Marie van Houtte

+ Follow
since Nov 24, 2014
Australia
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
0
In last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
4
Received in last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Given in last 30 days
0
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Marie van Houtte

Thanks for all the info folks
3 years ago
Hi folks,

My friend is on 15 acres in temperate climate Australia. She has 3 horses and a pony (she's a horse person), 3 miniature goats and a small flock of geese. She's also open to keeping other small animals or poultry.

I've been talking to her about using a rotational paddock system, where one species follows another through the paddock shifts to help break the parasite cycle. There's a fair bit of info about to his out there for ruminants and chickens, but nothing dealing with horses, goats and geese.

So I have a few quick questions. First, is it even feasable to use a paddock shift system with horses? The main concern is to keep the pastures healthy and break the cycle of disease, not minimising feed costs (she will definitely still need to provide feed to her horses and goats). Or will the horses just compact the ground and ruin the pastures? I'm not sure if they need to sleep in their stables every night or what exactly happens with horses, as I've never kept them.

Secondly, what animal/s would ideally follow horses over the pasture? I was thinking chickens or guinea fowl might be good, but I'm not sure. What animals would ideally follow goats? And what about the geese? Or should she just keep the geese out of the paddock system and use them to weed her orchard area?

I'd like to help her work out a better system, but I've never kept any "farm" type animals and know nothing about their care or disease issues.

TIA

3 years ago
Leila! You are making me dribble. What have you been eating lately?
4 years ago
This thread is really helpful. Love it.

I'm not a very healthy eater, so I can't add much advice, but I do have one thing to share. My cousin is a ridiculous body builder gym junkie type guy, and my (very obese) brother in law asked him for some advice to lose weight and be healthier. He actually have some very good advice, but my favourite thing he said was "Don't drink anything except water for a few weeks. Then, when you're used to drinking lots of water, you can have a beer and tackle the next thing, and you'll have your new water-drinking habit to back you up".

If you're trying to change your eating habits from junk to good stuff, I think that's an awesome place to start. We all talk a lot about 'healthy eating', but of the junk that we consume slips under the radar because we drink it rather than eat it.
4 years ago
Hi Luke,

I'm in the Dandenongs too What size is your block of land? (Sorry if you already said and I missed it!)

I just wanted to say that here in the hills, your avocado trees won't get anywhere near 25 metres tall. They might make it to 5 metres tall in 10 or 15 years time, if you plant a big variety like Fuerte. Also your hazelnuts will only get to perhaps 2.5 metres tall and wide if you just let them do their thing. They're more of a bushy hedge/understory shrub in our climate. But Bryant is spot on about the chestnuts - they get big here!

There's a permie orchard up in Monbulk called Telopea Mountain, 10+ acres on a north facing slope. The owners also have a fruit tree nursery there, and sell to the public. It might be worth popping down to have a quick look at their set-up, just to get an idea of tree size and spacing.
4 years ago
Good point about taxation!

I've just done some quick sums based on my full-time income last financial year and the current tax rates in Australia.

On average, I pay $0.25 in income tax for every dollar I make (taking the stepped thresholds and Medicare Levy into account). That means, for every dollar I have in my hand to spend, I have to earn $1.34. Then, when I spend my dollar, 10% of that dollar goes to the taxman (due to our Goods and Services Tax). So that sort of means I pay $1.34 for something worth $0.90. I get the item, the seller gets $0.90, and the government gets $0.44. Or, in other words, I have to make $1.47 in order to buy something worth $1.00. Nearly half as much again as what the item is actually worth.

Now, there's not a whole lot I can do about the Income Tax Thresholds. But for every item that I produce for myself that's worth a dollar, I save $1.10, because I don't pay for the item, and I don't pay tax on the item.

Also, according to my sums, if I earn $20,000 less per year, I'll actually be less than $13,000 out of pocket, because I save just over $7,000 in tax. This also means I'll only be paying an average of $0.19 in tax for every dollar that I earn.

So let's pretend that I decide to work less, and I earn $20,000 less per year. If I'm able to reduce my annual expenses by $13,000 I will be in the same financial position as I was when I worked full-time. I wonder if that's easily achievable?
4 years ago
Hi folks,

My husband and I live on half an acre in the suburbs. He is a small business owner (off-site) and works full-time. I've just cut down my work hours at a desk job from full-time to part-time in order to study a PDC.

As part of one of my projects for the PDC, I want to look at the economics of working off-site part-time vs full-time. Now I realise that many (most?) of the benefits of not working full-time are not easily quantifiable (eg. mental and physical health benefits, positive outcomes of spending more time with family, etc etc), but I specifically want to look at the financial pros and cons of reducing off-site work hours. Not on a societal scale, mind you, but from a singles/couples/family perspective, and how this affects your personal finances.

I think in general, it all boils down to a 'money vs time' equation, and ways in which you can use your extra time to offset the income that is lost when you reduce your working hours.

I'm hoping you can all share your thoughts and experiences on the matter (and feel free to include your non-financial pros and cons as well!).



4 years ago
Danielle, I don't have an issue with putting an animal down in order to end it's suffering. It is sometimes heartbreaking, but I understand that the animals in my care are my wards and I must do my best by them, both in sickness and in health.

My issue is drawing that distinction between breeds. For instance, I would find it very difficult to come to terms with going out of my way to make a healthy and happy life for my dogs, but at the same time slaughtering healthy and happy chickens for food. I don't think I could comfortably draw that line.



4 years ago
This might be a bit too basic for your site, but this is what I've been up to for the last few years in my heavy wet clay.

When I plant a tree that needs good drainage (like citrus) I just make a big old mound of soil, compost, and woodchips, about 2' high and 10' diameter, and plant on that.

When I need more soil to make mounds, I dig another pond

I don't know how this would work on a larger scale, but it's a good backyard method.
4 years ago
Just wanted to let everyone know that camellia sinensis does very well in tropical climates too. Here in Oz we have a large tea plantation smack bang in the middle of a tropical rainforest on the east coast.

Camellias also grow beautifully for me down south in our temperate rainforest.

They are a bit funny about soil PH though - they like it a touch acidic. Perhaps plant near your blueberries and mulch with pine needles.
4 years ago