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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture


So what was I successful at .... getting this website up and running. Been wanting to get it going for a while but have always been distracted by the great outdoors. If the sun is up then I usually like to be out there in it. Sunday I’d finally decided that it was time and yesterday I hit the Publish button. Now to get on with some writing!!

My day usually starts early. As I’ve just said I like to be out there with the sun. My chickens and ducks also like to be up with the sun so that’s actually what motivates me to get out there even on the cooler days. Theres ducks to let out of their houses and all the poultry to be fed. My chicken coops have the fantastic automatic doors so they are usually out and lined up at the fence awaiting my arrival.

Following a breakfast omelette of farm grown goodness I get on with the day. I practice rotational grazing with my sheep which means I move them fairly regularly. Every day is ideal, which is what I try to do in spring when the grass is growing quickly. At the moment it’s every day or two. It’s great for animal health, reducing parasite exposure and gives beautiful fresh grass, but is also great for improving soil health and getting that carbon put back where it belongs! I just opened up an extra area of paddock this morning to keep everyone happy.

Being on a farm, even a small one like this, means there is a huge diversity of chores, repairs and tasks to be done. You really do become a jack, or Jill, of all trades. I’ve been putting off this particular project for sometime but, like website building, the time eventually comes to just get the job done. Many many months ago I had a water pipe leaking in the wall. Plaster was cut off and bricks pulled out, leaving a very airy toilet but it allowed my plumber to find the leak and finally fix it. The slab and walls were really wet and he suggested that I leave repairs until it was dry. Great, an excuse not to get it done! Anyway I think 5 months is long enough for it all to have dried, so no more excuses!

Long story short, I put my 5 bricks, yes just 5, back in the wall. Never been a bricklayer before and while I don’t think my handy work would be good enough to hold up a house I think it is good enough to keep the flies and mozzies out. Pretty pleased with that!!

I bought myself a microscope last year so that I could investigate the microbial health of my compost and soils and compost teas. Back at the start of September I was going to do a short course to equip me with the skills needed to do this but then covid got in the way! Yep, no travelling to south Australia so unfortunately I couldn’t get it done. I’d parked the microscope in the cupboard until recently but dragged it out - I’m sure YouTube and I can figure out what’s down there on my glass slide.

Had a look at a sample from a wood chip path. Last week after some heavy rains

little mushroom heads popped up everywhere so I took my sample from here and I did see fungal hyphae (little strands) through the microscope. I was also excited (I’m finding it’s often the little things that excite me) to find a nematode. This bacterial eating nematode is a good guy in the soil as he releases nutrients as he feds which then feds the plants. It’s kind of fun finding all the different critters!

Just before sunset I do a final check on everyone. The chickens head into the coops themselves but I do have to entice the ducks into the houses with a bit of food. Tonight everyone behaved and went straight in. Always a relief as I want to go straight into my house by this time too.

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