Transition Town Cooran

23 07 2009

cooran1

This is Cooran. Not much to it, really. About 700 people live here, there’s a rail station (of sorts, looks more like a bus stop!), a shop cum Post Office, a Doctors’ surgery, and a hairdresser. Oh and an Architectural firm that purports to specialise in sustainable development. Ho hum…

The real news about Cooran is that a few of us got together last year and started a Transition Town Initiative. What’s a Transition Town you ask? Look here: http://www.transitionculture.org

Our group has successfully run two workshops on Peak Oil and Chris Martenson’s Crash Course (http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse), too many Permablitz working bees to remember, and yours truly has started a brand new local ‘paper’ we call The Coorier.  One of us has now also started a networking website, http://coorangardens.ning.com/

We’re not saving the world yet, but that will always be work in progress!





Finally, Zone 1 under control….

22 07 2009

After what seems like years of effort….. I finally have zone 1 under control. While I was building the house, I used the tiny portion you can see in the photo between the deck area and the path leading down to the chook shed (from which roof I took the photo) to more or less feed myself. Of course, as the rest of the family finally moved in, it was way too small, and so took the desperate measure of poisoning the grass. I was very reluctant to do this, but the Kikuyu that grows here will grow two metre long runners in what seems like hours to invade new territory. I now use Arrowroot as a defense barrier, visible above that red bucket lying around.

smallgardenpanoramajul2009

I had some left over corrugated iron from the house project and decided to use it to make a raised bed for root vegetables, which need deep friable soil. So I’m making some, by composting all the grass and weeds that were cut in that area in situ with goat and chicken manure. It won’t be available until next winter’s veggie crop season, but that’s OK, what’s another year when you’ve waited this long for the perfect patch!?

The bathtub at the lower right corner is where my ducks go for swims. Of course they crap in it, which makes great liquid fertiliser that I draw off the bottom where I’ve fitted a 40mm ball valve for that purpose. Good Permaculture practice really, integrate, integrate , integrate…. and reuse. We have even syphoned water out of our bath after we’d finished with it, which makes three uses of the same water!

So now we are currently growing lots of Kale, Broccoli, Onions, Shallots, Garlic, Beetroots, Fennel, Rocket, Lettuce, Beans, Peas, scatterings of Amaranth, heaps of herbs, Leeks….. I’m sure I’ve left something out! Tomatoes really struggle in the cold weather, which is a great pity. It’ll warm up soon enough.

One clutch of ducklings hatched a couple of weeks ago, and another duck is sitting on eggs too. The goats are due to kid any day (mind you, been saying this for weeks now… but they are getting enormous) so the farm is starting to generate a surplus. I’ll post again when the kids are born.