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What a dreary day

Well today in the homestead was one of procrastination and unending childly antics resulting in not much getting done, and a lot of frustration and oh god oh god oh god why did we have kids…….. Seriously they are lovely little gems (on occasion, usually when they are sleeping)  So today was researching and learning about various homesteading things, we researched making our own rennet both from animals and vegetables so we can make some hard cheeses, soft cheeses are quite easy to do and will be placed in our recipe pages once we get that far along.  We also looked into ginger bugs and kefir for lacto fermented drinks.  Which we will be experimenting with and putting up on the recipe page too.  We didn’t work on the greenhouse today but we will when the weather fines up as we have rain forecast for the next 2 days (yay means we get water in our tank, its almost empty)  With the colder weather approaching us we are looking to do things and keep learning with the whole family inside so the next couple of months posts might be in relation to that.

 

Stay tuned and here are some pics of what we have been up to over the last year

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Expansion

Ok…. so the blogs should be flowing quite smoothly from now on as we update hopefully (almost) daily, today we worked on expanding our small greenhouse to house our winter seedlings which have just sprouted in our recycled paper origami pots, will post a little how to of those soon.  well our greenhouse is rather undersized to grow enough veggies for us to last the winter, now the extension isn’t finished yet it should be in a day or 2, today we worked on making some raised beds out of some scrap we had lying on the property before we bought the land, and some tea tree that is over abundant on our block,  we are making the beds 900 ish x 900 ish and are going to try 3x3x3 planting, so in essence there will be 9 places in each raised bed to grow our veggies in.  The seedlings we have almost ready for planting are Kohlrabi, Japanese Broccoli, Purple Cauliflower, Leek, Tomato, Lettuce (both the tomato and lettuce are seeds from last harvest, we were so excited as this is our first seed saving effort), english spinach, Rainbow Chard, Peas (also from seed saving) and Red Garlic.  So we need the room 🙂  Without further preamble here is the pictures of the recycled panels we will be using to make the raised garden beds.

So we found these bundles of irrigation pipe…. I should say ALOT of bundles and we were just going to get rid of them as we clean up the land in our process of turning the 10 acres into a permaculture homestead

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This is our Tea tree

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and My Nymph weaving some of the cut lengths of irrigation pipe through the tea tree frames I made, they are bound using a japanese square wrap and recycled bailing twine

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and 2 of the panels all ready to go

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Have fun, be good and we will see you tomorrow

 

-The Satyr

 

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Have been unwell of late…. but all better now and on with the new posts

The family has suffered the contagions of the community this week or 2 past and as a result we haven’t been able to post.  Well I am in better health now to add our second post, This post is going to relate to heating, heating the house, the water and the body.  When we moved here near on 2 years ago we brought with us an external on demand LPG hot water heater with a flow rate of 6/L min, this worked fine for us as the 12v water pump was only a 10/L min pump anyway, so we knew we were water saving to begin with, we could adjust the flow which regulated our heat and no need for cold water so less water wastage there too.  After about 12 months the LPG hot water heater decided to try and be a Phoenix and be reborn in a ball of fire.  Funnily enough my wife was in the shower at the time and didn’t quite get the Hot water heaters reference to harry potter and the order of the Phoenix.  Birthday suit in tow she ducked out and turned off the gas bottle to prevent any fire damage to the cabin/shack.  So since then I have been racking my brains to find a very low cost way to heat water sufficiently for a 6 person family, it took 6 tries to get it working enough for all of us and so far Mark VI is proving to be the one for us (for now).  I will post photos of the original hot water heater and some of the other styles I played around with.  In the end and after A LOT of research I made a hybrid system between 3 different styles.  The styles incorporated are as follows, The Rocket Stove, Solar Thermosiphoning and a design I came across by Geoff lawton ( a permaculture designer) which is a Rocket mass heater with an incorporated water thermal mass on demand hot water system.  So the principle is the rocket stove heats a 20L metal drum filled with water (this is our thermal mass) inside this is a coiled copper pipe which is connected to a 160L electric Hot water tank (reclaimed from a refuse site) . Image Haven’t been able to locate the other pictures as yet but will do a revisit when I do. Heating the homestead is our next issue, we currently have a slow combustion heater which takes the majority of the heat straight up the flue and out into nature heating the small section of air above the chimney/flue.  this does okay in our small shack/cabin as we do not really feel the cold anyways.  But in the new house we are building it will play an important role as we will be going from living all together in one room which comprises of the dining, lounge, play area and all of our bedrooms in one, it used to house the bathroom as well but I enclosed a lean-to outside and now both composting toilet and shower/bath are there.  For heating the larger areas of the “Castle” we will be using a rocket mass heater based on designs by Ian and Eanto Evans, this will create a room heater using a metal drum over a heat riser, the exhaust/heat will be trapped in the thermal mass of the bench/strucutre slowly releasing all that waring goodness over a loooooong time. Heating the self is a actually the easiest of the three as this requires nothing more than cuddling up to that someone special and snuggling down. Here are a few photos of some of the projects and things we are doing/making

This is our Greenhouse site

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Some of the products we hand make

 

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Picking fresh blackberries for our preserves

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a wash board made from recycled materials

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our new chook shed

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The winter seedling pods

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a Wild Nymph temporarily caught in the chook house

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Fresh picked Dandelions in oil for making a Dandelion slave (Will make a post on our home made recipes soon)

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A home made wax and cotton torch

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The house pad site, just waiting for some good Tas winter rain to tap the clay down ready to dig footings

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Compressed sand/soil plastic bottles (these are the building blocks of our recycled “Castle”)…. seriously

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We hope you have enjoyed reading this blog so far and be sure to check back often for more tips tricks and news from the Homestead

 

– The Satyr