Question 2018...What will you do differently?

Steve

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Just thought I'd pose the question to all, what will you do differently, or more of, in 2018 to make yourself more self-sufficent?

I guess the question includes '...what have you learnt in 2017 that you will put into practice in 2018?...'

I'll have to give my answer some thought.....:dunno:


Happy New Year to all. :goodluck:
 

ClissAT

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mmmm this is a biggie for me since my Mother's estate is finally settled. Not that there is much of it but what there is has to stretch a loonnnng way!
The aim is to hopefully earn an income off my property growing food & of course providing good food for me as well.
Much revolves around a new shed.
So I will be starting with a huge cut on the hillside behind my house where the shed will go.
There will be a few mechanised items appearing that will live in afore mentioned shed to help me do the hard work around this place rather than me using sheer grunt & muscle power.
Due to a rapidly deteriorating body, I plan to redesign several aspects of my property to make life easier for myself. The shed will have an electric gantry in it so I can unload ton bags of various compost & fertilizer components that I will buy/get for free. It will also have some very big tanks to catch rain water for garden purposes.
Winning the consultation with the permaculture guy has been fortuitous for sure & came just at the right time.
He is keen to help me build massive mounds of compost with a small tractor, build swales in one of the horse paddocks to test a chop & drop method on this soil where we will cut down whole weed trees like the black wattles & camphor laurels & chip them up to lay as thick mulch to hopefully draw moisture back to the surface of the swale wall to support plantings.
There'll be some cluckles moving in again soon(ish) since I do miss having them around but this time there will also be a big fence to keep them in the food forest area! No more chook poo upstairs on the verandahs or the pavers at the entrance under the house! lol
The shed will have some basic living quarters so I can get help from Woofers & back packers. Rob the permi guy has a long list of people wanting to get experience at places like mine apparently. All good I say!
I look forward to growing my own tasty fresh produce again without the dramas of crappy soil & water.
 

Kasalia

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I have given this a lot of thought recently as thinking about old age and now decided while we are able to convert my front vege garden to raised beds.
This means using the current fancy edging to raise up to seatable height, 2 L shape edging beds on boundary, for the shrubs, roses and flowers and then put in a series of beds in the remaining space in wood also seatable for weeding.
Doing it now while we can rather than waiting when we would have to pay someone. Hopefully despite using more pathway space, beds will be more productive, than open ground.

After culling our chickens 6 months ago, and what with all our travel havent replaced them yet and now not sure what to do. There will be more caravan trips, so thinking cheaper to buy eggs rather than neighbours collecting all the time, but we have this great chicken cage empty, and I do love chickens.
 
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Letsgokate

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Some great replies, I think we are all going to be busy.

We have been here for 3 years, the house is over 23yrs old and we have been slowly renovating it over that time. So we will be continuing to plod along with that.

As well as finish repotting my fruit trees into bigger root pouches.

Native bee hive must be split.

I’ll be purchasing a new worm farm that will hopefully make that whole process easier and looking at long term ease of use as I get older. Would like to use the castings and worm juice more for fertiliser.

We also rehomed our chooks, not sure if we would replace them this year though but looking at more of a chicken trackor setup, we think.

Last year we were away for a few weeks in winter and due to the weather I lost a lot of winter crops, so any time away will be fit around the veggie patch. But in general I was pretty happy with how the veggie patch went so I guess just more growing and preserving.

And of course there is always lots more that comes along

Happy New Year everyone, May your gardens flourish this year with bumper crops.
 
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DarrenP

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23 years old? Try a 145 year old cottage, Letsgo. :) And we've only been it for about 15 months now.
 
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ClissAT

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23 years old? Try a 145 year old cottage, Letsgo. :) And we've only been it for about 15 months now.
Oh well I’m sure it has loads of character:)

I have spent many hours doing forensic investigation & deduced my Queenslander was built around 1910.
So that makes it 108yrs young now.
It could either be an import from California (believe it or not!) or an original milled as a prefab at a new mill on the Brisbane River at Newstead from timber freshly railed from the boarder ranges. :shock: prefab!?!? :idea:

Only pulling the wall boards off to check for particular stamps on the unpainted sides of the studs will provide the answer.
It has these gorgeous dark red natural hardwood floors that I feel might be Californian redwood.
So there is a lot to love about old houses & many intriguing mysteries.

Working to make this house more in keeping with it's heritage is something else I'll be doing in 2018 although that in itself is not for the most part to do with becoming more self sufficient, just making life easier for myself so I can get outside to do more gardening.
 
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OskarDoLittle

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IMG_0047.JPG

This little guy has been occupying my time over Christmas. We got him Nov 27 and he's part of the reason I've been very slack online lately (well, him and that whole Christmas thing!)
 
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OskarDoLittle

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But in reply to Steve, what will I do differently...hopefully this year we'll buy land. We're looking at a large lot (about 400acres) at the moment - but it will require a complete life-change. There's a good chance it won't come off unfortunately as a million stars will have to align - but here's to dreaming!
 
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Helen Auriga

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No puppy yet. Organising to see her after the holiday period.
 
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Mark

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3 major things I will do differently...
  1. Finally, place a net roof on our chicken/poultry enclosure - the crows are back and stealing the eggs and I'm sick of losing eggs and chasing away big lizards!
  2. Create a dedicated growing area for climbing vegetables/fruits such as gourds, perennial beans, cucumbers, etc - I will be making a grow tunnel out of our existing reo mesh trellises. Too often, these types of plants take over the garden at the expense of other plants due to their growing nature so a dedicated "gourd tunnel" is what I think will be the bomb.
  3. Raising more of our existing wooden beds higher so less bending is required when working in them. I find the easier it is to work in the patch the more I tend to do so this should help to grow more.
My climbing area plan...
tomato trellises post to post and reo mesh future plan.jpg
 
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OskarDoLittle

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View attachment 2979
Our little fellow when we brought him home. Chewie, because as you can see he looked like Chewbacca. First haircut, he looks like this.
View attachment 2980
Ahhhhh so cute!! (Now he looks more like a blonde Ewok than a Chewy!!)
How lovely Helen, new puppies are the best (until they ruin your carpet, won't stop shagging your leg, cry all night and then gack up their dinner in your lounge!!) Just kidding - I wouldnt change mine for the world, and he's quite naughty...
 
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Steve

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So in 2018 I think I need to get more beds in, in fact any bed will do.
2017 saw a lot of other 'stuff' done around the property, which I'm glad I did, but I'm not going to get veggies unless I have somewhere to grow them. I guess it's not doing something differently, but more like just doing it.
I learnt in 2017 that clay soils have killed a couple of my fruit trees and stunted others. My lesson here is I need to mound up as much as possible. All the trees on mounds are doing so much better.
I also learnt that my chooks need overhead protection. It was sad to lose a couple but a lesson learnt for sure. The nets are up now so I just need to keep them up.
I've found that if I dont keep on top of the weeding that they will just take over. Sometimes I feel like I'm constantly trying to keep nature from claiming back my land. This year I will keep on top of it and use thick mulch to suppress.

I'm sure there is a lot more I'm going to do differently but this is what comes to mind.
Here's hoping 2018 is more productive for all of us :cheers:
 
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ClissAT

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I've found that if I dont keep on top of the weeding that they will just take over. Sometimes I feel like I'm constantly trying to keep nature from claiming back my land. This year I will keep on top of it and use thick mulch to suppress.
Quite a list there Steve in those few words! ;)

Something to think about regarding those so called weeds.
The plants that volunteer to grow in a given spot are what grows best in that spot.
'Weeds' are good at that. But what 'weeds' really are, are fertilizer volunteers.
They are volunteering to fertilize that bit of soil for you.
Work with them rather than fight them.
The way to work with them is to let them come up until lush & strong, mow them off, cover thinly with some light mulch so the soil is not exposed & let them regrow, mow them again then finally mulch right over them with a heavy top mulch like wet paper or cardboard. After a few weeks your bed is ready to plant into.
These unwanted plants are volunteering themselves & the nutrients they mined from deep in the soil to be sacrificed for the good of the soil.
This is what soil does. It cons certain plants into growing in certain places because that soil needs those nutrients in order to come to a state of balance.
Conversely, plants that don't do well in a given place, are suffering because the nutrition is not right. The soil doesn't want that type of plant growing there! Often it is our precious vegies that don't grow quite well enough. But right there with those sickly plants are those darned weeds, growing like crazy. Its very frustrating, for sure.

So if for example you always have cobblers pegs coming up despite your best efforts, then let them come up, mow them off, let them regrow & mow again. Finally rake in your compost as a light mulch over the whole lot & apply the heavy top mulch. Let the bed rest a couple weeks then it is ready to plant up.

If you expose & break your soil by pulling the weeds, you kill the micro biome that turns rotting plant matter into soil food. Better to keep it busily working for you composting those weeds you mow down. The micro biome is a combination of many microscopic critters along with fungi & bacteria. Pulling weeds breaks the microfilia of the fruiting fungi that acts in partnership with the bacteria to break down the green matter to create the natural fertilizer.

So the long & short of all this is to work with the weeds, not exhaust yourself fighting them. Treat your mowing expedition as a fertilizing event. Once the mowing is done, stand back & see your good work as a beneficial act for your soil. :twothumbsup:
 
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Robyn67

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What I'll do differently.

Move the veggie patch from under a giant gum tree. (I inherited this garden position from previous owners).

Moving it to "chicken paddock" and combining it with shrubs and some flowery type plants.

This will provide veggies with better soil and more sunlight as well as provide the chickens with places to hide from nasty magpies (they killed a baby chicken today) as well as giving them more places to forage. Hopefully will stop the big ones jumping fence into the home paddock.

I'll need to nett off actual veggie beds so the chickens don't eat or dig up veggies.
 
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DarrenP

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That's a great idea for the weeds, ClissAT. That won't work with the caltrop though. That stuff is almost indestructible. There's an old farmer's saying here: leave the caltrop and you've got it for seven years. I hope not; I've been digging it out since we moved in.
If you aren't familiar with caltrop, think three corner jacks on steroids.