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!
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.
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.
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.
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
Once he gave me the go ahead I began by measuring the inside of the wheelie bin for the dimension of the liquids separator.
This is a dry run/layout of the pieces I am using to make the framework for the separator.
The test fit to make sure it all does as it is supposed to.
Once I was happy-ish with the test fit I then drilled holes in the vertical plane through all 4 sides of the frame.
Which I then wove wire through (like basket weaving).
Covered with chicken wire
and then shadecloth.
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.
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.
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
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
the bailing twine, is looped around each bottle, this helps the bottles to remain in a more stable position.
Inside the mortar mix we use lengths of barbed wire as reinforcing to keep a strong mortar bond
We had made made more progress since this photo but I forgot to take it before the light faded.
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