The power of two….

10 05 2014

THIS, is DTM’s 500th post.  I knew the milestone was coming up, because every time I post something, WordPress says to me, “congratulations, you’ve just written your 497th post!”.  Or whatever the number happens to be.  So I’ve been wondering what to write about on such a momentous occasion, but really, life at Mon Abri just keeps on going like nothing in the rest of the world matters, even though, as we all know here, it does…….!

A month ago, I did my back in.  I was sitting on the space allocated to me on the milking stand while I milked Jezzy.  Having finished, I simply stood up, and as soon as I was fully upright, bang, it went, just like that…..  I barely made the twenty metre walk back to the house.  Whilst the doctors and physios keep telling me it’s not unusual to ‘do one’s back’ while basically doing nothing as compared to lifting heavy bags of animal feed, this still baffles me.  I’ve had this bad back for thirty years, but it pisses me off that it goes from simply bending down to pick up my socks off the floor……

Normally, I get over it within two to five days, but this time it’s taken weeks, and I can tell I’m still not back to normal, and frankly I worry far more about becoming a cripple than dying… this lifestyle is not for whimps or cripples!  There are things to be done…..

pizza2What I needed was a Wwoofer… and along comes  Alessandro, the pizzaItalian Pizza Chef…….  We’ve never had a lone Wwoofer before, but he seems to love working alone, and you only have to teach him something once, and he just does it.  In fact, you can’t stop him!  He’s cleaned up all the weeds around Zone 1, planted heaps of punnets of food seedlings, stacked two uteloads of firewood for next year (with more to come..), and, as an added bonus, cooks amazing pizzas!  Now we have the AGA firing on all eight cylinders again, plus another mouth to feed, I’ve been inspired to cook up a storm and dust off all my Italian recipes.  Alex (as he likes to be called) has been experimenting with different types of flour because, to him, pizza making is a science as well as an art, and he meticulously likes to apply all that his ‘Master’ taught him back in Italy.  We’ve invited friends for another pizza night tonight, I could really get used to this!  One of the projects I want him to help me with is rebuilding the cob oven I started nine years ago that got destroyed in unseasonal torrential rain and which I never finished….  I was building a house at the time after all!  Watch this space, this rebuild will be thoroughly documented sometime here.

tractor1Having watched Geoff Lawton’s “Chicken Tractor on Steroid” video, I decided to give it a try.  We can’t do it exactly the same as he has done, our property is too small and we have fences in the way everywhere; however, we are now re-tractoring our zone 1 using farm gates, and a small aviary shed we bought from Bunnings to house the chooks.  Moving them takes some effort, but the results are worth it.

The first photo shows where we just moved them to.  (click on the photos to enlarge) Since the rains started, all sorts of things have reseeded all by themselves, some good, some not, but it’s all biomass and chooks just love biomass.

tractor2The second photo shows where they were just prior to the move.  There’s nothing left on the ground except…..  marvellous glorious COMPOST!  Alex has raked it all up and heaped it and it should get really hot in no time.  He is planting Cassava there as I write, and we’ll soon enough have it ready for more mulched veggie beds.

tractor3The third photo shows where they were when we were in Tassie last January.  All those pumpkins (and tomatoes, and sunflowers, and…) are growing there just by themselves, I did NOTHING…..  the ground was enriched by the birds, the seeds were in the feed, all we needed was rain, and voila…. in a few more weeks we’ll have more pumpkins than we’ll know what to do with!  And who knows what will come up in the new bed?  This is what Permaculture is all about…..  abundance with very little work, community assistance via Wwoofers, eating healthy food at the end of it all…..  What more could you want?





7 responses

10 05 2014
Terry J Wall (@terryjw7)

Maybe a little home brew might help 🙂

10 05 2014
Murray Carew

Great work Mike, Alex and all. Thanks for keeping up the blogging. I rarely comment but often read, and when I’m very busy, even just keeping an eye on the post titles gives me a sense of what’s going on out in realityland.

10 05 2014

Great work, sounds wonderful, thanks for the update!!

10 05 2014

Remember your goal, no more wheat, should try making pizza with buckwheat It´s naturally gluten free. If that does not work spelt is probably your best option.

11 05 2014

Yes, I know……….. Alex tried spelt wheat (Glenda had bought some to try as a low gluten alternative) but he didn’t like it, said it was too ‘elastic’…. you’ll have to meet him, you could have a great discussion on wheat and flour, he even mentioned Kamut!

10 05 2014

Need a hand with the wood fired oven?

11 05 2014

That’d be great………. yes please!

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