Failed Experiment

Nothing we ever do is really a failed experiment, it may not work the way we wanted it to or the way we expected it to but we always learn something.

I wanted to see if vegetables would grow more quickly, use less water, and be more healthy if grown in soil that composting worms had composted or rather decomposed.

So I dug a hole and put some lucerne hay and some manure in the bottom of it…… photo upper left…..at top of page. Next some scraps that Tristan dropped off from the scrap run. photo…… upper right….. Worms were then added and lime spread over the top to prevent it smelling. Another layer of hay and manure ……lower left…..And last of all cardboard on top. I then left it for a few weeks.

When I took the cardboard off, the scrapes were gone, I could only find one worm, and it was very hot inside the hole, then a rat jumped out. I got a fright, as I was kneeling on the ground, so did not see if it was a native rat or an introduced one.

So some of the things I learnt were:

If you construct something that is warm, covered from the elements, has food near by, and all the comforts of a home, something will occupy it.

Composting occurs very quickly. I do not know how to how to prevent composting. Decomposing takes longer but is better than composting because the heat in the compost destroys all the good microbes in the soil, there for composted soil has no life.

All is not lost, I still have a vegetable garden. I will just add in some of the soil I removed, put in some soil other composting worms have made, then plant some vegetables.

 

 

  

                 

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The change in Australian Landscape by clearing of the vegetation

Australia was claimed by England in 1770 with the so-called discovery of the Great Southern Land by Captain James Cook. The land was said to be uninhabited even though fires were recorded as being seen right up the east coast. The environment was being managed by the people who had lived on the land for many thousands of years, and knew how, probably after many mistakes, how to live in this fragile environment.

Australia was set up as a penal colony in 1788, so to begin with only the 1000 people, between 700 and 800 convicts a retired naval officer in command and 160 mariners for defence. Free settlers, a few, began arriving in 1793.

The first land grants were made in New South Wales in1787. The Governor was authorised to make grants only to liberated prisoners and to each unmarried man was not to exceed 30 acres. In 1798 this was extended to free migrants and to marines serving in NSW, the maximum grant was not to exceed 100acres. In many cases these grants were made conditional upon a proportion of the land being cultivated.

In 1834 much of the land in NSW had been surveyed. A rush of people began settling these areas, they were known as squatters. The person I called my father descended from a squatter family.  Huge areas of forest and scrub were cleared for pasture and crops along the coast and inland. By 1860, after 70 years, there were 1.2 million acres under crop and 25 million head of livestock.

Clearing along river banks was forbidden but ignored, the same as it is being ignored to-day along the rivers emptying into the Great Barrier Reef. In 1948 because of clearing along river banks and over grazing in the Hunter Valley it was estimated soil loss from erosion was765,000 cubic meters annually.

With the Soldier Settler Farming schemes, because of caveat and lease requirements, in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, hundreds and thousands of hectares of trees were ring-barked and burnt. These areas then lost the bird and wild life. It is estimated that because of the loss of biodiversity 45% of woodland birds were lost.

Bush Heritage Australia says about 90% of native vegetation in the eastern temperate zone has been removed for agriculture, industry, transport and human habitation. About 50% of the rainforest have been cleared. Up to 2001 around 5% of Australia’s higher plants, 7% of reptiles, 9% of birds, 9% of freshwater fish, 16% of amphibians and 23% of Mammals are listed as Extinct, Endangered or Vulnerable.

The Bush written by Don Watson talks about the first settlers in the Gippsland area of Victoria and how the gigantic trees were fallen and burnt. And how after a paper mill came to the area the destruction caused along the creeks and water ways. Goannas, lizards, wombats, koalas, potoroos, pademelons, tiger cats, quolls, platypuses, gliders, ringtails, echidnas, and how many other species vanished with these remnants of the forest.

In the New England area of NSW where I spent the majority of my life on grazing properties [ I am one of the people who has contributed to the destruction of Australia] I remember the stories told of earlier times how in one area 50,000 koalas were taken for their pelts. These were sent, most likely to England, and if anything like, other skins or pelts sent to England, were not cured properly so were destroyed. The property they came from was open country with trees in nice proportion, this was because the koalas ate many of the small germinated trees that grew. What then occurred was all the small trees grew. In the late 70’s early 80’s these and many large trees were removed by two tractors with a chain between them taking all in its path. We discovered that the rain fall amount had diminished on our property and we estimated our totals had moved 10 miles closer to the east.

I remember my early childhood wandering around the property alone, my favourite place along a small creek with lots of tee tree, wattles, gums and some black berries. It was cool along the creek and I was fascinated by the diversity of life, I discovered how tadpoles grew into frogs, how dragon flies could touch the water and then fly off again, how many different spiders there where and could not understand why people were afraid of them. I saw my first snake and ells and didn’t know the difference and was not game to ask in case I was prevented from my wanderings.

A few years ago, I was talking to people who now own the property where I grew up and talked about my early exploits. She asked me what creek it was and when I told her, she said that creek only runs now just after rain.

The property where I spent my adult life was the homestead block of one of the first stations squatted on in the area. There were, on most of the country, very old trees the other trees had all been cut down or rung barked many years before. You could see by the sheering shed, the old blacksmith shop and other buildings, how large the trees must have been, as these were all built out of wooden slabs cut from trees on the property. Not many of the old remaining trees seeded and if they did stock ate them so none grew to maturity.

In the year1980 I took over the day to day running of the property and slowly began planting trees and fencing off any remnant vegetation. But I still sprayed paddocks with round-up, killing all the native vegetation, and planting introduced species, thus destroying diversity of the vegetation. Fertiliser was also applied and I discovered it was being looked up in the soil so the soil remained acidic. I still ran beef cattle, I cried when I sent steers, male cattle, to the abattoirs. It took me awhile to realise I was killing God’s creation and sold all the cattle. I didn’t want to cry again and feel what I was doing. I also grew merino sheep for their wool and because it was desired for the type of wool it was there was no trouble selling cull sheep to re-stockers, this I thought was ok, but every animal that does not die on a farm is sent to an abattoir. Exception horses.

It is 13 years since I sold the property and am just really feeling all the harmful destruction I have caused both to the animals and the land and also myself. Why did it take so long? Why didn’t I see earlier the damage and destruction I was causing? How much am I still suppressing my childhood and not feeling? How much am I still not seeing the other things I have done to harm all of God’s creation? How much am I suppressing what others have done to me?

I would just like to say, in my opinion, the reason we are destroying the world, that God created for us to live in, is greed. We want to eat meat, sea food and dairy products. If we didn’t eat these things think of the amount of land that would be left to the environment, for trees to grow, for wildlife to thrive and multiply, for river and creeks to stop silting up and run clear and fresh, for seas and lakes to be filled with life. We can live very well eating vegan. We would need far less land for agriculture, far less doctors, pills and portions. What about the size of the houses we live in, and what they are made of, how much energy are we using to run them?

We need to sit quietly see what we are doing, what we have done in the past, and see if we want to change anything. If we do wish to change, what is it we want to change, how will we do it, and what do we do instead?

If you would like to read any more about land clearing in Australia here are some links:

The Wildness Society Website

Uni NSW Newsroom Website

Bush Heritage Australia Website

 

 

 

 

 

Moving House

I have now been in my house for over a month, it is so great, I can do as I please, where as with the rented house I felt very restricted. As you can see above all my herbs were in  an old wash tub. I moved them into pots for the move and they are now planted out into a herb garden. Debosia has been used as a mulch.

 

These photos are of packing up. I would like to thank Mary, Barb,Lena, Eloisa,Kelly, Cavil,Tristan, Corny, Pete and Igor for helping me pack up and unpack.

 

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The big shed that Pete will probably use to store his machinery

 

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Entrance to property

 

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as it says the office

 

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Entrance to house

 

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Front of house

 

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The dam which pumps water up to the house and garden. you will note there are very little under-story plants, this is due to cattle being run on the property before my purchase of it

 

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Fire road that circles the inside of property. These roads have to be maintained.

 

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Lemonade tree

 

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Orange tree. There are two in the garden.
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Grapefruit tree. There are many other fruit trees in the garden, one of the stone fruit began flowering today
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Vegetables planted in old laundry tub.
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More veggies.
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Not a very good photo of the pale faced Rosella’s. They are shy birds and only come into the paddock not the garden

Director of God’s Way.

If God’s Way is to survive and to prosper I must change.

I have spent all of my almost 72 years of my life running away and hiding, now I need to put myself out there, talk about myself, write about what I am doing, not worry about what people may think or what they may project at me.

God’s Way will only survive if the rest of the world knows what we are doing, how we are doing it, why we are doing it and then some may want to help. If the Constitution is read they will have some idea what God’s Way goals are.

I am afraid of putting myself out into the big wild world. I have been escaping the world and the people in it all my life, if I stop doing that, I will have to feel all the emotions I am running away from, why I need to hide and the way I was treated by my family. I went through it once and touched on the emotion before and I know how much it hurt. But this is the only way that I and God’s Way will prosper.

I had the belief that I had worked all my life and now it was time to relax but that is all wrong, now it is the time to really start working and do something worthwhile and with some meaning and maybe in some way help someone else not just myself.

So at 3.15 am on 21\6\17 let it begin.

 

Helpers

We Have a few little helpers at the Learning Centre thought you may be interested in seeing them at work repairing their homes.

Termite Photos taken by Eloisa Lytton-Hitchins

Termites or white ants as many people call them, are regarded by many people as pests and so they try and do destroy them, but they were created by God, to decompose material and by doing so help us a great deal. Just imagine how many fallen trees would be lying on the ground and take so much more time to revert back to the elements from which they came.

Mistletoe is a parasite usually carried from one tree to another. It will eventually kill the host tree. At the Learning Centre  the mistletoe is mainly on the wattle trees.  The mistletoe not only feeds the mistletoe bird and other nectar eating creatures but because it is dense it also protects and makes houses for small mammals, bats and insects.

Bag moths or itchy grubs. I was wondering if anyone knew what the  role is that they play in nature? Everything in Gods universe has a reason as why it was created.

 

Environment Issues

Every month or so I will be writing about environment issues on the learning Centre.

Although the Learning Centre has different types of soil, trees, animals and some bird species than I am used to, the degrading of the land is caused by the same things:

  • Timber removed for milling
  • Clearing of regrowth
  • Gully and sheet erosion due to lack of ground cover caused by the above
  • Rain water running off the property also because of lack of cover
  • Evaporation of water occurring due also to lack of cover
  • Hoofed animals
  • Grazing pressure of above animals
  • Compaction of soil due to introduced animals
  • Drought becoming more frequent e.g. summers warmer winters colder
  • Earth changes

The earth changes are occurring because of our unloving emotions.We are Gods greatest creation and we effect all of the earth’s systems and its creatures.

Nature can and will repair its self, this can take hundreds of years. We wish to help the land to recover by doing it Gods Way just as Jesus and Mary teach:

  • Get enough systems so weeds can grow
  • Retain all weeds
  • Have enough nitrogen in the soil so plants will grow

To do this we need to :

  • Keep all rain that falls on the property by slowing down the run off, grass trees and shrub coverage, dams, swales and holes
  • Soil fill swales, holes and eroded gullies with organic waste matter and use compost worms to filtrate the soil around taking minerals and nitrogen with them.
  • Get intelligence into the soil e.g. seeds have intelligence, they are alive also living creatures, organisms, fungi and mycelium etc

All intelligence needs food, water and a home to live in.

  • Weeds are anything that grows, all weeds have intelligence They repair the soil they grow in, they may be prickly and have thorns, so nothing eats them.
  • After the soil has repaired its self new plants will grow. A seed will only grow if conditions are right.

Recovery organisms both below soil e.g. worms above soil and insects. More organisms live below the soil than above it.

There are different types of soil:

  • Sandy, Rocky and Clay.
  • All of these soils are treated differently, clay holds water longer but it also runs off if dry.
  • Sandy, the water runs through it but if a clay base will retain water longer.

Decomposition: go into a forest and see all the leaf litter on the floor of the forest, this breaks down feeding the trees and under story plants and because of the shade of the trees and under story plants the rain falls gently through the canopy and wind is reduced, everything is the way God created things to work.

This is the way we hope to restore the Learning Centre.