Permaculture in Action

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekend Happenings.

A Saturday morning farm tour. It was lovely to have a couple of families here for a tour- a young mum with her 18mth old daughter  and her  neighbour who is surrogate nanna, and a young couple with their nine month old son.What a pleasure to have such lovely people visit our farm. The children were delightful- full of wonder.There have been times in the past when families have visited and the children show no interest in the farm or the animals and can't wait to get back into the car where their electronic game awaits them.

The weather turned quite cool and so after the tour we lit the fire and spent the rest of the day curled up watching old movies, while I knitted. A bit of an indulgence really and very rare, but much deserved I tell myself! 
And then an evening with the littlies and their parents around a bon fire ( I got to spend the evening cuddling with the baby)

Sunday morning - an early start with a composting workshop. One of the ladies from the tour yesterday was back for the workshop. This was actually her 4th workshop with us. She is well and truly hooked!
The compost heap is started with the earth  mounded up a little at the sides to create a little well to hold all the water that we use as we make the heap. Our first layer is always a woody layer that enables air to flow into the heap from the bottom. We use tomato stakes to make the sides. They are added as the heap progresses.

We water as we go to make everything really moist, then generally we don't have to water it again.

You can see it getting higher. we have all our ingredients at hand and make the heap all in one go.  We  add the ingredients in layers alternating between a carbon layer and  a nitrogen layer.

Ingredients for our heaps are gathered from around the farm and include manures from all the animals i.e. horse, cow, duck, geese, chicken and guinea pig.There are always plenty of herbs and weeds to be had, and old hay. We also add rock minerals, dolomite, pot ash, crushed egg shells and at the end we add the Biodynamic preparations.The heap sits for 4months before it is ready to use.

And after a quick bite to eat for lunch we ducked over to our local LETS ( Local energy trading system - which is an alternative to the monetary system. You can read more about it here )meeting for a trading day.
We bring along things to trade and set them out under the trees and on tables.
We bought home a few books, a mower, a cot (for the new grandchild) a bread loaf tin, a mouse trap,and a knitting pattern. As usual we brought home more than we parted with!


  1. That's a great looking compost. Thank you for sharing how it is made, and what you put in it. I am still in the learning phase for making compost, it is something I would like to succeed with.

    Sounds like you had an enjoyable weekend :)

  2. Hi Kate, your weekend was certainly very busy, and you still managed a lovely knitting afternoon!! Love your tomato stake compost heap idea - how easy is that?
    I've been visiting you a while and really admire all the things you achieve at your place. I need to get my self a little more organised so that I can do outside activities and not forget to do the inside chores or vice versa!! Thanks for stopping by and popping me up there in your 'special' list!!

  3. Just love those compost piles! I was thinking of doing a post about compost on the weekend and thought that I'd like a photo of your compost creations, and presto - logged on and here it was!