April 15, 2019

    Yes, tomatillo, pronounced “tomatiyo”. They are a bit novel and interesting. Fortunately our local hardware “green shed” occasionally stocks a small shelf of [...]

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