VALENTINE’S DAY – LOVING THE LANDSCAPE

Image courtesy of The Australian Women’s Weekly

14/02/2014. Valentines Day! And we are in love with the place! Here I am back at the keyboard again after some ten days without computer, internet, etcetera, and so have not been able to keep up the journaling of our new farm… Many scraps of paper with notes are on my desk, and now the task of continuing the story.

Wow how the bird list has grown! Almost every day another new sighting. The additions are; Masked Lapwing, Willy Wagtail, Black Cockatoo, Pale Headed Rosella, Straw-necked Ibis, Pied Currawong, Pied Butcherbird, Royal Spoonbill, Dotterel, Chanel bill Cuckoo, Black Shouldered Kite, Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike, Wood Swallows, Nankeen Kestrel, Barn Swallow, Rainbow Bee-eater.

Along with this there are at least 2 types of frog around the house and we have started to see Butterflies in the past week, and some Honey Bees.

I am really sure that the use of the Biodynamic preparations has made a fundamental change to this landscape and its energy and this is what has brought the birds.

We have acquired an Indian Mynah trap from the local council, and the four Mynahs that were roosting in the hay shed, have reduced to two. Not that we have trapped any, however I feel that our intention has moved them on!

We have acquired a trailer (off Gumtree) to pull behind the quad bike, and I have fabricated from a two hundred litre drum and a small electric pump a Biodynamic spray rig. A one-meter spray bar with three nozzles is fastened on the back of the trailer. All this just in time for our second spraying of the farm.

The flow form is set up in the machinery shed, and this time the whole area will be covered with Biodynamic Soil Activator.

Rain in the month we have been here has been 4.5 mm for January and 1.5 mm for February!

The property remains stock free, and our resident Eastern Grey Kangaroos do not have to compete with horses or cows!

The bookcase is a work in progress, and we look forward to having our library uncrated.

The cleanup at the farm is progressing well, with two old sheds demolished, a great workbench installed in the workshop, and many loads of trash to the tip.

Our local tip, Shan was informed by the council, has a one cubic meter per week limit. We have exceeded this many times, and as a contra I bring home from the tip any perfectly good handy bits and pieces!!! A chair for the workshop, a pump jack, a fiberglass tent strut (to go into the tin of hand cleaner), and some steel posts.

Water systems have proven inadequate, and some modifications are planned for the next project.

We have had a previous owner (1980-2005) visit to show us some of the farm plumbing. They had an award winning Holstein-Friesian Stud here and milked some 90 cows, as well as a piggery.

Well that’s our first month, so till next time it’s farewell!

MOVING IN

Image courtesy of The Australian Women’s Weekly

The time had come then to move on and back to Dukes Plain (which we are leasing for the next five years to continue our beef cattle enterprise), to prepare for the big move. During this time we are living in an ever-increasing forest of packing crates, and I find myself wanting to reference something or other from our library, only to realise that the books are securely packed away!

January 24 the removalist arrives, and I along with a friend have been dispatched to the new farm, complete with another load of trees, and more Soil Activator, to prepare for the arrival of our possessions on 25 January.

It is now January 28, 2014 and we have installed our Radionic Field Broadcaster, an Atreorg (an atmospheric reorganiser….the atmosphere is disorganised due to many factors and the atreorg is a radionic device to reorganise and help with proper cloud formation), and an Ether Toner (from the work of Wilhelm Reicht, another rain making device with helps work in the ethers). Many trees and shrubs are planted in a belt to the south and west of the house. Eventually this will protect us from the elements, and as well shield us from the road, and neighbours’ houses.

image of bare stockyards

All domestic livestock have been removed from settlement date, and we will not stock the property till pastures have sufficiently rested. There have been no substantial rains here for the past six months, and the property, apart from being very dry, is very over grazed.

Our tree planting endeavors have been an exciting adventure in learning of the soils on the new farm. Soils that were bony hard, have become quite surprisingly friable on adding water, and are easily dug.

We are absolutely ecstatic to have found lots of earthworms while tree planting!

The presence of earthworms is a good indicator that the Gnomes are working in the right way.

image of dead tree

It is quiet here! At Dukes Plain we are used to many birds, here there are few.

Birds observed so far have been; Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Galah, Indian Mynah, Rainbow Lorikeet, Glossy Black Ibis, Purple Swamp Hen, Ducks, Double Bar Finch, Blue Eyed Honeyeater, Crow, Grey Crowned Babbler (with active nest), Red Backed Wren, Magpie, Peewee, Grey Grass Wren.

Other wildlife observed; Eastern Grey Kangaroo, and Hare.

As you can see this is a landscape with few “critters”, which in my experience is so typical of over cleared, and poorly managed landscapes.

image of eroded creek line

Fortunately we have creek frontage, and are only a few kilometers from a National Park. I am optimistic that with further replanting, natural re-generation of the native trees, and continued use of the biodynamic preparations, that we will see (as we have at Dukes Plain) an increase in the wildlife.

Butterflies, which were quite common at Dukes Plain, I have not seen at all here as yet.

Farm infrastructure (fences, sheds, house), has all been built since 2005, so there is little work to do in this area.

If you are passionate about landscape rehabilitation (as I am), this is the place to be!

We can engage here our accumulated knowledge, and hopefully fast track the recovery. This will not be a physical recovery only, but will embrace the spiritual aspects of the landscape as well. Engaging with the Gnomes, Undines, Sylphs, and Salamanders, and as well making peace with the previous occupants/ inhabitants of this landscape are all an integral part of the process of “starting a new farm”.

image of windmill

We will engage with some of the previous owners to get a better understanding of the “lay of the land” (stock and garden water pipes, underground electricity cables, water bore capacities and depth, fertiliser history, stock numbers, cropping history, etcetera).

As you may have guessed we were not quite yet prepared to “go to the beach” full time, however the beach is only a short drive away!