Albury Tax office, volt lane

I took some pics of the progress of Albury City Tax Office and the car parking project at Volt Lane:

Apparently the car park will be open in time for Christmas.   We were in town today to sort out paperwork for our mortgage for Widget Grove.  Exciting, and terrifying.  We're about to be in the most debt we've been in our entire lives.

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Thurgoona - inspiration

Another walk around Thurgoona today,  the same path as yesterday.    10 minutes in and I already felt like I was in the bush:

There were gorgeous bird calls, the weather feels like it's about the rain so the smell was amazing too.

I photographed this ginko in a garden to remind me to  research how to propogate ginko for our place and for gifts? Do you know how to propogate ginko?  or where to buy it?

Jan and I were discussing yesterday whether this is an avocado or a loquat? Do you know?

Just a pretty picture of my walk.  I reckon my heart rate was down today because I kept stopping to take photos, Oh well :).

At the 20 minute mark I was looking out across the hills in the distance.  This was a clear view when we moved here, but a huge housing estate is going in at the top of the hill.

Walking around Thurgoona

Walking around Thurgoona we spotted some pretty gardens.  The people living up on the hill have planted out the verge with productive and pretty plans:

 

I love this pretty gate as well, plus it has my favourite type of fencing:

The simple wood and wire fencing is prevelant around this neighbourhood.  I really like it.  I'm also enjoying having a few last walks around Thurgoona before we move across town.

What a year can do

We're packing boxes and ungardening at our current place with 26 days until we move.  I've been repotting plans I want to keep and Jan's been helping to neaten up the gardens we're leaving behind.   I've been rewarded time and time again for the efforts I put in when we moved in here.   Potatoes would pop up all around the place, we were going to be blessed with a massive crop of jeruselum artichokes this year too.

I've left a few plants in to see if I can get them to come up before we leave.  E.g. strawberries:

Broadbeans:

Many heads of garlic that I'll pull at the last minute:

Globe artichokes:

I had a parsnip go to seed and parsnips are coming up all around the garden:

We've improved soil so much that we've been blessed with good crops.  I've enjoyed seeing mushrooms and toadstools pop up all around the garden confirming the soil is healthy:

mushies

Bulbs and plants all around the place:

I hope we can do as well in such a short time at Widget Grove.

About Us

About Us

  • We have near no farming experience
  • Small amount of home repairs
  • Small amount of domestic garden experience
  • We're computer programmers

Seeking

  • A rural retreat
  • A business site
  • A work from home site
  • A hobby farm
  • Conservation Area
  • Self Sufficient Existence

Possible Enterprises

  • Bartering
  • Hobby enterprises
  • Gardening bits - Worm Wee, Saved Seeds, Seedlings
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Preserves
  • Cheese
  • Lamb, Fish, Chicken
  • Art - Water Colours, Sculpture, Ceramics
  • Scrapbooking
  • Computers - Programming, System configuration, websites, graphic design, website installation
  • Electronic design
  • 3D printing
  • Robots
  • Music
  • Bed & Breakfast?
  • Metal work
  • Woodwork

Mowing

One of the first purchases we'll probably make is a ride on lawn mower.  But in the mean time I've been looking at more sustainable alternatives to a large grass mower.  Today on The Witches Kitchen Linda Woodrow talked about her self propelled push mower which sounds good.   Jan has talked about maybe converting our cheapy mowor into a robot.   I've been thinking we could get a lawn mower with more advantages, namely sheep.

 

sheep

One good rule to use in a permaculture system is to come up with 5 reasons why you want something, five ways it'll enhance the system.

1.  They will eat grass so less mowing

2.  They will provide manure so better soil

3.  They will have wool which I can use for crafts or again as a product to improve soil

4.  We can use the meat from the sheep

5.  We could breed more sheep using our sheep and milk the sheep and make cheese.

 

So far I've had recommendations for Wiltshire Horns, Damaras and Dorpers.  I'll start doing more reading, but to start with I thought I'd get 2 girl sheep with the plan to get them pregnant soon enough.

Persimmons

There was one tree we had been curious about at Widget Grove but we think now is a persimmon.  We found four point stars underneath it:

Persimmon star

Lovely lush green leaves:

persimmon

It wasn't until we went to visit The Little House on the Hill and saw Karen's persimmon that we have identified it.  Here's hers:

Persimmon

Looking forward to the fruit anyway.  A lot of identification work to go on around our new place.

Planning for sustainability

We visited a shop in Melbourne this weekend called Bee Sustainable and bought ourselves a cider making kit. Looking forward to juicing up our own fruit and alcoholing it up into cider. The shop also had gear for preserving food and a bunch of cool books as well. This got me thinking about our new fruit trees and possibly preserving them ourselves.

Options include dehydrating, jam making, canning, freezing. I dreamt about canning and drying and storing this produce in the new pantry room I'm going to make in our garage. I guess produce will start coming on pretty much as soon as we move in in december.

Canning might require special bottles and maybe a Fowlers Vacola system. Dehydrating can be done with a solar or electric dryer. We'd need more freezing space and maybe packaging for dried goods. Lots to learn.

Citrus

I went to our soonf to be new house to collect citrus. We'vecollected a few bags so far, enjoyed the fruit, liters of juice, lemon butter and using the lemon juice and skin in recipes. There are 7 citrus trees at Widget Grove: Lemon, tangello, 2xmandarine, 2xoranges and a blood orange. I think we'd like to add lime and experiment with kaffir and finger limes. Probably end up with cumquats and we're taking another mandarine and another lemon with us, as well as a citrus stock with three branches for grafting onto. I'll have to identify each tree and learn more about them over time. Most interesting fact i learnt this week, you can freeze lemon juice. I think we'd like a deep freeze eventually.

jan's picture

Fruit trees

Widget Grove comes with more fruit trees than I know how to cope with, and a lot of them are really huge. I'm not sure how we'll cope with the abundance of fruit in the next few months, especially the ones at the top of the trees. After that will come the challenge of pruning them all, which will be another adventure.

Pear and Apple trees behind the clothesline

These are pear and apple trees along the clothesline.

Fruit trees in the front yard

More fruit trees in the front yard

Apples, peaches, plums, oranges and tangelos in the front yard. Off the right hand side of the frame from this photo on the far side of the driveway, there's a big persimmon tree and some more oranges and lemons. All these trees have greened up even in the few weeks since these photos were taken.

I'm also excited by the macadamia tree down the back of the paddock, which we didn't even identify until our 3rd-4th visit:

Macadamia tree in the paddock

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