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!

Home sweet home.

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.55.38 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.56.15 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.56.50 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.57.03 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.57.24 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.57.36 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.57.45 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.58.21 amWe’ve been away from the farm for two weeks in New Zealand.  I’ll post more about that shortly, but for now I’d like to highlight some of the cool moments from the past few days back on the farm.

First Wesley has jumped into his groove and is a happy little chap running around playing with his bike, the chickens and swimming at the pool.

Last night we witnessed an incredibly beautiful lightning storm come through the region.  We woke this morning relieved to see that there were no lingering fires on the horizon.

I also managed to spot this rather impressive jumping spider, a female Sandalodes Superbus (Superb Jumping Spider) on the back gate of the house.

The chickens were very well taken care of during our trip, but sadly we’ve had to kill 5 roosters (saved the meat for the freezer) as they had completely destroyed several of the females.  We’ve got the numbers down so that the girls can recover and the balance of male to female will be appropriate.

We’re stoked to be home to enjoy the quiet space and the ease of life here in the country.  It’s clear to see that Wesley while he enjoyed New Zealand – loves his time here on the farm too.

On our second day home he pulled me close to him and said to me “I luh you” which oh my god I’ll never forget.  It was just so sweet and so beautiful.

The August Wrap Up.

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 7.13.43 pmScreen Shot 2017-08-28 at 7.00.32 pmScreen Shot 2017-08-28 at 6.58.11 pmScreen Shot 2017-08-28 at 7.00.39 pmScreen Shot 2017-08-28 at 7.13.02 pmScreen Shot 2017-08-28 at 6.58.20 pmScreen Shot 2017-08-28 at 7.12.44 pmScreen Shot 2017-08-28 at 6.59.27 pmScreen Shot 2017-08-28 at 6.58.47 pmScreen Shot 2017-08-28 at 6.59.36 pmScreen Shot 2017-08-28 at 6.59.52 pmScreen Shot 2017-08-28 at 7.00.12 pmScreen Shot 2017-08-28 at 7.12.15 pmSo, August isn’t quite finished however there have been some events of late which I have to jot down or they will go into the void of my brain, certain to never return.  We’ve been on the farm for nearly a month now and as each day passes we become more and more settled into this quiet, secluded and frankly peaceful life.

There has been plenty of elbow grease ignited scrubbing glass and cleaning the fly mesh on windows, floors, prepping walls for fresh coats of paint – all the while chasing, playing and splashing around with our darling little Wes.

Right, here is the list of memories before I forget!

  1. Wesley boldly running at the ocean, and I trying to keep one hand on him while he became soaks and covered in sand.  He was stripped to nothing and continued to enjoy the warm, salty, frothy water for another 10 mins before we called it day.  He was obsessed.  We’re investigating swimming lesson’s pronto.  There is a pool in town and as the weather continues to heat up over the next month – he will be definitely getting some practice.
  2. A massive wedge tailed eagle was about 3 feet from my head.  Funny enough, mere moments before it happened I said to myself – I would love to see one of these eagles much closer than I’ve ever been *usually it’s at a great distance and through the lens of my camera.  This bird was flying just above my right side view mirror and I actually was breath taken.  I could see under it’s breast and beak and in the split second that I actually was looking (my eyes had to go back to the road) I took in the under span of it’s wings.  It was truly incredible.
  3. Wesley grinning with flies stuck in his teeth on account of eating them like they are raisins.  I laugh and gag… He keeps finding them!  He also keeps sampling sheep poop as if it’s a treat.  *I shudder when he offers me them too.  Nah mate, I’m alright!
  4. The thousands upon thousands of blue/black wasps that were in the air yesterday afternoon.  I drove a short while up the road and they were popping off the front window glass.  So much that I pulled over to see what it was I was inadvertently killing.  About 10 minutes later they were completely gone.
  5. The soft call of an owl at three am this morning.  It roused me from a rather odd dream and at first I thought it was Wesley calling for me.  I soon realised it was an owl, and crept onto the porch.  From three am to five am it called out, a beautiful sound in the dark along with one frog and some crickets.  The sky too was glowing with the clarity of millions of stars.  Gosh I’ve got to set up my tripod when it arrives and show you what I mean.
  6. A procession of blue tongue lizards lining the roads as I drove to Perth two weeks ago.  It was almost as if they were out to say hello.  There have been a few teeny tiny ones as well which look like they might have only just been born.
  7. We’ve been out to this really beautiful spot called three little springs with a large portion of the community for a remote picnic.  There were fresh yabbies, pastries, salads and even coffee and tea was provided from a billy can cooking session.  There were plenty of kids, and Wesley powered through the entire day playing in the dirt.  At one point all the older kids crowded around him to play in the sand with them.  In return he stole one boys cookies and ignore their efforts to connect.  He was in the sand play zone!  It’s meant to be an event that reoccurs every 6 weeks and it’s honestly so good.  We saw some many old friends and were introduced to some new faces too, though technically we’re new…but old.
  8. Another Wesley moment – I wish I’d had a camera for it.  He was gently holding Tessa’s bear *she’s made a collection of impressive bears and keeps them in her living room – and as we were distracted talking, I caught him out of the corner of my eye illuminated by the golden afternoon sun.  He was backlit, and pulled the bear close to his chest and snuggled it.  Then he gave it the softest, sweetest little kiss.  He’s just beautifully kind hearted.
  9. Climbing into bed after the sheets have dried in the hot sun.  The smell is so relaxing and comforting – those simple pleasures…
  10. The wildflowers are late this season due to very late rains.  There have been a few orchids spotted and plenty of insects are buzzing about pollinating their little hearts out!
  11. The last and most important of all – Wesley has been sleeping through the night for 1.5 weeks.  We are both soaking up the joys of sleeping for long periods of time!  It has been literally life changing.

In about a month we’ll be hosting Mike’s brother Rayden and his sister Stacey for a week and hopefully we’ll have finished some of the major projects built or nearing completion before they arrive.

Rayden had been here a few years back and it’s Stacey’s first time in Western Australia from Melbourne.

We all can’t wait to see them and show them the area.  Wesley is keen to see his Aunt and Uncle – and decide which is ultimately his favourite, ever!  Haha the race will be on!