Aussies Living Simply

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 1,201 total)
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  • #484243
    bella
    bella
    Member

    That is stunning!

    #295682
    bella
    bella
    Member

    It has been so long since I updated this thread…

    We have been here for over 3.5 years now! We have 2 greenhouses and a fenced uncovered garden. Sometimes they’re prolific, sometimes they’re weedy!

    Stage 1 of the orchard never amounted to much, but Stage 2 is powering along!

    We have a house cow, 2 foster Jersey heifers raised on her, and her Wagyu Cross bull calf. I milk the house cow once a day, though when she raised the calves I often didn’t have to milk daily.

    We have 2 horses – Rosie is a mare and maybe 5 years old and Chili is a gelding and about 4 years old. We did have 2 rescue horses we brought here with us, but they’ve both died. We also had a friend’s Shetland Pony, but she had to be put down at 36 years old. 🙂

    Imogen’s chickens continuously breed and there are a kazillion of them – from teensy little game hens right through to big fat Australorps, Naked Necks (ugly), frizzles, silkies, various brown cross-breeds and everything in between.

    Lily has muscovies – a drake, 2 ducks and a few ducklings. I really like them. We had heaps more, but a wild dog/dingo killed them off months ago. 🙁

    Abby has guinea pigs, including some which free-range. I’m not sure how that’s going to go, but anyway…

    The reno’s are really slow. We built on the ‘school room’ first, and that was a relief to move stuff into. Then we did the entrance area, Abby’s room, then the sewing room, then the lounge room. So just a dozen or so rooms to go! 😉 We have teenagers in caravans which annoys me but thrills them! Gives us the space to move rooms around…

    The work we did on internal roads, clearing paddocks of lantana and fencing have made a huge difference, as has the addition of gates and plantings of bamboo and native trees.

    I still get frustrated that we aren’t doing much, but we really are. Especially considering dh is working full-time shift work, I am homeschooling 6 kids and driving 3 teenagers to work and social events, classes, rehearsals etc, as well as running a business, and a ton of community work and volunteering! 🙂

    I love our community – transition initiative, LETS, local food and more. There’s so much one could possibly be involved with, it’s overwhelming!

    #326278
    bella
    bella
    Member

    We store extra clothes and shoes in larger sizes to some degree, but like Reid said, it’s more a budgeting thing than a PO thing.

    If we come across larger bikes for the kids, we bring them home. It’s amazing how many friends, neighbours and dumps are giving away bicycles! We should probably have more in the way of spare parts I think. I was very impressed when our youngest of six children, who is six years old, needed a larger two wheel bike recently. I looked at all of our odds and ends of bikes and saw junk. A lot of pink junk too (he has 4 big sisters and only 1 big brother)… I said to hubby, “Never mind, I will buy him a bike for his birthday or something.” And hubby said it’d take half an hour. He took the least-pink parts from the bikes and make a fully functioning (purple, LOL) two wheel bike for Mr 6. We live on a farm, so it doesn’t really matter what he rides, he was just a bit sick of riding pink flowery bikes over jumps and all that tough stuff!

    I reckon hubby should be teaching the kids those bike mechanic skills ‘cos all I could see was a whole heap of bike bits, LOL. If it were up to me, Mr 6 would be walking.

    I have thought about contraception PPO a few times, since I already have six children and am over 35 years old Interesting to hear others’ opinions here.

    With regard to healthcare, we use herbal medicine and natural therapists almost always. We don’t want to rely on pharmaceuticals now or PPO. We are the same with our animals too.

    It’d be good to stock up on vitamins and minerals for humans and animals, I think. Most importantly the ones you use. Also learning about plants with really high vitamin and mineral content (they differ in different climates) and growing these!

    I worry about dental work. We try hard to look after our teeth, but my enamel in particular is really dodgy and I end up with dental issues usually once a year or so. There is no pain worse than a tooth ache! Ouch…

    #461986
    bella
    bella
    Member

    The dragons are great! Keep up the great work, Doc. I hope you have sent me a price list. 🙂

    #464127
    bella
    bella
    Member

    Yay! I hope you enjoy your prize, you deserve it! x

    #464139
    bella
    bella
    Member

    PS – must add that I have six kids, Jason, so we just sit and shell. Sorry, very unhelpful comment, but it’s quick enough once they’re quite dry.

    #464138
    bella
    bella
    Member

    Employ many children with small fingers. 😆

    #463654
    bella
    bella
    Member

    I have mine in a bottomless pot and they’re escaping. I just snip off the shoots when they come up, and that one dies off. I am thinking of what to do next though. Mine is an Atherton raspberry variety I got from the forest and am trying to keep ‘tame’ so I don’t have to walk so far for berries! LOL Hubby groaned when I planted it. Now we’ve had a wet season, I see what he means!

    #450632
    bella
    bella
    Member

    Judi, they will die down in winter here too, as we have frosts. I find that the best time to plant them is spring, unless you live in NT or tropical Qld coastal areas. They’ll take off like a rocket then, with the soil warming up!

    They do like a fair amount of water and ‘feed’ – compost or mulch etc. Our best ones grow under trees in the leafy mulch matter.

    I can grow green ones, but have trouble getting white ones to grow. The chooks and ducks like the leaves, the cows like the whole vine! Free-range livestock! LOL

    So:

    * plant in Spring (you can start it in a pot now and nurture it over winter, might die back but don’t give up, it could come back!

    * feed and water well

    * protect from leaf-eating pets

    Once you’re all inundated with chokos, I’ll share some recipes. 😉

    #326224
    bella
    bella
    Member

    Dixie, I posted in your thread. I went back to find my post/s in this thread. I have a treadle sewing machine now, but I need to fix one part of it, and look into spare belts etc.

    The transition/emergency/crop failure stockpile ebbs and flows with the budget and my awareness. As I said, we eat what we store, we store what we eat. 🙂

    We’re planting more food crops often.

    Community building is going really well, keeps me sane!

    #463243
    bella
    bella
    Member

    Oh rw, don’t worry, I’m soft-as! :p I *love* a hot shower with some lovely soap after milking and mucking-out time each afternoon… I cannot imagine getting that smell of mud and cow manure off me with 1L of cold water. LOL I even wash the cow’s udder with a bucket of clean hot water each afternoon I milk. LOL

    #463206
    bella
    bella
    Member

    1. City, urban or rural?

    Rural – 2km from a village, 12km from a couple of towns, 30km from a larger town. Quite a distance from a city. 🙂

    2. Considering relocating? Or second place to go to?

    No. Except the weeks it doesn’t stop raining.

    3. Food – ie. growing/raising your own? stockpiling/ preserving etc.?

    Yep – growing, raising, milking, hatching… Stockpiling a bit. Preserving some. Certainly have the skills and equipment for the latter, at least. Also manual kitchen devices and alternative ways of cooking…

    4. Water – ie. tanks, dams/ other? pumping, purifying etc.?

    Tanks, high rainfall, creek. Working on dam/s and ram pump etc.

    5. Shelter/ power/ waste management – ie. what type? reno’s or additions? building skills/ materials? maintenance or repairs etc.?

    Comfortable enough shelter, could do with more natural light. No alternative power really, yet. Septic on site already. Reno’s include living space, guest space, outdoor cooking etc. DH has skills, we have some materials. The roof might be an issue if we don’t change it soon-ish…

    6. Transport – ie. public transport/ using bikes/ change of vehicle/ other?

    Have bicycles, motorbike, horses…

    7. Health – ie. first aid/ herbal medicine/ distance to hospital/ getting healthier or off medication?

    If there was no dentist I’d be scared. Toothache – OUCH. Luckily few other health issues here. Have some knowledge of herbal medicine, have first aid supplies including basic herbal and alternative remedies and most general ‘stuff’.

    8. Community & family – ie. their support or involvement, extra considerations, education or amusement (of kids), building community ties?

    Community is hugely important to me, the vehicle I am trying to use to build a more sustainable community is LETS. The Transition Town thing is moving along fairly slowly, but LETS is really gathering speed here. We have no extended family nearby, but would like to have space for them to come to us if they need to. Kids can amuse themselves without mod cons. 😉

    9. Personal/ hygiene – ie. fitness, skills to learn, things in order

    I’m pretty sure my fitness would build up again quite quickly if I had to grow everything we ate and walk everywhere we went! I really like hot showers with soap after milking the cow and being in the mud. Alternative menstruation products in place. Hand washing laundry would be a chore and a half here… Six kids and red mud!

    10. Safety/ security/ contingency plans – ie. measures you’ve taken or would like to take?

    Hmmmm.

    11. Equipment/ stuff – ie. things you want to, or have, acquired, as well as storage/ repairs/ maintenance?

    I’d love a way to manually press oil from macadamia nuts. And a manual juicer of some kind (not citrus). Fix my treadle sewing machine. Set up the wood stove. Solar hot water and maybe some solar power… This list could be a mile long!

    12. Balancing & blending eco/ ethical/ simple living, with being prepared – thoughts/ ideas on this?

    Always. Growing food is more important than storing, for example.

    13. Concerns/ obstacles/ challenges? What is the biggest concern you have?

    Safety, kids, if the emergency was sudden and we weren’t prepared… I don’t tend to dwell on these though.

    #463312
    bella
    bella
    Member

    WOW!

    #463241
    bella
    bella
    Member

    We have bottled gas as a back-up to mains electricity – a gas hot water system, and the BBQ with its plate, grill, hood and side-burner thing. Not long term solutions, for sure, but great for the short term.

    We have a pot belly stove for heating and it has one hotplate on top. We have a lot of wood, though not a whole lot of good quality hard firewood on the property.

    We have a wood stove with hot water system attached which we’re moving, so it’s not installed right now – good for cooking, heating, hot water.

    Our water is gravity fed from 2 big tanks, but we need electricity to pump rainwater up to it, or fuel to pump up from the spring-fed creek. Looking into a ram for the creek and solar pump for the rainwater tank.

    Camping showers are great, but can get very hot so be careful!

    Butane stoves are an excellent backup and I’ve used mine many times when the power goes off half way through cooking tea! Power is a little unstable in the bush. 😉

    #462887
    bella
    bella
    Member

    I am also growing Qld arrowroot and have only used small chunks as a filler in casseroles and curries, so it sort of got mixed up with the choko and other ‘fillers’! It grows prolifically here, and I’m often digging up some to give away. I chop and drop the stalks and leaves for mulch, and feed them to my cows too. The chooks and guinea pigs and muscovies will also eat the arrowroot leaves – great for when it was dry last Spring and anything green was good!

    I just keep digging up tubers and placing them in various gardens and amongst trees – they’re great for filling spaces as well as bellies! We haven’t had an issue with them getting away at all, have been in the ground 2.5 years so far.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 1,201 total)
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