Journal

Nick the goat herder

Nick herding Jamilah and Tikkus the goats with a lead.

Nick has finally taken to the goats… they were a LOT of work getting started. Each day they’d eat a new plant or tree that we’d wanted to keep. Now, after building some leads and weights, Nick has them under control (most of the time).

Joy was quite keen on naming the pests -er, adorable creatures as pets.

Jamila (a.k.a. Jam) is Joy in Jordanian
Tikkus (a.k.a. Tik “the possessed!”)
JoeIan (a.k.a. Little Joe)

Garden Enclosure “Greenhouse” Construction

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.

Hoop greenhouse half done

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.

hoop greenhouse raised IBC container wicking beds

Settlement and first day as owners…

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 )

More specifics:

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

aerial plot

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.

remnants left behind

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.