A new journey

Journal entry 20/09/2016

For us here on the farm it has been a long ended goal to begin running bush lore programs on our property.  It is large enough with natural elements to teach everyone about bush survival without the need to be 100’s kilometers from safety.  I have always been passionate about bush lore, survival, sustainability and care of the earth and all that dwell upon it.  These following posts will be a way in which I can communicate with anyone who wishes to read them about our experiences here on the farm, the programs we will be running and about the trial, tribulations, failures and successes.  I hope to post a lot about the last two.  We are a family of 6 living as close to off grid as is possible for us at the present situation.  Our 4 children all play in, on and around our farm and they are building bush lore knowledge which will help them become independent, confident leaders in the future.  We want to share this experience with other families and people, to help them get a better understanding about our natural world, themselves and others in a safe environment.  I hope to meet many of you face to face as we expand and grow this new stage in our lives and to share knowledge and experiences as well.  Until the next entry stay safe, stay calm and stay alive!

 

-D

A merger…

Ok boys and girls it has been a little while since we have made a post, we have been quite busy on the farm, repairing damages from storms and wet weather, expanding our grow/animal enclosures and more building.  We have also finally gotten around to merging our old blog site with the permaculture blog into one blog containing all of our posts to date.  So if you have been only following on since our Saoirse Permaculture blog then now you can go back in time to earlier projects to see what we have done and where we have come from… it has been an interesting journey.  With things afoot on the farm and abroad we are going to try and keep everyone updated about our journey and also about any workshops we will be running and information we can share with you  to help you become self sufficient, self reliant and independent of corporations.

A pole barn is born

This post is one in a small series which I will then make into a tutorial for those who wish to know.  We as you know by now live off grid on a bush/rural block, our home at present is a 40ft bus which houses all 6 of us quite comfortably (fold up beds make for great space makers).  We currently rent a 20ft container to house our household possessions, it is a cost that while a low weekly cost still adds up to $$$ we could be spending elsewhere.  So one of the first things that should be built on a new and emerging property is a barn, any sort will do so long as it is large enough for tools and animals on cold winter nights.  Our barn will serve as our interim dwelling while we build our cob house.  After the house is built it will be my workshop, stable and MAN CAVE!! So with no more further preamble I will show you the pics of where we are at as of today.

 

 

The Stumps you see inside the rectangle of logs will be removed, we need to buy a chain that we can use with the tractor to pull them out.

I will have photos from the start up later on as they are not on my laptop at present.

 

-D

Progress comes in many forms

Salutations one and all, as usual its been a while since we last posted but that does not mean to say we have been idle, far from it in fact.  We have completed the half acre of fencing for the goats to eat down for our house site, cleared the area for the pole barn and also a spot to move the bus to while we build, so it is not such a long walk for the kids (its not that far away but they do complain, lazy buggers! :D) So for those of you playing along at home here are a few pics of our place so far.  I will be posting a separate blog about our Wirtz/spiral pump build-a-long and revising it for our tutorial section.  also Mrs N will be adding some content to our site with recipes for homesteading and off grid cooking as well as some of our wares for sale as we make all our own soaps, candles, toothpastes, condiments, wooden toys etc.

20151022_203901 20151110_113337 20151110_113312 20151110_113236 20151110_113231 20151110_113150 20151110_113139 20151110_113111 20151110_113105 20151110_113102

Grader blade out of a 44 gal drum ??………..

This is a short post about my attempts to make a grader blade out of a 44 gal drum.  It was a test and as such a learning experience.  the final outcome was in the negatives which I had thoughts on any way.  So below are the photos from construction to death!

20150930_17030920150930_17030020150930_17031920150930_17032520150930_17133020150930_17133420150930_17134020150930_172318

Fencing, glorious fencing

Howdy folks, thought it about time for another post from the farm.  This post is about fencing and why we are fencing.  So the why of it…….

Well we are wishing to build our home soon on the property and we need a space cleared to being building.  Having only just finished fixing the tractor we still need implements for it.  We have just purchased an old grader blade pretty cheap.  this has helped clear the fence line but we do not want to “heap” all the vegetation in a pile to later burn it off, being in a very wooded area we believe this to be an unwise idea.  So we are going to use our natural vegetation reducers…… our goats.  They are the ultimate lawn, bracken and anything else removers.  so to keep them from wandering off the property and possible being shot by the many hunters in the area we decided a fenced off area would suit them neatly, this is also two fold as after they are done we are going to fence the property’s boundary and let them free range on the acreage, and only fencing off the areas we do not wish them to go, like the veggie patch, orchard, dam/spring etc.  The following photos show the process in which we are doing our fencing, all holes are dug with either a post hole borer (petrol powered) or a crowbar and post shovel and a shovel.

I will add the photos off of -N’s- phone when I can as it shows the post with the strainer supports and finished post.

20151011_125530 20151011_125522 20151011_125515 20151011_125510 20151011_125504 20151008_132500 20151008_132453 20151004_151911

Just an update

Hey again folks, sorry it has been a while since our last post lots of things happening and as always with us being do’ers we tend to forget to take photos.  We are hoping to change that as time goes on, but we thought we would give you an update on what has been happening.   On the property  we have managed to clear the braken ferns and flax lillies enough to make a small diverese food forest of Apples, Nectarines, Plums, Cherries, Figs, Currants, Raspberries, Black berries, Pears, Hazel and Wall nuts and a Loquat tree.  So busy, busy, busy, like a kicked ants nest.  I am also in the process of making a fenced off area for the veggie garden this is more to stop the chickens and wallabies than any real fencing.  On a more mechanical note I have been able to fix the old tractor we bought (it was unable to be started via the lever/solenoid) it had to be tow started which is very inconvenient on a bush block.  So after upgrading the starter solenoid and replacing the earth cable she pretty much fired up straight away (scared the kids and myself pretty good as we weren’t expecting it).  Next on the tractors list is a new alternator so we can keep the battery charged and also run the lights etc.  The hydraulics work a treat after I figured out the PTO (power take off) needs to be engaged for the hydraulic pump to engage.  Oh we also have a few more animals on the property now, two new Boer does and 2 miniature piggies (whom we have dubbed “Gru” and “Lucy”  We have also joined up with the Launceston Homes School group so the kids can get that much needed social time with other kids as well as us with other adults.

Composting Toilet Build Along … Part 1

In this blog I wanted to share with you all a composting toilet build-a-long, we needed to revamp the old composting toilet into something more manageable and easier to use.  Our first composting toilet was nick named “The Throne” and was a simple box over a bucket with a toilet seat to seal and a vent ( I will post a picture of it if I can find one).  We (and by “we” I mean “me”, the father figure) had to empty it at least once a week (we have 4 kids, the wife and myself)  It was a slog to get it out, an ordeal to get it to the composting bin and woe to me if I spilled the bucket tripping over a stick on the journey.  So now we are on the new property and I have been digging long drops by hand tools (not so bad once you get into the rhythm of things but still tiring and time consuming work), after doing more research on composting toilet systems and speaking to other permaculture persons and homesteaders I was directed to Milkwood Permaculture’s site in regards to their composting toilet set up and thought to myself “you know what that’s a bloody good idea” and this is how it is turning out.

First up I have my Foreman on the site checking out my PPE and Materials for compliance

20150817_134605

20150817_134739

Once he gave me the go ahead I began by measuring the inside of the wheelie bin for the dimension of the liquids separator.

20150817_142113

This is a dry run/layout of the pieces I am using to make the framework for the separator.

20150817_141839

The test fit to make sure it all does as it is supposed to.

20150817_150448(1)

Once I was happy-ish with the test fit I then drilled holes in the vertical plane through all 4 sides of the frame.

20150817_152019

Which I then wove wire through (like basket weaving).

20150817_152634

Covered with chicken wire

20150817_153801

20150817_153806

and then shadecloth.

20150817_153855

 

All of those together make this.  what is this I hear you asking yourselves, “This” my dear friends is our Liquid separator, it keeps all the dry/moist material up above so as to let it compost down and allows excess liquid to drain away into the bottom of the bin.  But wait! I hear you implore me “what happens when all that liquid fills up the bottom of the bin”.  That is a very good question and one I will be answering in Part 2 of this build-a-long.

 

until next time.

Our Journey

Well this should be the first in a very long series of blog posts about our journey into a permaculture lifestyle.  We have been living more or less within this set of principles already but are wanting to make more of a difference within the world we in habit.  We chose the word “Saoirse” (pronounced Seer-Sha) as it is a Celtic word meaning freedom.  That one word is the essential core belief that drives My wife and myself to teach our children and anyone else who wishes to learn how to be more aware of our surroundings, look at the world not as a problem but as a puzzle.  To help find solutions and stop being a part of the cause, to have freedom in ANY and EVERY choice we make.  Freedom of lifestyle, freedom to make a difference, to stand up and go against the norm.  Passion is one thing you will find plenty of here at Saoirse Permaculture Farm.  Passion in all things living, dying and everything in between.  By helping others learn to see the world differently we hope to help the world to a better state of like many before us and hopefully many more after us.  Well that is all for now, this Blog writing is a new concept for us, having to document it all.  We are do’ers by nature and sometimes forget to document while doing.

 

– Damien

PBC continues…..

Today was a late start again because we were lazy, the kids woke up late so we got to sleep in yay for holidays.

so today’s progress isn’t as well progressed as we would like but progress was made

We finished off the first course of bottles

CAM00719

so then the next step is to begin the next course of “bricks”, with this course and subsequent courses we need to keep them all tied in together, this is were the bailing twine comes into play on the inside and outside of the PBC

CAM00744

the bailing twine, is looped around each bottle, this helps the bottles to remain in a more stable position.

CAM00737

Inside the mortar mix we use lengths of barbed wire as reinforcing to keep a strong mortar bond

CAM00738

We had made made more progress since this photo but I forgot to take it before the light faded.

CAM00743

So thats it for today, we hope you like the updates and appreciate any comments or questions, we will be holding a workshop very soon to teach others how to do the same.  stay tuned for the update on the workshop.

 

– The Satyr