This long weekend was a great opportunity to get several jobs done around the garden and house, despite the heat.
Hubby completed the wood locker where we will store the wood for our wood stove. I have a strong aversion to snakes who seem to like wood piles so I asked that the wood be stored up off the ground. This locker was built entirely out of recycled items so it was a cheap build. It should store two trailer loads of cut wood with room for a bin at one end for kindling and smaller pieces. We will probably buy a couple of loads of cut wood now that summer is here, hopefully for a cheaper price than in winter. This past winter we didn't need to buy any wood at all as we had brought a lot of timber/wood with us from Boonah including old house stumps which were absolutely brilliant burners.
I spent a few hours in the paddock picking up cow manure from the cattle we are agisting on our place for our neighbours. We have made an arrangement with them to run their 11 beasts on our place in exchange for them buying and growing up a beast for us for slaughter later in the year. We will pay for the butchering but the meat will otherwise be free.
Anyway, I see the manure as a bonus, being a free fertiliser or soil conditioner. Earlier in the year we bought a ute load pf composted manure from a local dairy for $25 which was great, but it does become water repellent after a while so making my own for a low cost was a good alternative. You need to select the older drier pads and put them through a mulcher for a nice even mix.
This will be incorporated into existing and new garden beds as a soil conditioner, along with home made compost. One compost bin is full and cooking and a second one is now being filled so hopefully in a month or two we will have plenty of compost again. My last 'brew' turned out well and was used up in the no dig beds.
We have made the decision to extend our existing vegetable beds and ramp up our food production, firstly for ourselves but I'm also investigating options for earning an income from our property in the form of meat, eggs, vegetables and fruit.
Hubby also built a bird house in the hope that some of the gorgeous colourful parrots take up residence. At the moment they nest in a hollow corner fence post which is right next to the fruit tree area and I'm always concerned about disturbing them when I'm working there. Sadly we don't have a great number of trees on our property, and we really want to attract a wide variety of birds (other than crows and galahs) so I'm growing wattles, fodder trees and flowering shrubs for that purpose.
In the meantime, they have another option:
Hope everyone has had a good long weekend too. Stay cool and drink lots of water.