Hugelkultur

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 2.14.13 pmScreen Shot 2018-07-15 at 2.14.04 pmScreen Shot 2018-07-15 at 2.13.46 pmScreen Shot 2018-07-15 at 2.14.19 pmScreen Shot 2018-07-15 at 2.12.48 pmScreen Shot 2018-07-15 at 2.11.44 pmThis past week I’ve been working on an epically large project.  The ground has been dug up to about two feet to be lined with logs and fallen timber in a process of soil regeneration called hugelkultur.

It’s a simple concept.  You’re taking carbon life forms and placing them into the soil to slowly decompose beneath your garden bed.  The results can have a lasting effect for up to 20 years!

The bed I’ve created was lined with logs then filled with jade cuttings and branches from around the house yard.  The next layer was compost.  Topping that was a huge layer of seaweed which we collected from Greenhead.  The seaweed took three trips to cover the entire bed.  The last few steps involve topping the green matter with the soil that was dug out, then adding a final layer of compost and hay or mulch.

My body has pulled me through this process – surprisingly with little soreness.  Overall exhaustion though was at an all-time high after I singlehandedly dug out the pit!  This is definitely a job for multiple people.

Wesley has particularly taken to the pit.  He’s also found great joy in all the mounds he can push his little dump truck over.

Only time will tell if the soil retains moisture – we’re going to let it settle and get some more decent rains on it before moving to the stage of planting.

All in all – this has been a thrilling project.  I really can’t wait to see how the veggies grow!

Bull ants and the rain.

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.25.43 pmIt was looking pretty dire here until last weeks massive rain storm rolled through.  A week on and the ground is starting to look almost 50% green.  It’s incredible how quickly the germination has rooted and begun to bring more sustenance to these hard working mums!Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.25.29 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.25.19 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.25.09 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.27.12 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.27.36 pm

This is the shell of a woman who’s not slept deeply in two years… worth it though! Wesley is the happiest little person I’ve ever known and I’m feeling so grateful to be his mum.Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.27.51 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.28.03 pmThese are some pea flowers that were open a couple of weeks ago.  The road is starting to awaken and it’s looking like the rains are going to keep coming… hurray!!Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 6.20.53 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.24.50 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 6.18.12 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 6.18.24 pmFound these two lovers this afternoon – they are bull ants and god I’m horrified by the fact that they can also fly.  The male is clinging to the females back here.Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.26.12 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.26.22 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.26.31 pmHere is evidence of some of the rain we’ve had recently.Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.26.37 pmThis is on the road just south of Amboseli.  It was here that frogs could be heard calling to one another – a sign that winter has finally arrived!

Silly memories.

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.20.57 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.21.09 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.21.23 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.21.40 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.22.00 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.22.40 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.23.00 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.23.08 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.23.28 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.23.36 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.24.02 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.24.15 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.24.37 amThe past few weeks there have been a number of special little moments that have made me smile and laugh with Wesley around the home and beyond.  Here are a few of them:

  1. He loves crabs and sharks and well basically all sea creatures.  I was cooking dinner when I felt a little hand sort of pluck the material on my pants.  I looked down to see Wesley wearing the red oven mitt.  He looked up at me and said “craaaaab” which was adorable and so funny.  He loves the mean crab from moana and sort of sings along with the song whenever it gets the part where he says “shineeeey”.
  2. I saw he was about to play with our heater, when I called for him to stop he held a rag at the wall and pretended he was washing the wall instead.
  3. We’ve discovered an area in the woods that has a really cool dirt hill (almost like a bmx set up) and so were scrambling around on it yesterday.  When we were just about to walk back to the car I nearly stepped on this blue mouse spider (related to the dreaded Sydney funnel web!).  Gingerly I tucked it into an envelope and brought it home for identification and photographs.  The experts are looking at it right now and will be back with more info soon!  The blue colouring is exquisite.
  4. We’ve joined a playgroup in Jurien bay which is about 45 minutes away – there are so many kids.  It’s been awesome meeting new people.
  5. Wesley is ever adventurous but there have been a few moments in the past week when he comes back and seeks cuddles.  He’s also given a few kisses (of free will) and that just melts my heart.
  6. We read an illustrated compendium of the sea and he’s nearly memorised the names of all the sea creatures.  He’s really that into the ocean!
  7. It was wee mans first ever time out in the rain to splash in puddles and he took to it so quickly!  We were both soaked by the end!  It was so much fun.
  8. The freaky looking (and ugly) mantis creature is actually not a mantis at all.  Crazy right?  After some investigating and eventually emailing a scientist friend – it was discovered that this thing is called a mantis fly.
  9. Wesley loved running naked in the garden beds after his bath a couple of weeks ago as the full moon was rising.  It was such a warm night so we all sat in the grass enjoying the view.  Tom was with us again for the night too!

Thorny Devil, Western Australia

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.14.14 pmScreen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.11.54 pmScreen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.11.27 pmScreen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.11.39 pmScreen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.12.09 pmScreen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.12.24 pmScreen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.12.46 pmScreen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.12.54 pmScreen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.13.18 pmScreen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.13.53 pmScreen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.14.25 pmScreen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.14.39 pm

Here is a thorny devil that was found about 15km away from the farm.

Not too sure what the issue is, but I’m having issues posting a 7 second short clip of the this thorny devil walking.  I’ll keep at it (few days now!) and hopefully will have a little video to share with you soon.

This post also features a Lesser Wanderer Butterfly, a jumping spider that mimic ants and some of the dry landscape.

At the moment we’re hosting Mike’s cousin Tom who’s going to be headed inland shortly to work for our old boss seeding in Coorow.  And while we have had him here we took him to the few coastal communities here and found a sea lion looking rather tuckered out.  The local fisheries and ocean officer told us she’d come out and make sure it was ok.

The sea lions generally aren’t found on mainland unless they are tired or injured.  It’s the first time we have seen one here.

Around the yard.

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.23.08 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.22.52 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.23.01 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.23.19 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.21.46 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.21.35 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.21.25 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.21.59 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.22.12 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.22.30 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.22.42 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.23.54 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.23.42 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 1.21.16 pm

It has been a week of nature discovery here around the farm house.  Wesley and I found a baby snake at the back step of the house, which is currently unidentified.  If you know anything about Australian snakes please feel free to leave a comment with your guess/species name.

The little jumping spider was also found at the back step this morning.  I was walking outside to hang up laundry when I spotted a little speck.  Moving slowly I peered closely and discovered it was a beautiful basking jumping spider.  Pretty cool colours on it!

The lizard is actually a very small baby dragon lizard.  It was in the grass at the back of the lawn that is growing up the fence.  Thankfully I saw it or I might have accidentally killed it with the scissors I was using to trim the grass by hand.

Butterflies have been flitting around the yard drinking the water that remains on the grass from it’s sprinkler system.

Wesley and I were also exploring the yard and Japanese pepper trees today as they were just alive with the sound of bees darting too and from.

I feel really bad about this hair cut and I’m hoping it grows quick.  Sorry my sweet little boy – if you see this image one day I never intended for it to be this shoddy!

You never know what’s going to pop up around the house – a lot of these things are a first for me.  Wesley is so lucky to get to see all of this right here!