sorry to hear about your wallet being stolen .. that suxx.. one can only hope, the offender sees the light someday, did you look around where you were (and a bit further a field)? I've heard that most people that do that dont wander off to far with the actual wallet, but strip what they want out and fling it in a bin or in the bushes (less conspicuous than being seen with the bulky wallet) .. I hope that good fortune befalls you in other ways
Actually i didn't do that but i should have. Perhaps i will go for a look next time i am down that way. Thanks for your sympathy stingray.
I had almost forgotten about this episode. The thing i will probalby miss most is the purse itself becuase it was made by someone i know who does beautiful bags and purses. It was denim with japanese kimono stripes. I think she gave it to me as a gift as well.
Buddhism, I've moved and other good things - chickens and duck insights
Well i'm taking up buddhism and i find it a bit exciting at the moment i must say. One of the ideas was to help it motivate me but i must admit that at the moment i am using it as excuse to procrastinate rather than work. So something is not quite right there is it? lol. But seriously, i have faith that in the long run, i will get past this and so i am not really worried.
Yesterday i moved! Yes i moved my caravan. I have been living in my caravan since i got back from my cycle journey a couple of months ago. I"ve painted it white (I should take some snaps for you to see - but when i've put all my bits in again) and then now i've moved it to its permanent location at hte other end of the block. Luckily for me the reason i decided to move it in the first place was because i couldn't get the internet where the van was. And that prompted a whole rethink about my van and how i would live in it. So that has been exciting.
Now, rather than make building my treehouse as a first priority i am just happy to live in my van and i'll build an outdoor kitchen. After that i will build whatever i need to on an as needs basis. I still would like at least one room up in a tree but i no longer feel that i need a big house or a house of many small rooms. I am really keen to go with whatver is simplest and to keep everything as easy as possible so long as its nice.
The current location of my van is near hte bathroom so that's another good reason to have moved it. Its funny that before the internet issue came up, i didn't not think at all about the bigger picture of living life in my caravan.
The plan is to build up an island of crusher dust around the van so that i can have my kitchen on it. Where my van is is prone to lots of water in teh wet season hence hte need for islands. I am making a border of bessar blocks and will fill it in iwth crusher dust which is the cheapest stuff i can get i believe. Then rather than make a solid floor, a slab or anything like htat, i just want lay some clean sand over the top of it and have that as amy floor surface. If it proves to be unsatisfactory over time, i can always adjust that as needs be.
I need to build up a garden around this area. Its going to be so lovely so long as i can motivate myself to work. I was going to do some work this morning but something upset me so i lost my momentum unfortunately. Nevermind. There is no great hurry for all these things.
Back to buddhism, I am reading a lot and it is helping me greatly psychologically etc. I am so excited by it that i at one point i almost thought to go the whole way and become a goddamn nun of all things. But then i woke up and thought that that is probably not a smart move for me. So now i just want to learn as much as i can and practice meditation and follow the dharma as best i can. My main struggle is finding a suitable community. There's not much around here and my first attempt landed me with about the worst group one could find. Its practically a cult. The Diamond Way so steer clear of that if you or anyone is looking for buddhism. Other than that i don't know yet which tradition to follow - theravada or zen. I don't think tibettan buddhism is for me although they are ones best set up here. Anyhow, i am sure it will all work out. I am going to do a series of sessions on mindfulness with an Australian zen monk soon. I'm looking forward to that. There are some great books around on buddhism and i seem to have stumbled upon a lot of them in all traditions.
I have even found what i think is a good forum in theravada buddhism. I think its called dhammanet.com or something like that. The first forum i found wasn't so great. Not much activity and not much to learn from the members.
On more permie notes, i had some experiences which might help othesr a bit if i can remember them properly.
Re the chickens and the ducks
One day i caught one of the chickens with an egg shell in its mouth. He had broken it either deliberately or accidentally and was enjoying the contents. So i felt bad that i would have to get rid of one of my few hens. But amazingly she has not gone to become a problem. She is not doing it anymore. I don't know if that because it doesn' occur to her or if its becuase i fixed the problem by putting in a rotten egg in the nest for her to bust and discover. But anyway the problem has resolved itself. So if you ever have this problem, you might want to try it. To know if an egg is rotten or not, just see if it floats in a bowl of water.
I have had more snake stories recently. I caught one, took it 10km away. A week later a snake the same size turned up again. I couldn't catch it but it also didn't try to go and eat any of my ducks or chickens - yet! I am keeping my eye on it though. My chickens nest is not totally snake proof and also i've got some of my ducks outside. I have realised that its good to keep the drakes out. They can be my snake warning so long as someone is around to hear the racket htat is. So far i have been pretty good at noticing when a snake is on the hunt - oh except that first time it got my little lucy. But anyway, my idea is that with the drakes outside the nest, a snake would go for one of htem first and not try to get inside the chook house where it would have much quicker success. the drakes are big and to catch one is going to take a lot of effort on the path of the snake. As it was i heard a lot of batting of wings the other day when i raced up there and saw there was a snake attached to one of the ducks. I pulled it by the tail and it let go. and then i caught it. I suppose if i had not heard the racket, the snake might eventually have got the better of the drake but i do not know. At least becuase the snake is out of the pen it can run away and make it very difficult for the snake to kill it.
That said, i do have to move the chook house anyway and when i get around to that, i will definitely buy some proper chicken wire the next time and do it properly. This first chook house has been quite good but my brother in law doesn't like it being so close to their place. He doesn't like the ducks. Its all a bit annoying for me becuase the duck house is also close to the main tap but i guess i will get over that in the long term.
What else is news. My neighbour has shown me that the way to make bananas grow fast is to water them a lot. She waters hers every day. So i am starting to water mine more often though not every day. I need to find another spot for my bananas as well.
OH yes another great duck tip!!! Ducks like sweet potatoes. I found them digging htem up and eating them. They made hard work of it so now i dig them up, and grate some of it for them so its easier for them. We have such a lot of sweet potato around here so that's really a most fabulous discovery for me. So now i am feeding them most of their eggs, layer pellets and grated sweet potato. If you've got any spare space start growing some yourself. Its the easiest stuff to grow in a warm climate and it looks nice too.
Someone else told me that lemongrass is a snake deterrent. I haven't tested this theroy yet but i am going to grow bunches of it all around my next chicken house.
That's about all for the moment. Till next adieu. or peace!
I never thought of putting in a rotten egg!!!
I must remember that.
Sounds great Sunburn! I caught a bush turkey running off with an egg the other day. Talking of snakes, I found a python skin on the tree beside the house. tI was about 11 foot long. I hope it goes up to the chook house and has a feed on the rats that are hanging around there!!
Finally - no extra drakes
Well my excess drake story is finally over. I handed three over to a very nice man the other day. I didn't even ask for money. I guess when i advertised i thought no one would want a drake so i didn't ask for any. This solution was much better than killing them all. That said, i was still sad to say goodbye. What a wuss!
In the car, one of them vomited. Poor thing.
We are having such a dry year up here. It hasn't rained since god knows when and even one of our golden palms is dying. Its lost all its tops. This has prompted dad to get our his big sprinkler systems and start watering his mangos. We are going to have mangos coming out ever orifice this year. I might even turn orange.
What else: progress around my van site is going slowly but it is advancing. I love my new caravan bedroom. I think i told you its painted white. I just bought a proper mattress for the bed so i can ditch the inflatable.
Not strictly Permaculture: On Sunday night i went to a buddhist mindfulness class. (two more to go) Wow! excellent or what! If you ever get the chance, try it. Notice i am now trying to turn everyone into a devout buddhist. It could save the world - but only so long as people did it properly and applied the 8fold path. I'm curious about permies so i might have to raise the question in the miscelleanous chat branch...
My ugly caravan
My neighbour is upset with me. She is upset about my van being near the boundary of her place and thinks i have a whole lot of choices about where to put it. HOwever i pointed out that this is the best spot for me because here i can have wifi connection, shade and closer to the bathroom. But she was quite rude about the look of my van and so i am trying to placate her by erecting a screen. She says she feels i am looking at her whenever she is the pool now even though her house and pool are quite far from the boundary fence. Anyway i can sort of understand how you might feel you are being seen if you are skinny dipping in your pool. And the van is ugly. So i am putting up something to improve all that.
Yesterday i tried with some shadecloth we had here but even two layers of 50% were still very transparent. So today i am buying some weedmat for the purpose (its a lot cheaper than 90% shadecloth). It will block some breezes for me but hopefully it will satisfy her somewhat.
I am planting tall shrubs to deal with the screening aspect in the long term so the weed mat is only short term fix. But this is in a part of the property where all the water from this neighbours block runs through in the wet and its soggy for months. So I am planting the shrubs in large plastic bag pots so that the roots will be above ground and not so wet. Hopefully when they are larger they will be able to cope with the conditions. I also want to plant a shade tree over here. I've got a tiny carambola which might do the job but my first thought was a tamarind as they are great shade trees. I'll see how it goes with the carambola first. I like those fruit better than tamarinds.
Also because of all this wetness - my caravan is sitting in what is somewhat of a pond during the wet season - I have started work on digging trenches through my forest patch to help it carry the water away much faster so i am not sitting in such a bog. I am very interested to see how it all goes this wet season. There are bound to be some issues that i will have to deal with - particualrly mosquitos.
But its good being so close to my forest now as i am keen to get gardening in it to make it as lovely as possible. Though i doubt i will be able to grow much food in there.
I forgot to mention before that i had flowers on my vanilla this year. I didn't try to pollinate them. Too much else to worry about.
Also my boundary shrub area is going really well now that its warm and that they are getting plenty of water. I've just about got all the weeding done now since my return from my cycling trip and i've just started re mulching. The pumpkins and sunflowers i've planted in there are doing fine. And now i'm thinking of trying to get some paw paws growing there too. I mean with all the water from the sprinkler systems it makes sense to try to grow this area as densely as possible so that its not grass that's getting the benefit. I am very very pleased with how this boundary area is working out - despite the fact that not long ago i nearly killed all my pineapples when i fertilised them with a dilute solution of dynamic lifter. Poor things. I think most of them have survived but they are still struggling. That was really stupid to do that. Also i am getting flowers on my frangipannies in this area. Two so far. And one of them is a deep crimson flower so that's fantastic as i was afraid i'd end up with all white ones.
What about growing bog loving plants to take advantage of the conditions rather than changing it all.
Hope the tree planting goes well for you, nothing worse than being on unfriendly terms with your neighbours.
[QUOTE=mischief;78758]What about growing bog loving plants to take advantage of the conditions rather than changing it all.
I can't do that mischief. During the dry season, the ground is really dry. I wouldn't want to encourage a bog there either.
I had a great day in the garden today. I started digging my draining ditch, tons of mulching, pulled out my cat's whiskers from my boundary and i'm going to put them somewhere else, planted a few more shrubby bits. I think i did about 6 hours of solid work. It helped a great deal that it was overcast and raining or drizzling most of the day.
Money saving breakthrough today with very positive side effects.
Well who'd have thunk it? The manager of the quarry phoned today to talk to me about the truck load of crusher dust i ordered so that i could build up and island pad next to my caravan. During the course of the conversation he made enough suggestions to help me save money and then went further and now i don't have to spend any money at his company at all!
Seems crazy doesn't it. But i figure he has plenty of business and I'm just a small fish.
First he suggested that instead of using crusher dust, i use fill because its cheaper. I didn't know the quarry sold fill. Then he asked if there wasn't anywhere on the property where i could dig a hole and use my own dirt. I said no. But when i got off the phone i realised that !!! my god, this was precisely the best idea. I could have my pond and eat it too. I mean i could have my pond and have my fill. gosh another pardon the pun. Well you see i've been thinking about having ponds right near my caravan pad and now here was the perfect excuse and opportunity to start it straight away. It made so much sense that even dad agreed to move his dinghy garden out of the way. Though he was not keen at first. But when i showed him how eminently briliant it was, he couldn't be difficult about it.
So anyway, there will be more than enough dirt in the pond hole. And i can do it when i want. (i've got to start building the retaining wall)
Now i'm in the throws of planning a large pond with bridges and centre islands (where i can put a little table for sitting in the sun or meditating in the dark at night or something like that surrounded by waterlilies.)
I must say there is a lot to be said for working things out as you go rather than planning all things ahead.
I am pretty excited about this. Though i need to ring up and find out how much this butyl pond liner stuff is. I know i could use black plastic but this butyl is said to last a very long time. If not permanently. Its probably quite expensive which will mean my pond will only have to be smaller i guess.
I already know a local machine driver and we have him coming soon to do some other work. So that won't be too expensive. I'd have had to hire him to move the quarry dirt anyway.
This solution will save me about $300-$500 in dirt and cartage. Too easy.
Our wet season has started very early. Its been raining for two days and seems more is in store. I wonder if we will have any more dry spells. Probably. I sort of hope so. This soak rain is good but we can wait a couple of months for the rest of it now i think.