Brodie is Famous!

Brodie's workplace, The Falls Farm, has been featured on the most recent issue of Grass Roots magazine. Check it out!

And Benny too!
Grass Roots is my favourite magazine, so if you haven't read it before I recommend buying a copy and having a read.

Spring Rains, Holidays and Vegan Muffins

Rain!

It's been raining!

Hooray!

Since last week we've had between 130-150mL, a very welcome respite from the long dry since Cyclone Debbie hit in March. Luckily for our water tank Debbie dumped 300mL on our place and carried us over to these rains. We have had over 50mL this weekend so we are putting our outside jobs on hold for a little while.

In the first week of October we had a well deserved week off. Our last holiday was our month long trip to Canada which we came back from in February. Since then we have bought a house, moved in, (almost) painted the whole inside and cleared the front yard! It has been pretty busy and the year has just flown by.

On our week off we went camping to Koorelah National Park, which is a really tiny national park on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. It is quite remote and doesn't have a lot of facilities, so it isn't very popular and as we started our trip on a long weekend it worked out well. It has the most amazing gorge to climb around and we got up close to a wild Platypus. I have never seen one before in the wild so it was a real treat! It hung around for most of the day so we sighted it multiple times. Of course I didn't have my phone with me so I didn't take any photos!

We had two clear days, Saturday and Sunday, and then it RAINED! The one week we take off to go camping and it RAINED! Quite amazing, really. So we stayed there 4 nights and came home 2 nights earlier than we expected, refreshed from our time in nature.

We came home via Warwick and Hampton for a bit of a scenic drive and to avoid the city. When we got home we found 110mL in the rain gauge! Luckily it didn't rain that much where we were camping, otherwise we would have been very soggy. Its been raining on and off since then so we have been taking the time to have a rest and catch up on some small jobs. One job we finally did today was to clear the driveway pad. We had a heap of green waste there that we put there when we moved in and now we can get the vehicles in and out a lot easier.

Brodie looking pleased. The brown area is where the pile was.
I commented on Rhonda's blog Down To Earth and Meg messaged me to ask more about vegan muffins. I love having vegan muffins recipes on hand as the ingredients keep so well so if I find I am out of eggs, butter or milk I can still make something. One of my favourites that I usually make are these banana muffins. I usually halve or third the sugar as they can be quite sweet! Perfect for the bananas that are just too ripe.

The recipe I commented about on Rhonda's blog were these vegan strawberry muffins. Strawberries are in season at the moment and the Sunshine Coast is a big strawberry growing area, so we have a lot of growers to choose from. One lady at our normal markets, Jan, caught our eye with her $4/kg strawberries grown just down the road. They are very small, but very, very sweet! I thought they would be perfect for some muffins so I looked up the recipe and cooked up a batch which complemented the strawberries nicely. We enjoyed them in our work lunches all week.

I didn't expect to be writing about recipes on this blog, but if I can help people to use fresh, local produce in interesting ways that's got to be good for the earth and our health.

I think I will bake another batch of strawberry muffins next weekend! We have got a few things planned for the rest of the year so watch this space.

Until next time,

Kat

Front yard progress

Last weekend we spent a bit more time clearing the front yard. It feels good to get out in the cooler weather and chop and drag trees around. The front yard is much bigger than we thought! We have spread the mulch pile now and it makes a big difference to the area. Here are some before and after photos.

View from front door





View from kitchen window





View down front path





View from front gate





Next weekend we plan to finish the side bit next to the house down to the water tank.

Until next time,

Kat

Birthday Weekend

A few weeks ago was my birthday. I spent it doing the things that I love to do – practicing permaculture and learning about nature!

On Saturday, we had Brodie’s boss from The Falls Farm and her partner come over for dinner. But if someone is invited to the property, there will always be work for them! Christine is a native plant enthusiast and expert, so we took her around our whole property to help us identify some of our natives. She is heavily involved in the regeneration program at the Falls Farm, so she knows all about endemic species and what grows well in the area.

We started off at the front gate and moved our way down. It was interesting to see some of the natives that were only young that we hadn’t identified yet. When we start clearing more, there is a large bank of native seeds in the soil and we will see more of them. We already have Bleeding Hearts (Homalanthus populifolius) popping up everywhere! We are grateful for their arrival though, as they add a quick growing habitat for the local birds and provide shade.

On the Sunday we FINALLY got into clearing the front yard a bit. We have been quite busy the last couple months (hence the blog has been quiet) as Brodie has been off competing in shooting competitions with his step dad. I don’t have good chainsaw skills so we wait until both of us are there.

The front yard isn’t too bad in terms of weeds, however there is definitely a trend of birds sitting on the fence and depositing weed seeds along the fence line. We cleared a couple of exotics, a couple of camellias that were in the wrong place and several small Chinese elms and privets. It feels a lot more open and a lot bigger than before! The fig is a really interesting tree to look at and now that we have taken down the other plants around it is

My current plan for this area is to plant a privacy ‘hedge’ of some shade loving plants along the existing front fence and then putting chooks in under the tree. It is a good spot for them and the vege garden will be just downhill of the tree. I should have a look at what hedges grow fruit for chooks to eat.

Here are some before and after photos:





Hopefully this weekend I will get around to spreading some of the big mulch pile and making the area feel more settled. The pile has been there for quite some time and we need to make room for more piles!

Until next time,


Kat

Our New Addition to the Family

Welcome to the family, Benny!



Benny is a kelpie border collie cross, and is an absolute sweetheart! Looking forward to adventures with him!
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