Featured Threads Archive
Yeah my raised veggie beds are finally made and I’m excited. So grab a and sit back and have a read, it’s long and has lots of pics. For those that don’t know, we live on ¾ acre in SEQ north of Brisbane.
Area the veggie bed is going.
We have been here for a little under 2 years, when we came here the place was in need of a great deal of work inside and out. Some of these jobs took higher priority over doing a veggie patch area, including getting some chickens and native bees. We have been very busy little bees, weekends are very busy around here, my hubby, Chris, reckons he goes to work for a rest.
He took several days off around the Ekka (Brisbane Show) public holiday to give us a good 5 days in a row to get the beds made. We had all the bits we needed ready to go.
We did use one of those days to go to our sons and take up the gravel/rock mulch he had in a back yard. They didn’t...
Just for a bit of fun I thought I'd post up my current project, getting ready for the xmas ski camp.
I think it's relevant to being self sufficient, with this same method you can build lots of things, like furniture for your house
A Wakeskate is similar to a Wakeboard but has no boots, you just stand on top like a skateboard. I made one last year and it worked well but was a bit big and heavy, I designed it like that as a beginner board, bigger boards are easier to ride etc.
pics of last years board.
and me riding it...
This year I'm making a new one, smaller and lighter. I'm not sure how this will go as there's a higher chance it could break as it will be thinner.
Step 1. Get some ply wood, 4mm thick, draw the basic shape so you know where you're going to end up. Cut two pieces just as rectangles with a bit of extra material around your drawn shape. Depending what you're making you may need to cut more...
Having already discribed how poor the soil is at my place, I thought I should elaborate on how I am trying to fix it up.
Along the way I'll write about the exciting successes & disheartening failures, all the tests, trials & comparisons. Like the one I'm currently doing using plain old super phosphate.
Firstly how I get a bed started. There were already 2 old vegie garden areas when I came here over 8yrs ago but the soil had me stumped so those areas became overgrown weed places that I let the horses onto now & then to mow it all down.
I use some things that are way out of the norm & the first might shock some people.
I call it humipee. We humans discard so much nitrogen, phosphate, etc that it is a crying shame.
Nitrogen capture is the easiest. The other nutrients are much harder to capture in a hygienic manner.
I use a camping bucket loo in the bathroom & empty it twice weekly into a 44gal drum with tight fitting full width lid.
I make a fertilizer for the paddocks out of it...
I have been pre-occupied these last few months with metal detectors. Despite owning 6, I was recently disappointed on a trip to the Golden Triangle, when the ironstone ground I had researched as a very likely gold area, was too hot for any production-line detector. I did however find small gold nearby with my Whites GMT. Since the introduction of vlf and Pulse Induction in the 80's, the older technologies of BFO (beat frequency oscillator) and IB (induction balance) have been ignored. So I have revisited these technologies with reasonable success. My intent is to scour all the ironstone gold areas where the Minelabs and others cannot even operate due to ground noise.
This was my first etch. It is a "Matchless"IB metal locator, freely available online.
On the right is my first detector. It will "see"a 5c piece at 15cm and 2.4g gold at 8cm, with a 15cm coil. Iron makes it go silent and non-ferrous materials have different tones.....
Well here she is people. The trike was $279+ freight. Motor 350w , MY1016Z, $169, controller $12, plus sundries(throttle, etc.) Free-wheeling crank $43. 12 tooth freewheel cog $7. I had a keyed and threaded bush made up for the frewheeling cog on the motor as well ($100!)The batteries are 4x 15ah 12v, 24 volt system, This battery box came out a 48v electric pedal scooter. The trailer is a Repco tag-a-long. The panel 80w, foldable, is wired in series to a 24 volt controller. 25 kph safe max. with pedalling, without trailer. Old Turbo-dog rides in the trailer.
Theoretically in full sun you could go 1/4 throttle all day without pedalling at all. With little effort you barely run the battery down at all.
Here's how I made my fire pit out of regular retaining wall blocks/bricks and a galvanised round garden bed for the central steel rim.
Overall the build took about 6 hours mostly due to digging and measuring/levelling out to make sure I got it right the first time. I have to say, I'm really happy with how it has turned out!
To be honest, building a fire pit was never in my mind - it was just something I hadn't thought of until my wife suggested it. We were talking about buying some kind of outdoor wood oven and I had been researching several of them including pizza ovens and various other cooking devices, which used wood as the fuel since we have so much free wood from all the fallen trees on our property lately.
My thought process was to find something I could use to cook with, in particular, to roast meat like our pekin ducks, which we grow to eat. I don't know why but an open fire pit didn't occur to me because...
I thought I'd make a thread, where I can keep tabs on what's going well and what's not.
And of course, welcome advice if anyone notices any disasters waiting to happen!
I have a lovely sprout from my attempt at trying winter cukes. It looks healthy and strong! So I will watch it with baited breath!
My broccoli produced some beautiful leaves for the chooks and guinea pigs... But no head for me is it too late to try again?
My sugar snaps are soooooooo sweet and delicious! I am training them over my archway at the front door!
My dwarf mulberry has baby leaves all over it! Can't wait to get some fruits off it!!!!!!! Childhood memories of purple stained hands and faces!
My capsicum is freeloading! I have had one tiny fruit, it's strong and green... But not flowering.
Any attempts at tomatoes have been pretty poor... Except for a random volunteer which popped up in my composted pumpkin patch. No idea of the type yet... Probably Roma or a hybrid of... We eat mostly...
Battery Chainsaw? You're joking right?
Well... I bought one and it's awesome! I got the "Ryobi Cordless Chainsaw 18v"
Yes it looks like a toy, feels like a toy, and it will kill you slower than a petrol chainsaw, but it works very well for it's intended purpose.
If you want to cut big trees down or cut up lots of firewood then yes you buy a good solid petrol chainsaw.
So why would you buy something like this? It's light, one handed use, easy to use, no fuel, no starting issues, no noise, there's no extension cord!!!
The reason I bought it was because I used a neighbours electric corded chainsaw and was impressed and I went to buy one, but I saw the battery ones and thought yeah that looks different. If I want to cut some big trees I'd use a big chainsaw, but I never need to do that.
The work I do is more just standing at the top of a ladder with a Bush Saw trimming branches, so in reality I would just use a small lightweight...
Hi everyone! I wish you all have a good day. After 4 years our little jackfruit now started to bear fruits. They are not picky plants regarding soil condition. However, too much moisture would result to a slow growth. Once a jackfruit is ripe, you could smell its strong and sweet odor several feet from the tree. Its tastes sweet and fleshy. I got a few questions about the variety of jackfruit that grows underground. Has anyone tried to plant or has experience with it? If so, what kind of soil does it prefer?
Currently my family and I are on a small suburban patch of dirt that has surprisingly given us some fine fresh produce. We started off with a nice passionfruit tree that is in its 3rd year of bearing fruit, and it is plenty for the family and friends. I have harvested exquisitely tasting brocolli, okra and tomatoes. But the most impressive produce I have plucked from the tiny backyard vege patch is a small watermelon that looks pretty normal at first glance but the crisp and sweet taste of it transformed my senses dramatically.
I am now looking forward to real subsistence farming in the next phase as we prepare for a larger block of dirt to live on over the next few years...
This bread is heavier than white fairy floss, as it is made with a pure product. The same recipe can also be very successfully used to make pizza bases and naan bread. To make naan bread, roll into shape and cook on a very hot BBQ plate on one side until bubbles appear on the upside, then turn and cook a further 1 minute.
To make one loaf:
5cups white unbleached organic spelt flour
2tsp Himalayan rock salt or other unrefined salt
1.5 tsp dried breadmaking yeast
2 1/3 cups warm water (not hot)
Spare flour for needing and lining loaf tin
Combine dry ingredients and mix
Add water and knead until smooth (2-3 mins in kitchen mixer, 15 mins by hand).
Grease a loaf tin with butter and coat with flour
Place dough in tin and allow to rise in a warm place (approx 1.5 - 2hrs depending on temp)
Preheat oven to 160 c fan forced
Cook for about 40 mins. Bread is done when it sounds hollow to tap and a skewer comes out reasonably clean (no sticky dough.
Here's a pic of my celery effort, these were planted last year, I had the same results with another lot that I planted as well. Nice and green and bushi but not much stem growth.
Any ideas? One possibility is that the insect netting I use is blocking too much sunlight (though it's not supposed to). Other than that I have no idea.
So I got all excited a week or so back and planted 3 poles in the ground to grow some Dragon Fruit on. Was on the lookout for some kind of support rings for when they grow up. I have no welding or forming gear so was limited to what I could buy locally. Nothing too great in the shops and simple round rings were upwards of $30. So on a whim I ducked into an Anaconda outdoor shop and picked up some kind of fishing net-thingies for about $6.50 each. I guess you'd get them at BCF as well.
Pretty cunning don't you think?
Of course I had to cut the netting off but the black nylon support string came included.
I'm hoping it's going to be strong enough when the plants have grown up that high...which might be a while.
I thought I would share this really simple way to not only preserve mangos but turn them into a healthy bite sized snack everyone will love!
Mango Wrap Pillows
1. Grab some ripe mangoes.
2. Puree them into a nice thick consistency.
3. Pour onto a non stick tray, sheet, or wax paper and smooth out into a rough square shape about 1/4 inch thick.
4. Dehydrate on 57 C (135 F) for about 8 - 10 hours until the wrap/fruit leather can be easily peeled away from the base without breaking up. The top will remain slightly sticky to touch.
5. Fold the wrap in half closing the two sticky sides together and they will obviously fix together nicely.
6. Cut into strips about and inch or so wide (a kitchen scissors works perfectly for this job).
7. Roll strips up into little bite sized pillows.
8. Optional - Dust with a very small amount of icing sugar (maybe half teaspoon) by placing the pillows into a food bag and shaking (this helps...
Here's a simple recipe to cure green olives. I have mixed and mashed several ways of curing olives into this one rather simple method so I could cure our own olives from our own trees naturally without resorting to the lye method because I don't think using drano is a healthy substance to use for anything we intend to eat!
Surprisingly, we managed to get about 1 kilo of olives off our trees this season! This is quite remarkable in a subtropical climate and I'm hoping it's a good sign for the future. The variety of olive is primarily Manzanillo, although, there are a few Arbequina both olive varieties do better than most other olives in warmer climates.
Essentially, the process I'm using is osmosis by submerging the olives in brine so the oleuropein (which is the substance in an olive that makes it too bitter to eat) is drawn out of the olive and into the brine. Here's how I'm doing it:
Step 1 - Score the olives
With a paring knife slice the olives the whole way around...
Here's my DIY chicken feeder that is no mess, doesn't spill out over the ground, and doesn't clog up when the feed gets moist or wet! In fact, this feeder can be specifically used for wet feeds for chickens such as fermented feed.
It took me a few weeks of trials to find the right height for the feed windows on the bin chicken feeder. I started with the bottom of the window (feed access hole) 25 cm from the base of the bin/container and worked my way down to 15 cm or about 6 inches as the perfect height for this type of feeder. At anything higher, the chickens and ducks weren't able to comfortably reach over the window lip and get the last inch or so of feed.
Bulk bin feeder
This was particularly evident on my main large bin prototype obviously the bigger the internal area means a higher window will give less reach down and around for the bird. I used two bins in my trial a plastic 50 litre rubbish bin and a 15 litre bucket (actually, I...
If you're not sure about Macro, have a look at this awesome page.....
As the fella says, he's been doing it for a long time and I don't think we can expect to match his skill and quality, but if you have some Macro shots post them up, good or bad.
I'm no expert either, I've got a 40mm Macro lens that I don't know how to use, but I don't let that stop me, and even by taking photos of creatures you start to learn more about them, which is great for this site.
Here's my edible Christmas tree made from climbing spinach (Basella alba) or some other common names are Malabar spinach and Ceylon spinach.
It took about 6 weeks for the vines to fully cover the 2 m high tipi structure I made from hardwood sticks and garden twine. This structure could easily be adapted to a large pot with steel or bamboo stakes and placed near a sunny window where it would grow well. Climbing spinach is well adapted to growing in part shade and does well indoors.
The small leaves are good in salads and the larger leaves can be cooked up and used in a variety of recipes just like regular spinach. It's also a super food and great in healthy shakes or smoothies!
The flowers are quite ornamental!
Page 1 of 3