Introducing myself from Perth WA

Pump

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Apr 18, 2018
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Hi Guys,

introducing myself and my family (wife and 2 kiddies, 2 dogs (soon to be 3), 2 goats, chooks, bees, sheep).
We are moving out to a 5 acre property in Lower Chittering in WA, with the plan to try and be as self sufficient as possible, I have been following the SSM videos on you tube for quite a while and it has given me plenty of ideas on setting out little farm up.
We have just started the whole process with earthworks for the house build beginning yesterday. I work as fly in fly out so will be trying my best to get everything off the ground on the breaks when I am home.
really looking forward to it all. keep up the good work guys

Cheers
Aaron
 
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AndrewB

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Welcome to the forums. Perth has a great climate for growing things & 5 acres is a nice amount of land to do that on.

Working FIFO is a great match for living out of town. The thought of having to battle the traffic every day keeps me in the city for now.
 

Pump

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Apr 18, 2018
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cheers mate, yer really looking forward to it
 

DarrenP

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Welcome to the forum. Looking forward to seeing your progress on 5 acres. I assume you already have land, if you have goats, sheep and bees?
 

Pump

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Apr 18, 2018
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gday Darren,
the earthworks are all kicking off which is exciting, the female milking goat we are getting is at the stud and hopefully soon to be pregnant as we want a milking goat and we will get her with her offspring, the bees are also on the way, starting with a little nuc colony for honey but also for pollination of the fruit trees.
the sheep are already on the block keeping the weeds down which saves me some time
 

ClissAT

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Hi there Aaron & welcome.
Tell us more about the photos.
Is that going to be a dam? Or split level house?

Make sure the bees already have food to find. It looks a bit bare & new across those hillsides with no gardens to be seen yet.
 

Pump

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Apr 18, 2018
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Hi ClissAT,

It's just the very beginning of the earthworks, they have dug out now and ready to put in the clean fill for the house pad behind the kids there in the second photo.

its a single level house but is quite large.

the area used to be farmed but was chopped up into an estate about 5-6 years ago so I am going to have to give the land a lot of love and as we are just finishing summer it is very dry n bare, I wish we got the rainfall Queensland does.

I will be starting with some straw bale veggie patches very soon to get some greenery and flowers to at least give the bees a bit of food and also start to plant out my orchard as well.

Once the bees arrive hopefully they will have some food, I may even have to help them out to start with but that is fine.

My mums side of the family are farming but she left that side and went to the city when she left school so I feel this will be a good start for my kids somewhere in the middle between city and farming life to hopefully one day get a good size property.


IMG-20180421-WA0023.jpg
IMG-20180421-WA0019.jpg
 

ClissAT

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That's a different technique you guys use over there to make a house pad.
Back filling with other material seems like double work.
Is there a stability problem with the yellowish soil in your photo?

I've just had a huge pad cut for my new rural shed & the material that came out went into the new driveway which I then covered with bitumen plant waste.
Over time it will compact very hard.
The shed pad was covered with blue metal crusher dust which will also go hard once it dries out.
Right now though, it is all far too wet to drive on due to a heap of rain over the last few days.
But the rain is great to show up how sloppy the excavator driver was at keeping his levels accurate! So, naturally I wont be paying him the final instalment until he can fix the drains & levels! ;)

So the rain is not all good!
 

Pump

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Apr 18, 2018
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Haha keep him honest,
The material that has been pulled out will be put back in but the builder has to do an "inspection" of the cut to check levels before the dirt is then put back in and compacted to create the 600mm pad that is needed. then we can start installing the plumbing etc for our rainwater tanks and septics
 

AndrewB

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Depending on the species, those Eucalyptus trees should produce more than enough food for the bees. What you grow in your garden is a very small part of their diet.

Small natives like Banksia can grow very fast & provide a good food source too.

Something to keep in mind is that the trees they harvest from will influence the taste of the honey. The eucalypt honey has a very distinct flavor. This will change as your fruit orchard grows & they stay closer to home.

Something that will improve your land a lot is woodchips. It slows the water down & stops it from running away down that slope. A nice thick layer will hold in moisture & create rich soil as it breaks down.
 

Pump

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Apr 18, 2018
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Hi Andrew,

thanks for that info on the bees, really looking forward to some fresh honey and my 6 Year old daughter is getting very excited about it all as we are going to look at getting her a suit next time I get home from work,

the only thing about wood chips is we get a lot of white ants so I'm trying to do my best to limit the easily accessible dead timber for them
 

AndrewB

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Fair point. There are plenty of cover crops that will do that same job, it just takes a bit more effort to get them established.

One exampled I liked was a farmer growing Daikon Radishes to stop soil erosion over winter, the cows seemed to enjoy them too. They grow fast, root deep and have lots of large nutritious leaves. They love the Perth climate too.

Its great that your daughter is taking an interest in the bees & you are encouraging it, I remember my mum never letting us touch anything in the garden!
 

Pump

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Apr 18, 2018
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Sounds great I will have to have a hunt around to try and find some. any other crops you can recommend, I am going to plant some lupins through the winter for some food for the goats later on but also to put some nitrogen back into the soil, also some wheat so the kids can help me make flour to show them how a proper loaf from paddock to plate is done.

Both kids are very excited about it all and already help me with the chickens and my small veggie patch at home, but the daughter can't wait to milk her goat Pikelet every day (I'm guessing that may wear off haha)
 

AndrewB

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Mustard, clover, peas & beans- you can get non climbing varieties that work well in fields & will be a good nitrogen source once they die off & break down.

I like the idea of wheat. Another one that the kids could get involved with is Chia. It will attract bees & butterflies & the seeds make a nice desert mixed with water & a little honey, so that would tie in well.

You harvest the flowers at the end of the season & shake all the seeds out, then winnow the chaff out like you will for the wheat. You can also do the same thing for basil seeds.
 
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Pump

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Sounds great, very good info thanks Andrew, anything I can do to help the soil but also get something back from it at the same time sounds good to me