View Full Version : Greetings from the Southern Highlands
13-02-2010, 10:08 PM
Hi, I have a little lush back yard in the Southern Highlands and my Dad has a big dry acreage in Murulan (near Goulburne). I work in a medical office environment. These are the climates I am in touch with.
I'm pretty new to permaculture but I'm devouring everything I do learn at the moment. If there's anyone more experienced reading this could you tell me if what would be an appropriate course for me at this stage or should I just stick to book and experimenting on the properties I have for a bit more?
My yard in the Southern highlands grows lots of things easily but I'm starting to rethink my septic waste disposal....we have septic tanks for the village of Robertson at the moment and pay monthly pump out fees.
The property in Murulan (specifically Bungonia) poses a big issue simply because it's so dry. The lay of the land there means the clouds just blow past us. From my reading I think I would do well to dig some swales and do some wet land planing in our small creek that (sometimes) runs at the front of the property but I think I have to wait for a financial downpour before I can get that one up.
Anyways that's where I'm at right now. Hello everyone!
14-02-2010, 08:16 AM
Welcome to the PRI Forum.
Concerning your backyard, and effluent disposal: Are you actually having to pump out your septic on a monthly basis, or are you just expected to pay fees for this practice each month? If a septic system is in good working order (as good as an anaerobic system can be), then you should not have to pump it out so often. In fact, once every two, three or even five years would be more the norm. Are you thinking of replacing this system? If so, what are you planning on putting in its place? There are many options, however to meet Council requirements, most of these are going to be very expensive. I note that your local Council is in fact preparing to hook you up to a new sewerage scheme (see: link below). This could make things even more difficult for you if you were planning on going down the 'alternative' waste treatment path.
Robertson Sewerage Scheme progressing after successful land acquisition negotiations (http://www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/news/pages/9926.html)
Concerning your Dad's property at Marulan (near Goulburn): Have you ever heard of Natural Sequence Farming (http://www.naturalsequencefarming.com/)(NSF), and/or its founder Peter Andrews? If not I would urge you to have a look.
Permaculture, the ethics and principles that underpin both its science and its philosophy, has an answer to most 'problems' you will encounter in life - whether that be in the social world, or the natural (including an infinite mix of the two). Keep looking (principle number one: observe and interact) at the things happening around you. Keep reading, and if you can, undertake a PDC course that's close to 'home'.
Good luck, and please keep us posted.
15-02-2010, 07:53 AM
Thanks for replying. Yeh the sewerage thing in Robertson is a pretty fraught issue, which I didn't want to bring up but am very impressed that you knew something of this! I'm a pretty new local but my understanding is that the Robertson people didn't necessarily want a sewerage system per se but were agreeing to this plan in order to get more development into the village to help the local economy a bit. I have to pay a monthly pumpout fee but I'm a bit dubious as to how they work that out. The main concern for the council is that they are worried that Robertson will contaminate the catchment areas, but considering Robertson people have had septic tanks and soak away systems for the past 15 years and no one's gotten sick I'm not too sure what the worry is. Anyways, all that aside I've been looking at composting toilet systems and am wondering if I could turn the old tank into a pond.
Yes I've heard of Peter Andrews and dad's been doing what he can with the little Bobcat we have. Machinery is the main problem at the farm because of it's size (160 acres) it's better to use machines rather than human labour, but that is also an expense. Slowly but surely. I'll keep in touch as to our progress!
21-02-2010, 01:42 PM
Sounds like a sexy 'who-dun-it' detective :)
There are courses listed in the calender above and also at the main PRI web page.
Do you have any underground water?
What do they do with the pumped out sewerage?
21-02-2010, 03:14 PM
I've been using this net name for many years now - that's a great take on the name! I like it, but I actually thought in this conext it would sound kind of organic and permaculture-ish....
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