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F Agricola

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since Jul 10, 2018
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Köppen Climate Classification System: Cfa (Humid Subtropical)
USDA Plant Hardiness: 10/11
Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
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Recent posts by F Agricola

Goes to show how good neighbours are a blessing, bad ones are, well, you know.

I'd still use some camera surveillance to ensure the fence isn't damaged or to capture illegal entry to your property.

Evidence is everything.

Good luck.
4 hours ago
In hot humid climates where there's no refrigeration type A/C or using it is against personal choice, evaporative A/C is probably one step up from a fan.

It only works with good ventilation - doors and windows open. The trade-off in the tropics are mosquitoes and the need to use mosquito netting over beds = makes it hotter! (Mozzies carry nasty diseases.)

Another method is using the 'Coolgardie Safe' principle - hang a water container up over a door or window, drap a loose weave material (like curtain material or hessian) in it so it wicks the water, and let it hang so any warm breeze hitting it will create a cool breeze on the other side. Also needs a basin or trough on the floor to catch the flow.

We had canvass blinds on verandahs and hosing them down after sunset created a similar cooling effect.

Same principle as a canvas water bag traditionally hung on the front of 4WD's in Australia and Africa during the 'Empire' period.

Other techniques we use are lots of timber lattice to block sun but let breezes through, designing houses so all the bedrooms are on the shaded side of the house, and traditionally placing the kitchen in a separate building beside the main house - when wood fired stoves were commonly used.

In another thread Dale mentioned growing a useful vine like passionfruit on a trellis. Combine the lattice and vine on trellis and there's significant benefits.

Anyway, after a few seasons, if you survive the heat and mosquito-borne diseases, you'll probably acclimatise!

4 hours ago

Rebecca Norman wrote:Oooh, I've got fruit envy!

Hey, going back to something you posted months ago about chickens who eat high carotene foods having yummy flesh and yummy dark egg yolks: Can chickens be fed grated carrots, and would that have a good effect? (I'm considering keeping chickens, and wouldn't have commercial feed or corn at all here, so I'm dreaming of possible winter feeds...)




Yep, we sliced leftover cooked carrot into fine slithers and they suck them up like pasta! We also buy cheap Asian noodles and cook them up with leftovers like potato skins and other vegetable trimmings - they disappear in a feathered frenzy. Every so often I buy the cheapest tinned cat food just to give the chooks a treat - just make sure it's seafood based, not chicken.


What a great idea!

Like most things that are run on a volunteer basis, the design will change over time as ‘customers’ provide valuable feedback. I can see this spreading across Asia to displace the less economical traditional ‘stoves’, though there will always be those that can’t afford or prefer them, so local artisans who make the old clay versions will probably still keep busy.

Is there a Tandoor add-on?

If the Foundation ever thought of selling them overseas, I’m sure they would be popular – even here in Australia where they’d suit bush living (particularly in the snowy cold climates), a holiday home, etc. Quality of workmanship would always be a concern with mass production though. Regardless, I’d buy one just to trial it – glass door, hot water tank and all. Reminds me of my Grandmothers fuel stove – very good memories.

4 days ago
Most Asian communities tend not to eat a lot of meat. A typical meal would be 90% veggie and meat only used for flavour/texture/protein. The bulking properties come from rice, noodles, tofu or breads.

Have you considered lowering meat consumption, which isn't a hard thing to do in a hot climate?

Alternatively, if your property is close to a clean river or the ocean, swap out hoof and claw for scales.

Also, in regards to refrigeration, maybe you could get a frig that runs on bottled LPG or CNG - no probs with electricity then.

5 days ago
Agile work can mean a few things to different people - to Politicians it's usually a code for less full time work opportunities, more casual work, and a fractured workforce of underpaid people.

To business, it means more opportunities, efficiencies, and something resembling a work/life balance - no mandatory early starts and late finishes in an office ... need to take the kids to the dentist, no worries.

We work in an agile workspace with several offices and depots scattered throughout the city and the State.

With a VPN (Virtual Private Network), I’m able to connect the laptop almost anywhere and do work - in multiple offices, construction work sites, at home, even in the car.

Couple the CADD compliant laptop with a smart phone and we have some incredibly powerful tools – Skype for remote conferences, real time presentations and approvals (electronic signatures) via a suite of software packages, etc.

It makes work life a lot more functional – working from home when desired, the office when required, the car when needed. Though I do admit it does blur the lines between traditional work and home spaces.

Now I’m accustomed to it, it’s something that can be transitioned to life on the Permie Farm via a WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) e.g. immediate cataloguing of plant and animal wellbeing, research on an array of things like plant diseases/deficiencies, ordering stuff from the produce store, whatever.

It can be a huge time and money saver for a relatively small outlay. Many outback Farmers have been using similar setups for decades to check remote stock water troughs and gate accesses – CCTV camera network and sensors so windmills can be switched on to fill troughs, open gates to move stock, etc. Otherwise it would mean several hundred kilometres of driving on rough tracks, or unnecessary wear & tear on their planes/helicopters.

5 days ago
I sympathise with your current troubles, some of which have been noted by others on this Forum who have jumped into Permaculture and were unlucky to be victims of unforeseen circumstances – weather, illness, family issues, etc.

It looks like you need another income stream to help fund your plans. Crowd funding is an option but it comes with problems too e.g. an all too easy crutch to rely on, nothing really learnt, etc.

Alternatively, what skills do you have that could be used to make money? What was your life before doing the Permie thing? Internet/computer savvy enough to sell your skills to nearby farmers? A profession or trade? Make and sell things?

I note from your website you grow pigs and chickens and use them to make a profit? What about value adding like making bacon, smoked meat cuts, etc? Bee hives for honey? Making jam from tropical fruits? Higher prices paid for unusual items like that. (For example, growing and selling mangoes in an area where everyone has easy access to them won’t see good profits.)

How about a very strict and focused business plan/strategy which identifies priorities e.g. maybe get accommodation constructed so you can host WWOOFers that will help you fast-track work … but they need somewhere nice to stay and food to eat! And, they need a strategy so time, resources and labour aren’t wasted on trivial or redundant things.

Wishing you the best of luck!

6 days ago

Yes, purchasing a good mobile phone case and maybe making a heavy duty leather carry case you can attach to a belt would improve things. A lot of farmers here wear high visibility clothing (particularly shirts) so they stand-out in the fields - a horizontal high-vis shirt raises alarm bells! But, it also makes it easier for rescuers to find people in a large area.

(A lot of smart phones have a torch function, so it could be used for signaling too.)

1 week ago

Although we didn't learn from these links - already knew but it's good validation of the methods.

The links provide good advice - Gardening Australia is a national program and covers all the climates found on the continent. (Peter Cundall is somewhat of a 'National Treasure' here: old fashioned common sense gardening.)


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