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Hello from Far North Queensland

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    Hi there, 

    I was a member on the forum for a short time a couple of years ago but had very little power or internet while building our house so dropped off the grid for a while and just decided to rejoin. I live in an off-grid eco-friendly house in the middle of 315 acres of rainforest two hours south of Cairns. We have a wood stove for cooking and water heating,with a backup solar water heater. Our electricity is completely from solar, backed up when needed by a vegetable oil powered generator. Our water is rainwater collected from the roof. My husband and I are trying to live a sustainable life and are getting there slowly, although definitely learning a lot of hard lessons on the way. I have a bit of a blog about our place and our progress. If you are interested in reading about our sustainability plans they are laid out here We have chickens and guinea fowl and have a large fruit and vegetable garden. I would love to own some goats. I make our own butter, cheese, preserves and soft drinks. One day we hope to be able to grow most of our own food…if the white tailed rats are prepared to share! We are building a new greenhouse hopefully this week protect our crops from the rain as we have a lot of problems with things rotting here. I also rehabilitate native wildlife. I am hoping to learn a lot from others in the group and pick up some tips.
    Nice to meet you all, 

    Hi Claire,  Welcome to ALS    :-h

    Sounds like you are well on the way to a sustainable life style.   Well done.

    I will have a look at your blog.



    Hi Bobbee! Thanks! We are getting there, but there always seems to be more projects to do 🙂

    Nice to meet you! 

    Hi Claire, sounds like you are living the life I used to when I was living in the north. I miss it and wish you luck.


    Hi Claire 🙂
    We are finding that there are always projects to do too 😉

    Your place sounds lovely.


    Thanks TropicalRose and GirlFriday! Living in the North is great,although I haven’t visited anywhere else in Australia yet so don’t really have much to compare it to :))


    Welcome back!  I love your blog – looks like you’ve done a heap of work on your place and have plans to do lots more.  I esp like your fridge – that is an ingenious idea.


    Thanks mudhen! Glad you liked it. We have so many plans for the place, I don’t think we will ever be finished 🙂


    Hi Claire nice to meet you,I see in your blog you have used mill mud my partner and I have  just recieved 3 truck loads of mill mud from one of the mills near bundy can you tell us how to use the mill mud effectivly as we have never used it before eg.can you plant in it straight away,do you have to leave it for awhile or do you just use it for fertilizer,we have approx 25 acres on the Burnet river[fresh water side] we have water allocation but the ground is very rocky we also are trying to go self serficent but as we all know it all takes time we have sheep,chickens and geiune fowl we also have rabbits on the property but have not managed to eat them yet but they are on the list we also fish the river and enjoy the fish we catch.

    THanks Gary

    Hi Gary, 

    Nice to meet you too! We have only had a small amount so far so just spread it under our fruit trees. I believe sugar cane farmers mix it with ash and just dig it straight into the ground then plant. Would live to hear how you get on with it. Your place sounds wonderful. We have a few rivers on our property but havent spotted any fish, I’m hoping one day we can install aquaponics or a farm dam. Sorry for slow reply for some reason forum not working well at all in my browser so I finally gave up and just wrote this on my phone!

    All the best,


    I would be very wary using mill mud! That stuff would be loaded with chemicals, including Synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

    We have a neighbour that uses that stuff (he grows organically otherwise) but none of his produce has the same taste as mine, it is either floury or tasteless, just like commercial produce.
    He grows Pawpaws and they are bland, also within 2 days of picking them the skin starts to rot!
    All i can put it down to is the mill mud, i avoid it like the plauge!

    Hi Claire,  I used mill mud all the time while living in Ingham and found it fantastic as a fertilizer, but you can keep the white tailed rat’s as I don’t miss them at all!


     trying to live a sustainable life 

    Can you articulate what you mean by that ?  

    I moved from North Qld (lived there 40 years) , it was just getting too hot, (it’s nice 3 months of the year, shitty for 9, where as here (northern NSW) is shitty for 4 months and nice for 8)  had enough of cyclones and not being able to enjoy the outdoors.  I like the outdoors, so I like to swim in the ocean and rivers, and i like to hike and not feel like a prune from the sweat…  something I can do here albeit I still baulk before jumping in the local river for a swim looking for crocs 🙂  

    I think it’s impossible to become sustainable without a community.  Rice, Salt, Wheat etc way too much work to do it all.  As to Goats milk… my god that stuff tastes bad 🙂 

    You cant be totally sustainable but you can “try”.
    i thought I lived a pretty sustainable life solar panels,economical car  dont drive much, grow lots of my own food,dont shop much,no heating no cooling and according to WWF survey it still would take 2 planets if everyone lived like me. 


    Hi, I meant it literally, we try to live a sustainable life. I know it won’t every be totally sustainable but we can certainly try our best. Our electric is 100% solar and our backup gen which we have only used twice in two years runs on used vegetable oil. All our water for bathing, watering plants and drinking is collected rainwater. Our hot water is from a wood stove we use for all of our cooking backed up by evacuated tubes. We live in 315 acres of rainforest so we collect wood for the fire and dry it and we conserve the wildlife and nature there. We plan to grown most of our own food and that is well underway. We have chickens for eggs and fertilser. Our furniture is all reclaimed wood or recycled stuff. We make our own soaps and cleaning products etc. Compost and recycle our waste as much as possible. Still a long way to go and things we can improve on but its a start. There is also a great community here for trading products and when we have more spare produce we hope to get involved in that.

    It’s funny because I actually find the tablelands quite cold lol. I came here from 5 years in Africa and I find anything under 30 chilly :). We are very lucky on our place to have rivers with no crocs and we have cut lots of trails so I spend most of my time outdoors. It’s the rain that gets me down, I’m used to torrential downpours then dry whereas here we have periods where we have a few weeks of foggy drizzle and my house starts going mouldy!!! At the moment though no rain for weeks and weeks and I’m ready for done as my tanks are starting to get very empty!!

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