Our forest area has really come to life with the many Bromeliads we’ve planted and the Glass House (our tiny house) is perfectly placed to enjoy the gardens.
What garden would be complete without a garden troll -er gnome… -er scare crow? This rather scary ceramic statue watched over the forest and in fact seems to keep bush turkey and came toads at alert!
We’re always pleased to have friends, family, and guests stay with us… my mate Lasso came up from Byron Bay and enjoyed several hikes, much conversation, and wonderful meals together. From Frank’s Lookout, you can see we’ve enjoyed regular rain and overcast conditions which has allowed things to green and thrive.
One of my most enjoyable outings is Mount Tinbeerwah Lookout — every visit it’s different and each time it captivating. What a magical place to share with friends!
Jeff came out with Catarina Friday arvo and wanted to come back and help — help he did… we got the barn insulation, roof tin, and ridge cap on (all secure). Within 30-minutes of him leaving, we had the BIGGEST storm we’ve experienced here to date — near 100 mills / 4 inches in 20 minutes and thunder to rattle the bowels of hell! NO leaks — yet the walls are a tad airy and need work.
The goats continue to enjoy the luxurious goatel. Jam wanted to sleep in yet there was grazing to be done and she does not like to miss a bite! Clearly, she was tentative — yet ate ALL day long (as always!)
A day of rest after Arnaud’s departure was in order (only planting a few trees and hanging out with Jaffa). I started back at the barn early and between bouts of rain, managed to get half of the roof fir strips (for the tin to re-attach to) by mid afternoon. I had to get to Frank’s and pick-up the side wall tin and a few pieces of steel fence for the compost pens before 16:00. I managed, with Frank’s helper, Hamish’s help, to get everything loaded and back before dark.
Here I am with the barn fir strips half done (and looking serious! ;<)
And speaking of progress… the planters, especially the tomatoes, are doing well and enjoying the heat and rain.
After the last few weeks of work – Arnaud and I have accomplished quite a lot. Yesterday getting the barn framing sorted, prepped and some raised… Yet today, we pushed hard and finished.
It has been a joy to find, that even after a massive tree (over 60cm / 2 feet across) landed on the corner of the barn and it spent near 10-years in waiting… We have restored the barn as it was built — just replacing a single stud, two header plates, and a few repairs. Otherwise, it remained intact. While we saved the original tin framing brackets — we upgraded to the latest in large screws (known as bugle bolts here in Oz) so the barn is stronger and more rigid than ever.
So, after a week of active work — we (of course) went to the beach for some much needed relaxation and fun. Could not have done it without your help Aranud — thank you sincerely.
After preparing the old timber. removing nails, and replacing weak pieces — we laid them out on the floor to start solving a jigsaw puzzle. The original builders used hand tools to create mortise and tenon joints and we stayed true to their style in recreating a number of the pieces broken or missing. It came together pretty well — yet at 2.9m high on top of a 3.3m foundation — it was pretty squirrel’y getting it all together.
The floor was a GREAT deal of work — yet came together nicely. I’m told it is Brush Box timber cut from Fraser Island in 1941 and shipped across to build barracks for the US military for WWII.
Each afternoon, our building inspectors come around to check progress…
We’ve worked on and off clearing the barn to re-build it since we’ve been on the land yet with Arnaud’s help — it is now done. We disassembled the roof structure, removed all nails and fixtures and stacked it ready for re-assembly.
Of course, Jam and Joe were close by so they came over to inspect the progress!
Simple hoop greenhouse being built from irrigation pipe, stakes, and fence rope – filled with IBC wicking raised planter beds.
Our garden is progressing nicely. We’ve built a greenhouse to keep pests away and are in the process of planting now. So far, have red and bell peppers, celery, broccoli, tomatoes, several types of beans, peas, beet root and okra started… SO looking forward to them yielding bounty!
Occasionally arranging helpers yet, after a poor experience with the Dutch couple as they were separating while here (come to find out) and the girl was a militant vegan who ate us out of house and home. Not a good experience — but they’re gone. A Parisian engineer guy is due this Friday (wish us luck!)
The garden cover is constructed of 1 1/2 inch irrigation pipe cut, arched, then stuck on the end of galvanised 1.5 meter steel pipe which are driven half way into the ground. The baling twine helps hold it all in place and makes it quite rigid then the electric fence wire rope keeps it strong and durable.
The planters are made from 1000 litre fluid totes (or IBCs) which have been washed. The black ones are near new and carried saline water for water purification (so no worries with nasties!) I measure and marke them before using my angle grinder to cut them in half. Seems they go a treat on hot days but are harder to cut when its cool. In the bottom of each (after all opening have been siliconed shut and water tight) I lay 7.5 meters of socked slotted agie pipe (use typically for wastewater drains). These are spun in circles, a filler neck fitted, and zip tied in place. Then the all important drainage holes are drilled about 150mm (or leaving about 150 litres of water in the tank AND overflow holes near the filler (in case it floods, the planters need to shed the excess water). Then, about two wheel barrows full of sand, then a layer of sugar cane mulch (to keep the nutrients from the soil and plants for making the water cavity down below to acidic from fermentation), and finally the top layer of two or so wheel barrows full of topsoil. They are quite a lot of work — yet conserve 80% of the water of usual in ground gardening, they make tending to them easier as they are raised, reduce the amount of weeds, and keep plants in their designated spots with out effort. Each should last for many years and only occasionally need to be refreshed soil wise and weekly water top-ups with a hose.
Settlement day and first day as property owners… scary, exhausting, yet exhilarating!
After many months looking and several false starts — we finally got everything arranged, in place and approved for closing on 179 Andersons Road, Federal Queensland (a.k.a. 2RP179979 )
Lot area: 195665.97 hectares (48 acres)
LAT / LON -26 degrees 25’ 15.4” S 152 degrees 48’ 38.0” E -26.420954, 152.810561
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/qbxTbkNTVD62
There are a few neighbours, most with smaller properties across Andersons Road though none are readily visible once you are past the gate area. The forested area is breezy and shaded so I see why the former owner chose it for his shelters. It has a smaller fenced section separating it from the remainder of the property.
We spent the day cleaning up the debris in the forest around the caravan, carport, barn and getting to know the place better. As the former owner had passed away 10-years ago and absolutely nothing had been done since… it was in a state of decay.
We stayed from 25 November until early December at Cat and Jeff’s holiday home in Tewantin. It is a 25 minute drive each way so many trips and much time on the road the first few weeks.