Family Block Weekend

My sister, brother and his wife decided to fly over for an extended weekend to see the couple of new arrivals on this side of the country.

We also managed to get out to the block 3 days in a row. I call it a block weekend, but by the third day it was just Andrew, Kelvin and me.

It started on the Thursday night with me and Andrew breaking snatch straps to try to get the very heavily loaded trailer secure. First thing on Friday all 7 of us were squeezed into the car, with Nicole and Haylee climbing in from the front door to the back because we were to loaded up to open up any other doors. Andrew ended up between the kids in the middle seat.

We went straight to the block (sucking down over half a tank of fuel due to the weight in the trailer) so that we could plant out a couple of Pomegranates that I dug out of someones yard the week before. One of them has baby Harry’s placenta buried under it, hopefully it will do well and we’ll be eating from it for a long time to come. We also dumped off the rest of the tin, guttering, wood, tractor blade as well as the sawdust for the toilet before heading back into Bunbury.

The following day Andrew and Kelvin came with me to Donut’s place, he had half a trailer load of bricks for us. Not sure what we’ll use them for yet, but i’m sure they’ll come in handy. Most of us headed back out to the block to drop them off as well as have some lunch and get a bit of work done. Donut and his son also came out for a visit and to help with the planting.

We planted a couple of big patches with parsley (throwing handfulls of seeds to let the strongest survive) as well as 3 long trenches of lilly pillys. The lilly pillys are from a tree that hangs over out fence in Perth. It’s a variety that is about 10-15m tall so it is ideally suited for the block. Feed the wildlife as well as build up the soil. Even if 1 in 50 of the seeds grows they will be way to close together so i’m sure we’ll be taking out the weaklings and transplanting a few more around the place.

We have also finally finished our toilet block. For such a simple system it has taken a long time to get all the pieces out there and ready. Basic composting toilet (no wee’s) so no more digging a hole in the bush. I printed off some instructions to hang up when we’re there next, but it’s pretty simple.

While we were doing the above, Kelvin, Mum and Andrew managed to get some plumbing together for a makeshift rainwater catchment. It needs some tidying up and a few bits and peices, but it’s a start in being able to get some water stored out there.

Before heading back to Bunbury I managed to do a quick walk around to grab some soil samples. I’m hoping to have enough clay in the ground to put a few dams around the place. I’ve added the results of the soil test to the end of the post.

Day 3 wasn’t really planned, but Kelvin and Andrew were keen to get back out there so we headed out to start getting some more of the driveway done.We had been there about 5 minutes and Andrew was helping me move the very first log when he decided to drop it on my leg, hurt a lot, but took a few days before it looked it’s best but the pic below should give you an idea.
wp-image-1374504381jpg.jpg

We spent most of the day moving the last of the logs off the hill, cutting the stumps (which were already starting to coppice) at ground level and pilling up leaves, brush and low quality logs around them. The very last log was particularly huge, it will probably end up being a nice long seat along the front of the caravan veranda.

All but about 2 of the stumps are loaded up and ready to be lit on fire. The next time i’m out the fire restrictions will be over and i’ll be able to light them up, hopefully they will burn deep enough into the ground so that I can run the blade over them and clean up a nice flat driveway.

The soil test has been a bit of a learn as I go kind of thing and i’m still not really sure what i’m looking at or if i’m reading it right so if anyone disagrees with the results please let me know because I am very happy to learn. I have also asked for advice on the results in the pdc that I’m doing and was told that I should have taken the sample at about 1m deep so I’ll probably need to redo the test, at least I will have a comparison at about 30cm deep as well lol. The 6 samples are from the below locations on the block.

Sample Map

I think the results should be read as (click pictures to see it bigger);

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