Monday, 26 October 2009

Just another day in plastic paradise - not

I've seen Cryptic Moth Productions movie Addicted to Plastic, it showed bird autopsies where the cause of death was pieces of plastic - take a look at the link of corpses of albatrosses with bottle tops, pen lids, lighters and more in their stomachs. A sad endictment on our disposable lives that others lives are disposable as a result.

Thanks Lynn for sending on the link.

Mud Madness

Trev has a new appendage to his name, it now goes, Poor Trev.
It's a fine thing to be able to say no-pvc, strawbale, no concrete - make all the rules and then bugger off into the garden and leave him to it. Not strictly 100% true, but close enough. Still, he's hard at it, and now with all the strawbales up, tensioned and true, he's charged up for more progress.

Trev's trimmed two sides with the whippersnipper and with lots of stuffing around figuring out how best to do it, we've bought a simple metal backpack sprayer, filled it with clay slip - which is thin clay slurry about the consistency of paint, and Trev kills his left arm pumping it up and spraying.

There's been a lot of web searching and phone calls to make. We've finally found pvc-free electrical cables - at 4 to 5 times the price of normal wiring. (anyone know of a cheaper source?) - pvc free plumbing is still being fine tuned with our ideas changing so often we're hard pressed to keep each others latest decision. Often touting completely different ones to different people. The windows, - to make them or to have them made, that is the question. Time and money being incredibly difficult as we don't have much of either. Still, we only have a $13,000 mortgage so far. Though this is expected to blow out soon with electricity, plumbing and windows being major expenses.

I'll add a whole heap of photos of the appreciating-everything-Trev-does, kind. Some stage soon I'll add what's going on in the garden, which is starting to look bloody marvellous if I do say so myself.

A time of Blossom and Baby Animals

Brie (named for the dairy animal she is) and Hazel, because she's a bit nuts. Arrived, 6 weeks old and oh so adorable a couple of days back. Pure Toggenburg, I'm hoping the two sisters will be the source of milk and cheese in years to come for years to come. They spent the first night in the shed. Caleb opted to stay with them. We heard them bleating at 2am - the microwave dinging as he heated up a feed for them. The bleating persisted. But blessed with one very deaf ear, to block it out all I need to do is roll over and put my good ear to the pillow - I did. I'd told Caleb if it's too much come back to bed and leave them to it. He did, at 6am. I got up to give his head a tussle and told him what a good dad he was.
'No, I'm not' he muttered from under the pillow, 'I wanted to f'ing kill them.'

I'm hoping that reduced his likelihood of being involved in any teenage pregnancies.

They'd not had much human contact, so it's taken them a couple of days not to freak out when we come near, and are now content to be cuddled and take to the bottle twice a day. Watching them bunt heads together, jump and spring around... spring is finally here.


Yep, Caleb named the latest lamb - while Ramses, Lamboghini's predecessor, languishes in the freezer, subsides, sizzling, onto the plate and slides through Trev and Caleb's intestines, Lamboghini - thankfully female, and therefore safe - is cuteseying up the place. Born mostly black, she'll whiten up more than Ramses did. She's designated breeding stock, so will get to click her heels in peace for a long time yet.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Proper Gate

I wanna propagate - er a proper gate. I've been fencing the four chook clock enclosures, in 1/4 of an hour segments. I've floppy fenced most of it, which means laboriously using pliers to halve a 900mm tall 50 metre long roll of chook wire and wiring it to the top of the previous 900mm tall chook wire fence. It's not tensioned, but left floppy to put off raids by animals, in particular the possums, and deters escapees who don't like the insecurity of a wavy bit of wire.

Trev taught me a great trick with a nail, where you place it above one wire of the chook wire and beneath another on the one you wish to sew it to, and roll it around 360 degrees a couple of times and twist the two together. Then you don't need to introduce any new wiring material. If that doesn't make sense and it seems like something you'd like to know more on, say and I'll photograph the sequence.

Anyway, I know have need of at least 2 gates on the enclosures that I'm currently planting in. I need a proper gate - one that preferably came out of a 'farm gates for simpletons' type book. Anyone have a recipe?

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Ready to Launch!

Another month has passed and I've been shocking at keeping up with the blog. I have to come back tomorrow and rave on about Lamboghini,the great straw walls, laying first mud,the chook maze, a wind turbine, and I've even been planning to soap box it on US backyards (with more spent on them than the combined gross GDP of 40 of the worlds poorest countries).
But for now, late at night with an essay on what's going on with Tasmania's old growth forests to read, I'm just going to leave tonight's missive at...

Who Killed Dave? my fiction self-publish using green printing methods is about to launch. 15th of November, 2pm at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart, with Peter Boyer doing the honours. If anyone just happens to be in the world's most beautiful rural metropolis on the day - consider yourself invited.

I'm waiting for the shipment of books to arrive, and I'm clearing out the space to house them all. I have 20 of the digital print variety still sitting there. I recently discovered that Consumer Affairs might take an interest in my claim of being carbon neutral - which it may well be, but I can't say so without accreditation, and that costs $3000 - so now I'm saying carbon offset - which is legally the safer option. It's a learning game.

So now I have 20 advance copies of the carbon offset book, which mistakenly says it's carbon neutral - but which is on 100% recycled paper, though not printed with vegetable inks (digital print is toner based). I need the storage space - so selling them off - postage free at $20.00 each if you'd like one. Click here

More info at with excerpts and a couple of reviews. I was tempted to include my mother's. It went someting like this...

It was the sexiest Milly Molly Mandy I've ever read. It gave me nightmares.
Jan Cockburn

Still making me laugh. About 20 years ago I told her that her Catherine Cookson, Barbara Cartland novels were 'Milly Molly Mandy for adults' - obviously that comment has not been forgotten, or forgiven.

But she is right in that the book doesn't have a serious bone in its body - it's about falling into a book, being taken for a ride, one in which the car is full of laughing gas. Kind of Janet Evanovich does suburban Australia.

While the theme isn't serious, the process has been - I'd love to help mainstream publishing go green. Have a quick read of the green stuff page for a brief rundown on the whys and links to green printers and more.