Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Woodoven, waiting, waiting, waiting....

Got the foundation down for the woodoven, but in this weather - cold, damp and did I mention cold - the slab will take at least another day before I feel comfortable laying down the wals of the base. So instead, I made another wicking bed (will take photo tomorrow). That's 3 in all, 1 using an old tank and 2 out of redgum sleepers and lined 2/3 high with plastic. This will stop the roots of the neighbours pine trees getting in and sucking all the water and nutrients. We were wondering why the vegies did not take in the 2nd and 3rd year and then we noticed the feeder roots riddled in out beds. So up they come and in go the wicking beds. Reputed to be 40-50% more water efficient.

Here is a photo of the finished slab and some trout.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Some vegie photos

Here are some vegie photos. Heaps of brocoli and peas. I love how the water sits on the

brocoli leaf and the tendrils of the pea plant hooking onto the support.

Also got a phot of the woodoven footings. Slow but steady pogress.

WOW it's been a while!

Well, it's certainly has been a long time since I have updated this blog! Our summer crop has well finished and pulled up the last tomatoe plant today to make room for more peas. The tomatoe was still producing but the frost finally got to it and I wanted to free up some space, so out it came.

I now have about 90 rainbow trout and 90 brown trout gowing away in the system, with my catfish, cod, bass and silvers wintering. The water temp is dipping to 5 degrees these days and have lost 4 cod, 3 catfish, 3 bass and 7 silver fingelings :-( Not a great deal I can do really, it gets way too cold at night and the days are not really warm enough to get the wate temps up. Did my fist water test since who knows when and the readings are 0 amm, 0 rites and 15 rates. pH was at 6 (well may have been a lower reading, as that the limit of my testing kit). Will go out tomorrow and pick up lots of shell grit and stockings to help buffer back up to the 7 mark. Things are still growing and the trout seem happy as do the bigger cod, catfish and silvers so I'm not too stessed. The plants seem to be fine and growing well also so the low pH isn't too much of a problem at the moment.

Pulled up all of my strawbery plants, very sad day that was. I had transferred some stwberries from my first system, which were not doing so well due to aphids. I thought I got rid of all the aphids, but alas I did not. The remaining lady bettles could keep up and the aphids won over. Damn things! So now no more strawberies for the moment, but have ordered a heap moe to put in which should arrive by the end of the month, ready for spring/summer. By then the remaining aphid infestation should be well gone.

All in all, the vegies have continued to grow well despite the cold weather and we are having regular home gown produce every night. Family fav (except mine as I hate beetroot) is beetroots, cleaned and peeled, halved, wrapped in foil with a good couple of lugs of balsamic and good quality olive oil. Chuck in the oven on the bottom shelf in a moderate oven. I cook the slow roasts on the middle shelf and these beetroot babies go in for just as long (about 2-2.5hrs depending on the roast). Although I don't like beetroot (Hayley's homemade preserves excluded) the smell that fills the room when I open the foil up is amazing!

Anyway, in the mists of building the wood oven (finally) and I will be pouring the foundation tomorrow (weather pending). I have 2 more weeks to get it finished (good luck with that I say) and no funds to work with! Awesome! Will be re-using some pavers Vern gave to me and scrounging as much as I can before asking the minister for a loan.

Pictures of everything to come, but a bit wet, muddy, cold and messy at the moment, so will wait until weather clears up a bit.