Chicken Tractoring

We started with 6 Isa Brown chickens to test our our newly built chicken tractor.

We added another 20 and moved them from the yard out into the paddock using 50m electric feathernetting.

The tractor has roosting in it, plus laying boxes, and the hens return there each night, as well as laying their eggs inside the tractor. They are moved onto fresh pasture every 3 or 4 days so that they can scratch for bugs in fresh grass and fertilise the soil as they go. They are given supplementary feed for their health as well as shell grit to … CONTINUE READING

Summer 2013 – water, bushfires, regeneration and lots of learning

Summer 2013 at ‘Caroola’

Summer 2013, what can I say, huge exposure to external influences, including bushfire and lots of rain, but continued planning and a solid and exciting way forward!

Water…

Water, as any permaculture designer will attest, is one of the most important issues for designing a productive system. Suffice to say the water situation at Caroola needed improving. Whist rainwater runs freely into tanks, the capacity and pressure is not enough to service future stock, tree and garden needs. There is a water easement to the nearby Mulloon Creek and an unequipped bore as well, but working … CONTINUE READING

Wrapping up 2012 at ‘Caroola’

The last few months of 2012 at ‘Caroola’ were a hive of activity, with many visitors taking the opportunity to help out along the way…

Planning

After deciding I needed to take the ‘planning’ approach, rather than just diving head on in to activities around the house and on the farm, I engaged Cam Wilson to look at overall farm design for me. So a fair bit of time was spent collating information, thinking about my objectives and measuring areas.

Zone 0

In between times, the focus was on sorting out inside the house in order to accommodate the family. … CONTINUE READING

A tour of the dams

Finally, a free, relatively cool, afternoon to go for a paddock walk… forget the shovel (although I probably should have taken it), we were looking at dams!!!

image

Now, I have to say I don’t know a lot about dams other than I can see when they are muddy, eroded, empty, full and so forth… So, it was great to have someone who knew a little more about it to tag along.

We started by just looking at one dam, with the dog in tow (although he was supposed to be ahead warning us of snakes), and … CONTINUE READING

The first few weeks at Caroola

After moving in and unpacking… I walked the front paddock (one of ten), digging and looking at the soil, taking photographs, looking at the trees and the pasture, the slope, where was wet and not wet, erosion, fences and so forth… A lovely afternoon in the outdoors!

What I found was quite sandy soil with some clay and lots of erosion around the fences and gate area where the horses had congregated… also some good piles of pony poo.

image

I was planning to do a paddock a day and really get to know each paddock and … CONTINUE READING

Starting our permaculture journey

The start of my permaculture learning…

Off I headed to Melbourne, ready to ‘learn’ permaculture in 2 weeks from the famous co-founder of permaculture Bill Mollison and the equally enigmatic Geoff Lawton.

Bill Mollison

I was a bit dubious that the course was at Melbourne University, but none-the-less it is a lovely walk each morning from the place I am staying, just enough to stretch the legs.

Why am I here?

I came across permaculture by accident when looking for sustainable farming techniques and ordered the permaculture ‘bible’ – Permaculture, a designer’s manual. … CONTINUE READING