Friday, October 30, 2009

The other place

It's a little bit different from our current street address but we hope that some time in the not too distant future it will be our home.

The property consists of a mixture of wet scleophyll forest and cleared paddocks on the slopes of the Yarra Ranges. The soil is derived from volcanic basalt from some ancient lava flow, meaning that the soil is relatively very fertile compared the rest of the country. The soil is clay but has a magnificient structure which allows plant roots to penetrate deeply and acess moisture.

Forreseted gullies full of ferns bissect the paddocks in the upper part of the property while the lower gully is forested with giant mountain ash trees - well in fact - they are all over the property really.

The mountain ash country has an uncanny capacity to regnerate over what was once pasture. If left undisturbed, saplings would quicky spring up in all paddocks. However as one of our aims is to grow food for ourselves and possibly others, we will be trying not to let that happen - except in areas that we deem its suitable.


I toyed with calling the website address "thefiretrap". We are very well aware that wet sclerophyll forest will one day burn - and when it does it won't be pretty. The mountain ash tree themselves are trees which die when subjected to fire so controlled burning is generally out of the question as far as i'm aware. Controlled burning would in this case degrade the habitat although this is not the case for many other forest types. It's a sit and wait scenario.

We of course have plans for many things - and these include a number of fire abatement measures as well as fire protection. However most of these will have to wait for the day we move down.


Constantly changing really. We have left our options open but generally we'd like to be self sufficient in a large portion of our food and try to obtain most of the rest of our food locally. We may establish some berry fruit or nut crops for sale locally or for value added products.

I have been poring over permaculture texts and we plan to incorporate many of these principles, although once again much will have to wait until we live permanently on the place.

These are a major constraint on any plans we have about growing things. We have Samba deer that stand on their hind legs and rip down fruit tree branches. They even demolish lemon trees.
Wombats - their reach is not so high and they are not a problem for trees generally, but for the vege garden they present a formidable challenge. The next post focuses on the soultion to some of the critters.

Of course it is also wonderful to have these and other animals. They make the place that bit more amazing. Lyrebird calls penetrating through the forest, wombats bustling across the paddocks in the dim evening. The calls of black cockatoos and Gang gangs lif tmy heart up and usually make an appearance some time though the day. Satin bowerbirds and their many green mates - what a treat.

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