Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Talk about busy....!!

Time is just zooiming by at the moment. We went up to Gin Gin on the weekend to drop the quad bikes off for Easter. We enjoyed a lovely weekend catch up with Rick and Marina and the boys, and then headed back home on Sunday. Went out for dinner with friends on Sunday night when we got back, so that was a long day! I am busy today finishing off packing up the caravan for our Easter trip away, we are planning on leaving early tomorrow morning, as it's about a 5 hour drive with the caravan on. Just finishing off some washing now, and then will start packing clothes and finishing off the last few bits and pieces that need doing before we go, have to give the chooks lots of food and water and re-do the straw in their pen as it's been quite wet here again and they have squashed what was there in to the ground. Also need to feed the worms! There's been lots of other things happening, I just haven't had the time to post them on here...I have saved them in to my drafts though, so I will eventually catch up on them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The wheels on the bus....

On a bus trip today with the girls from the sewing far we have been to Alderley and Indooroopilly patchwork shops, and now heading to Gatton and Esk. A nice relaxing day being a passenger looking at lots of shops and patterns and fabrics....oh, the hardship!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

New toys for the big and little kids

We drove up to Bundaberg last Monday to pick up some quad bikes. We have been wanting to buy some for the past 12 months or so, as every Easter we use our firends when we stay at their property, and we all have a ball riding them around. We came across a set of 3 on a trailer, which was perfect for us, and are in good condition, and being 2nd hand were not too expensive (well, nowhere near new cost anyway). So we've been riding them around the front paddock making sure everything is right with them before we take them away for Easter.  There is a couple of things we want to get 100% before the holidays, the medium one needs a new battery, and the big one needs a new reverse cable, but otherwise everything seems pretty good on them.  Michael also picked up his new bike a couple of weeks ago, now that he has finished his apprenticeship, he is earning more money, so this has been his big indulgence to make the last 4 years of working hard for not much money worthwhile.  This is probably the biggest "family fun" purchase we have made ever, we have always planned on buying something like this, or a jetski, but we have never made the commitment to spend this much money, but is already meaning more time spent outside together having a good time, so it's a worthwhile investment. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vermin proof chicken feeder

Damian made a chicken feeder over the weekend. We wanted something that would hold a large amount of feed so that we can head away for a week or so, and not have to worry. We also wanted something that would keep the rats and birds out of their food, as I think we are losing quite a bit of food to rats. We looked at purchasing a pre-made feeder, but at over $300 we thought we would try making one first. This is stage one, where we are training the chickens to use the feeder. It stays in this upright position for a few days. We will then lower it down a little, so that when they step on the tread at the front it will lift the lid the rest of the way, and they will get used to the concept and used to the lid moving etc. After another few days, the lid is lowered completely, and when they step on the tread, the lid will lift and they will be able to eat the seed. That's the plan anyway, there may be some little tweaks that need to be made to the system, it took a bit of jiggling and adjusting to get the pivot points right, so that it would open up under the weight of a chicken, but not under the weight of a rat. Damian is planning on moving it backwards and inserting it in to the mesh of the chook pen so that it can be filled easily from the outside. The next thing we are going to install will be an automatic watering system, so that they have fresh water all of the time, as the waterer that we have now is ok, but they still manage to get the water quite dirty even though we have hung it up off the ground. We have seen a few options, but just need to decide which will be the best way to go. So, we will see how this new feeder goes over the next few days. We may have to tweak the shute a little, as the feed didn't come straight down in to the bottom part initially very easily, but that may be better once small amounts are coming down as they eat.
Damian spent such a long time getting this all built for me. I think he enjoyed making it though. :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weekend happenings

It's been a busy weekend.....Mum was down for the weekend to get some fabric and do some sewing, we also had the bricklayer here bricking our pool house up, and Damian was busy building a new chicken feeder, so lots going on. We are doing a quick trip up to Bundaberg tomorrow to pick up a couple of things, so that will be a long, busy day.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Permaculture course day 6 and 7

Day 6 was more about water and trees.  In the morning, we discussed grey water use, including safety, diverting etc. The afternoon was more on trees, and using them as wind and fire breaks etc. We also broke up in to groups, and did a quick design layout based on clientele needs for various properties, to get us in the right mindset for doing our own property designs that we are all required to do as part of this course. Day 7 was all about animals and chickens in permaculture. The whole morning was spent on chicken talk, including watching a short DVD at lunchtime. The afternoon was spent discussing other animals for a permaculture system, bees, cows, goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas etc. We then worked on another property design, incorporating animals into our design. This is helping us all to apply the principles learned so far in the course, so we can work on our own designs better. Next week we go on our bus tour to Crystal Waters to check out other properties already working on the permaculture systems, I am really looking forward to this, I think it will be really inspiring.