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Ray South

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since Jul 11, 2011
Northern Tablelands, NSW, Australia
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Recent posts by Ray South

A decent pocket knife, an Asian sickle (aka a kama) and a rake. I have other tools but these three I use the most. Of the three, the kama gets the most use.
1 year ago
I’ve used eucalypt woodchip, albeit mixed with other species, on veg beds without any problems of allelopathy or otherwise. I cannot see any issue if you are using it just on paths. The oils in the wood will break down over time and while doing so may inhibit weed growth in the paths.
2 years ago
I wouldn’t wait to start grazing though moving cattle regularly does require some infrastructure - electric fencing and watering points come to mind. As far as seeding the pasture goes, buy untreated seed, feed it to the cattle and let them seed the pasture. When I say grazing I should make it clear I mean mob grazing with regular moves. Alan Savory’s holistic planned grazing is a fine example of method. Great looking piece of country by the way.
3 years ago
In autumn, we put peach/nectarine seeds in a small bucket with damp sawdust, put a lid on it and leave the bucket out the back in the shade for the winter. Early spring we start looking and at the first sign of sprouting the bucket is emptied and sprouting seeds are either planted out or potted up. We have also sown seed direct and had reasonable germination, though sometimes not until the second spring. I have also cracked the pit, removed the seed and sown it. That works too, no stratification necessary.
Last year when spring rolled round we were too busy to do anything with the sprouting pits so dumped them all in a garden bed, just on top. Most died as they weren’t covered. One was buried by the pile and survived. It grew over 1.5m (5ft) in its first year. We call it frankenpeach!
3 years ago
If it were me, with very little spare cash and unable to realistically use the field for two years, I’d take the deal. Yes you’d lose some fertility but you’d have a seeded pasture at the end of it. I think you’ll find you’ll have plenty to do over the next 3 or 4 years without adding a herd of ruminants into the mix.

We bought 40 acres 3 years ago, got stock a year or so later and got rid of them a year after that. Simply too many things to do getting established to run the stock the way we wanted to. We’ll restock again at some point but not until we’re properly established.
3 years ago
Been living on rain water for some time. Over the years I've had various tanks ranging from the current 2 stainless steel 26,000 L tanks to a 32,500 L grey plastic tank. Never had an issue with algae. There are usually two filters and a first flush mechanism. The rain passes through the first filter, similar to the one shown in your pic, which is principally a leaf and other largish debris catcher, then it passes into the first flush mechanism, basically a large tube which can be emptied when needed, and finally at the entrance to the tank itself, is a another stainless steel filter, fine enough to keep mosquitoes out. Same size mesh is on the overflow outlet. Rain water tanks are common here and many rural folk live entirely on rain water they collect from their roof.
Just FYI, we have another 26,000 L tank for the shed which is currently under construction. When completed, we'll have a tank capacity of 78,000 L (a bit over 20,000 gal).
4 years ago
We have 14 sheep that we move each day. We gradually shrank the area they were grazing until we got them eating about 50%, trampling about 40% and leaving the rest. We make small adjustments to the size depending on how much fodder is available. They eat some of everything but they're sheep so I would expect that given the 'cell' size. When I say they eat 50% I mean they eat the herbage down by about half, in other words, half of just about everything. So far they've been reluctant to eat scotch thistle and they demolish the few plantains that are there.
4 years ago
Lots of large tanks around where I live. We use a 70 - 100 mm pad of road base or similar, often covered with a geotextile. My last tank was 32,500 L (~8,500 gal) and it sat on 100 mm (~4") thick pad of road base. You can remove the sod, level then lay your pad or if the site is already level just mow very short then lay your pad. The only compacting I did was with the back of a shovel.
At my new place, the tank is about two thirds the size and I intend to do the same thing except for the addition of some geotextile on which the tank will sit directly. I'm only adding the textile because I have it. It came with the tank.
4 years ago
I'd spread the seed and drag a chain over it. When doing this kind of thing we've had reasonable success by broadcasting first, then slashing the pasture. The slashing process knocks a reasonable amount of the broadcast seed down to soil level. Of course, it's too late to do this in your case, but maybe keep it in mind for next time.
4 years ago
We have a small flock of sheep. They are moved every day or two onto fresh pasture and have free access to seaweed meal. They seem healthy and robust. We've only had them for about 6 months so it's early days I guess.
5 years ago