Taking stock

Lantanaland is in a interesting spot. I have one pregnant wife and two pregnant cows. After four years I now have a good plan of some of the things that we want to do.

Take in front of the house. There is a flattish bit that runs along the whole front of the house where the original owner built retaining walls. When we first moved in the chooks went there, with varying degrees of success. It's hard to build a completely enclosed chook yard all the way to the edges of the level ground because of the retaining rocks. I lost chooks to snakes and foxes and more snakes, ducklings would find gaps and kamikaze down the rock wall. Usually just as the veg garden would get going, the chooks would find a way in and destroy it.

When the ikea flatpack chook house arrived I had a much better idea of what I wanted to do with the space. I decided to build raised garden beds on one side and move the aquaponics to the other side and incorporate a pond for the ducks and a waterfall for The Wife. Now a few years ago that would have cost me a bit of cash, but now I have the materials from the rebuild of the deck and stuff to fill them, an unending supply of cow shit. The first bed is up and producing, the salad leaves are ready and the tomatoes are coming along nicely.

Everything has a flow on effect. Moving the aquaponics will mean I can clear out a path running behind the tank and access and maintain a little rainforest garden below the big fig tree at the top of the block.

Take for instance, the impending birth of The Child. This has pushed us to expand our one and a half bedroom house somehow, which means I lose the carport space where I do my building. I can't really have a whole bunch of timber, recycled guttering, power tools and assorted drill bits lying around with a bub coming anyway. This is good, because it means the mythological and much planned for shipping container has passed the Wife Planning Commission and will be installed in the far corner of the top paddock to be part cool room, work shed, storage and doghouse. Extensive secret plans to build world domination center outfitted with every apple device available have yet to be approved.

A bit further down the paddock sits the poorly designed and poorly built cow bales and yard. It's done the job but is woefully inadequate for when Candy has her calf and I need to lock it up for the night so I can milk in the morning. I've mulled many an idea over to build a decent barn while spending my budget of next to nothing and I'd pretty much settled on a tyre construction with render, despite it being a shitload of work.

Then it hit me like a large amount of rectangular building things, with the shipping container going in, I'd have a perfect mount for a cow barn and lockable yard for the calf, rock solid and just sitting there! Happy days.

Elsewhere round the farm things are going pretty much to plan. I've kept up my ambition to get a whole bunch of fruit trees in at regular intervals. Recent additions are a lemon and a finger lime (surely I won't kill this one), gooseberries, raspberries and passionfruit (both to shade the gooseberries and to cover the ikea chook pen). Next round I'll get some avocados, a grapefruit and some more apples.

I've ordered some fertile eggs, including a few silkies. Those raised garden beds are all the same size and I'll make a chookhouse that fits right over the top and when the bed is done producing I'll chuck a few silkies in and they can turn it over for me.

I guess the thing is, when you get a place like Lantanaland, you get all motivated and want to gung ho. Which is fine if you have buckets of cash. But it is better to go slowly, make a few mistakes and learn along the way, so when you do the big immovable things, you are pretty damn sure that it what and where you want it.



- Lantanaland from my iPad

Location:On the road