Weekend Double up 2/2

The second of my 2 weekend out getting our veranda started.

This weekend I managed to get all of the posts up, it was a bit of a challenge on my own, but the tractor helped a lot.

I only managed to bump the van with 1 of the poles as I was trying to maneuver it in so not a bad result and no damage done.

It’s just barely starting to look the part, hopefully for next visit I will have lined up some wood and I can start getting the roof on.
I’ve given in an got myself a new chainsaw, it’s another cheapy, but with the way they get treated I’d rather buy 5 $200 chainsaws than 1 $1,000 one. Hopefully it does me well for a few more years. The $100 ozito did me for almost 2 years and survived several trees falling on it, we’ll see if the Chinese Sthil rip off does any better.

On the Saturday morning I was woken up by a kookaburra on the front step of the van. Wasn’t a bad way to get up on a chilly morning, when I opened the door I noticed that I had a few other visitors, a sheep and her lamb were having a feed just up from me. They freaked and bolted as soon as they saw me so I didn’t manage to get a picture. They were pretty ratty looking, but I’m happy for them to help keep the grass down.

I’ve fixed the toilet shed and added a ton of bricks to the roof so hopefully it doesn’t flip again, I’ve also labeled all of the trees that I’ve planted so that in 10 years time I know where they came from.

Noticed that we have a few acacias growing well, they are about the only thing I could see in our area with flowers for the bees.

They have been specificly id’d as;

Acacia Longifolia (Sydney Wattle) and Acacia Mearnsii

Which I’m told are dreadful weeds from the east coast. I particularly like the A. Longifolia, I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of seeds fell into some hot water then got thrown around by accident.

It would be a tragedy to have some nitrogen fixing bee forage which is happy in degraded soil appearing in a few areas that are barely growing onion grass at the moment.

This coming weekend I’m swapping a few fruit trees with people I’ve met on Facebook. It’s great to find people that have different plants that they want to trade, gives me new material to learn to propegate some different things.

If you’re in the Perth area and are after; Lilly Pilly, Mulberry, Pomegranate, Willow or anything else that I’ve mentioned starting a lot of in the past let me know what you have and I’d love to work out a swap.

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June Update

When I first started writing I didn’t think there had been much happening, but has actually been quite a bit, we just haven’t managed to get out to the block to get things done out there.

Shan managed to score an Apple and Apricot tree for me to dig out, they have been temporarily planted in the front yard so that they will hopefully survive until we head to the block. I have no idea of the varieties, but I figure at the very least they will provide animal feed or some cider apples.

I also decided to re-do my second set of soil tests. I’m a bit worried that I had to much soil in the jars originally so they couldn’t separate properly, I put half the dirt from each sample and put it into it’s own jar then added the 2 amounts together. Ended with less clay than I originally calculated, but is (I think) much more accurate.

It’s looking very likely that we can build a dam on the hill as well as possibly around our caravan but not so much towards the bracken area (although the bracken is where our spring is). So I might need to do some thinking on exactly what we should do.

I’ve worked on my metalworking skills for a few jobs. First up is a target frame so that we don’t need to rig things up with sticks and rocks. I think the rule will be that if anyone shoots the frame or pegs then they owe a dollar to the block fund. Next up is a swing around BBQ for over the fire. It currently has a hook and a grill, it will also have a plate added before we install it.

Our little nursery is still coming along well, we’ve got a few more avocado’s, mulberry’s and a ton of other bits and pieces growing up nicely.

I’m also almost finished the lecture part of my PDC, i’ll have to start doing up my formal design soon.

Hopefully next month we will get to the block to keep on building things up, or at the very least chilling around the fire.

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.
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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);

Loquat Seeds and Canning Salsa

While we wait for the baby to arrive we aren’t heading to the block much. So over the last few weeks we haven’t been getting to do much homsteady stuff. A few things I did manage to get done are picking up a heap of free treated pine for our veranda, plant a ton of seeds and cuttings and can up some home made salsa.

We have a couple of Loquat trees growing up the road from us so I went down and grabbed a big pile of dried up fruit, a bit of time spend pulling the seeds out and I ended up managing to put over 350 seeds in pots (9 to a pot).

The blackberry that I kept in Perth from last years cuttings is now big enough to take more cuttings from so I did up a few pots with them, I also did a few sage and rosemary because both needed a prune.

We’ve had a lot of rain lately and it seems like it’ll be a cool end to the summer so I pruned our nectarine tree down from about 11ft tall to about 6ft. Its a very hard prune but I’m determined to train it so that all the fruit is within easy reach.

It also means I had a tone of good prunings to get a heap more cuttings started. I did 10 pots, each with about 30 cuttings in them.

I’ve heard that the success rate of them will be pretty low, hopefully we get a few successes out of it given the sheer volume that have been put in.

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Another result of the rain and cooler weather is that the volunteer tomatoes have started to split, I cleared everything I could off the vines and ended up with a few kg of usable ones, I popped next door and cleared up some of their excess tomato’s and capsicums.

Add a few chilli’s from the freezer and a couple of onions and we have a pretty basic salsa that is safe to can. We ended up with 7 half pints and 1 pint.

Tastes pretty good, but next time I think I need to add more tomatoes and cook out the liquid a bit more. But the learning is half the fun.

In the time it has taken me to get this blog post up, Shan has had the baby, Harrison was born on 15th of Feb, pretty exciting for Nic to have a little bro.

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I’ve used a bit of the time I had off work to get some Pomegranate seeds into the ground. Our next door neighbor has a tree hanging over the fence of his new place so I picked a nice one and split the million seeds over 8 pots. I also put in a few Peach’s, Plums and Apples.

One of my pet peeves is people freaking out about seeds not being true to type. Every variety of fruit that you buy in the shops was originally started from a seed. No the seeds from that fruit likely won’t be true to type, but how are we meant to find the next great thing that is more drought tolerant, pest and disease resistant and even tastier without more people putting seeds in the ground to just find out what they are gona get. The granny smith apple was started from some apple cores left by the river.

Imagine what would happen if 1 in 50 people in Australia got 10 seeds to germinate (less than 2 apples worth) then lets say only 1 in 20 of those seeds actually make a nice fruit (the info I’ve seen puts the numbers closer to 1 in 4), we would have 220 thousand new varieties of fruit in Australia. All of which would be more locally adapted than just about anything we currently have. /end rant on starting seeds

We’re def getting a lot of seeds in the ground. I don’t think they will be ready to plant out by spring so I’ll probably be over summering them next year for planting out in autumn 2018, it’s a long slow process, but it will be worth it in the end when I can produce 50-100 of my own variety of fruit trees for the cost of running the sprinklers rather than $10-30 a piece.

Mowing the grass, making jam and cleaning up beer.

After a bit of medical trouble we ended up at the block earlier than expected and I was given orders to take it easy.

This weekend was our last days that we could have fires before summer so we needed to do our last bit of clean up and had a mini bonfire with a few of our helpers.

I spent a fair few hours pulling out blackberries, I’m still determined not to poison them but am keeping them in a patch about 5m wide. I’ve cleared a path 1-2m wide around them and am pulling out any canes that try to make a run for it.

All the pruning over the last few months has lead to a lot of new growth and tons of healthy looking flowers, hopefully we will be getting a feed in a few months time.

A few weeks ago Kelvin got himself a lawn mower and has been slowly mowing our 2-3acres of grass.

The grass is growing way faster than expected and we have a few areas well over a meter high. I helped out along the fence line by blading a row with the tractor, although I feel like the lawn mower would do a better job of keeping it down for a few months. I may need to get a slasher, or work out a way 2 attach 3-4 lawn mowers to the tractor.

While I was doing that Shan worked on putting together the car port frame that mum picked up for free.

I needed to see of the tractor would fit and got a massive shock when I went back and saw that a swarm of bees were starting to set up home on the canopy, they provably would have left on their own but I sped things up a bit by putting a smoldering branch nearby to smoke them off. The pic I got didn’t do them justice but it’s a bit intimidating have 100’s of bees in your face.

The tractor fits perfectly but we still need to work out what to roof the carport with so that it can’t blow away but still keeps the majority of the rain out.

For the Friday night mum and kelvin had a few friends over so we had a fire up their end and managed to get through almost a bucket of wood.

The following day we had Tessa, Ryan and Lucus as well as Oscar and his shitbox rally team mate so the fire was at our end.

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Ryan was a great help loading up and driving a heap of tractor loads of wood down to camp while I worked the chainsaw.

I dropped a few trees that need to come down for the driveway and cut most of them into manageable sized pieces. Our cutting and clearing efforts came to an abrupt end when the chainsaw got stuck in a falling tree.

Looks like I’ll be needing a new bar and chain sooner than expected.

I managed to get 3 more mulberries and 3 grape vines planted. I think the mulberries will be my #PlantedForBill trees although our whole property is based on his work so it seems weird to say that just a couple of trees are for him.

My slightly older mulberries, avocados, figs and lemon grass as well as the parsley all seem to be taking off with the spring heat, assuming we can get them through the first summer we should start getting some fruit next year (at least from the mulberries). We’re also already getting tons of strawberries from around the caravan.

We had a good big fire to relax around Saturday night, the weather is getting better and it was a beautiful night.

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Sunday morning Ryan and I cleaned up a few shade trees around our camp, they were hanging way to low and needed a pretty up, they will be perfect for the warm summer nights that aren’t far away.

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Oscar had a play with the tractor and found a pedal that I had never noticed before. He deduced that it was a did lock but that it didn’t work. A little while after he went home I decided to see if I could get it working. I put the tractor against a stump and got 1 wheel spinning. Pressed the pedal and like magic the second wheel was spinning as well. It will come in very handy for the times that I just can’t quite get enough traction.

My spinning efforts did a bit of a number on the track so I used it as a chance to get better at working the bucket and blade. A few more days on it and I think I’ll be competent.

Got a bit of shooting in Saturday arvo and Sunday morning as well, always good to get less experienced people some trigger time to remove the stigma and mystery that firearms seem to have. Pretty sure Dan and Ryan both had some fun.

When we got home our neighbor mentioned that the spud shed had strawberries on special which lead to our next project (Tuesday night by the time we got to it). Making this years strawberry jam.
My biggest struggle is getting it to set right because I refuse to use pectin, but this batch seems to be pretty much perfect.

I also had to clean up a lot of glass, it’s a lesson to make sure your beer is finished fermenting before bottling. This was a brew that I bottled early so that it would be ready for the wedding. It was pretty average to drink. And now this.

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New Tractor

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I’m a real farmer now, we picked up our tractor last Saturday morning. An old ford with a bucket and a blade. It is 2wd with 8 gears 4 low and 4 high.

The hydraulics on the bucket don’t seem great (it moves really slow) but it will do the job. The owner said it leaks water but overnight it only lost about 100ml so it doesn’t seem to bad.

I managed to drive it down the service line, there was a tricky part but once I had powered through it I think the track is actually a bit flatter than when I started.

As soon as I got it actually on the block I wanted to start playing and working out how the blade and bucket were. I bladed a grassy area a few times to flatten it then decided to try to scape away the top few inches of grass and soil with the bucket.

That was where my problems started.

After a few meters of scraping I noticed I was bogging down. Not wanting to stop I put it into 1 low and went half throttle. Unfortunately with a few hundred kg of water logged dirt on the front and I think the angle of the bucket a bit to low I just dug in and sank the back wheel.

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I figured if I just lifted the bucket I would drive out of it. That wasn’t to be the case.

15 min after getting there I was down to the frame with the fully raised back blade now resting on the ground with a full bucket of dirt.

14215719_1478183375531549_678402992_oAn hr or so emptying the bucket, digging the tyres and under the frame along with some well placed pavers and a good few tugs from the patrol and we managed to drag/drive it out.

At least I have a pretty good idea of what its limits are now, and clearing grass in a wet and boggy area is past the limit.

I flattened a few paths with the blade, pushed a few logs around so they are easier to cut up for firewood, collected a ton of firewood and had a general good time learning how to drive.

One of mums ongoing jobs has been clearing bracken near their cabin, I gave her a machete to get the job done a bit quicker than the little axe that she was using. I finally got around to sharpening it for her so she went from blunt for the last few months to razor sharp, needless to say she came to our camp 20min later with a cut hand. It wasn’t to bad luckily but shows the need to pay a lot of attention when using dangerous tools.

She has managed to make a pretty good dent in the few acres of bracken, but there is still a lot to go. While she’s been doing that Kelvin has been working on his annex/verandah.

I had a good walk along the driveway and marked about 30 trees that need to come down. Hopefully when Kelvin finished his varandah he’ll start cutting them down.

A few of the trees I planted at the start of winter are starting to show a bit of life. Hopefully they make it through spring and will be giving us fruit/herbs in a few years. Rabbits seem to be the main thing that are killing trees so far, but after the guys next door shooting what sounded like 100 of them hopefully they will be less of a problem for the next few months.

The next time we get out there will be for my bucks party so hopefully I’ve cut up enough wood for the night, depending on how much fun we have that will probably be the next update.

New Chickens, Sweet Potatoes and Bamboo.

We got 5 new chickens this weekend and had our first egg in the time it took us to get home. Hopefully we’ll get a few good years out of them and we can go back to giving eggs away to friends and neighbours.

We also started some sweet potato. A glass of water and a sweet potato should give us a dozen or so sweet potato plants. We’ll probably need more but we’re starting slow because we’ve never grown sweet potato before.

Yesterday morning I went down and collected another load of bamboo, I’ve stripped the leaves off half of them and will finish the rest some time in the next week or so.

The bamboo is great for marking the contour lines at the block as well as garden stakes and the most important, roasting marshmallows. The leaves form a part of the deep litter in the chook pen so that it doesn’t become the standard dirt pit.

I tried to get an updated pic of the baby rabbits but they decided to start kamikazeing out of the hutch, I don’t think any were hurt but I gave up after a few minutes of wrestling them and getting bitten by mum.

Long Weekend With Dad

It took a while to get this out because it was a huge weekend, got heaps done and we’re improving in leaps and bounds.

My dad was over to visit for a few weeks so last weekend I took the Friday and Monday off so that we could spend some time on the block.
We were weighed down with everything that we wanted to take out, so much so that dad needed to carry a few things on the way out from Bunbury and mum had to bring a few things out that were left behind at her house.

We now have seating and a fire pit as well as a few good sized fire extinguishers that I managed to pick up for free I also have a ton more bamboo for marking as well as a heap more pillows blankets and a spare mattress.

With the fire pit set up and keeping us toasty as well as having a gas bottle for the van it’s starting to feel like home.
We’ve got a couple of hot water bottles that kept the bed toasty all night, they were still warm in the morning.
We realised that we need a second kettle. We have potable and non-potable water and don’t want to use non-potable water in the kettle, that means Nicholas’s bath and our hot water bottles eat into the drinking water quickly. But we still had plenty and will get a second kettle soon.
It’s all the little things that will take a long time to get right.

The fire extinguishers were a great find and I packed a ton of them into the lancer, the guy said if I ever need more then to let him know. They are out of date so he was going to be charged to dispose of them but from testing a few they still seem fine.
I picked them up on my way to work and was pretty stoked with myself cruising around with several dozen in the car including on the back seat.
I must have hit a bump which knocked a pin out of one, then went around a corner to fast which bumped it against the door. A few seconds later the car was full of powder and I was trying to pull over without crashing. When I got to work I looked a bit like a ghost, but at least we have extinguishers all over the house in each car as well as a heap at the block.

One of my main jobs for the weekend was getting some ground cover planted around the van so that we didn’t need to compete so much with the grass. I sent a ton of runners from my strawberry patch at home into pots and ended up with about 40 plants spread over 3 pots. They fit nicely around 2 sides of the van, then I threw a thin layer of parsley seeds over the top of the turned soil. Hopefully some of it takes and our grass problems will be kept to a minimum. It looks like the cold is finally slowing down the growth of the grass, so my fear of 12ft high grass may be premature.

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I also took down 2 mulberries, an avocado, a fig, a pineapple top and some large clumps of lemon grass along with almost 100g of parsley seeds for around the van as well as to overseed some areas that had been burned recently by a well meaning family member.
All of the plants were from our owns backyard from cuttings taken at a community orchard up the road. Its still only a very small dent in the planting but it feels good to be getting some perennial food growing out there.

This weekend is going to be all about getting as many new cuttings started as I can. I’m expecting to lose a lot of what I plant to weather and wildlife but if I plant enough we should be fine.

On our first night out when I was giving dad the grand tour of our block he managed to find some solid hollow logs for a project that he was wanting to do.
He turned 2 logs into 2 lamps one for me and one for Emma. A few coats of varnish and they came up pretty good.

It was a bit of a rowdy night on the Friday, a bottle of some very unique honey bourbon disappeared, and some very potent vodka left us hearing banjos and sleeping well.

On the Saturday we had great weather and got to check out the local market and get some Indian for a late breakfast.
Then it was off to look at a tractor at a friend of a friends place, couldn’t pin him down on a price but he seems like he’ll be good about it and we might have the one once he finds his replacement.
I had my first go driving it back up to the house, all was going well until I had a bit of a brain fart and forgot that I needed to put my foot on the clutch to stop it. On a narrow track with nowhere to go. Very nearly put a set of forks through the back of the Patrol. Very good way to learn a lesson is from a close call. Could have been way worse.

Its seems like it runs well, hydraulics look good to an untrained eye and no major rust or leaks that I could see. Didn’t check the PTO but it is less risky dealing with mates. Owner said it loses water so he just tops it up before use. Even if there are issues it will likely still be the right price, and I have a personal heavy diesel mechanic who needs me for property letters so I’m sure we can work it out.

Mum and Kelvin stayed out on sat night and a few friends of theirs from the park came out to relax by the fire for a while.

There was a little rain that night which kept it pretty warm but by lunch time on Sunday it was raining pretty steady.

Shan went into Donneybrook to meet a friend and Dad spent most of the morning cutting firewood and finding bases for his lamps.
I spent some time planting my trees and walking some parts of the property that I still hadn’t been over much, I found a few tracks and animal sign right up the western corner which I had thought was pretty empty. There are way more rabbit tracks all over the western half than we’ve seen previously so I’m guessing they have been breeding. I really need to get a .22.

Mum and Kelvin spent most of the morning trying to widen the track in. They are looking at a portable unit for them to stay in while they’re on the block, but it will need to go on a flatbed and is 3 meters wide. Our road in was previously 1.5-2m wide. They have pushed it out to about 2.5 for most of it but it’s very unlikely that they will get the 3m that they need. At least we can fit cars down it without a worry now.

Dad ran out of chain bar oil not long before mum and Kelvin got bored so we all ended up slowly marking more of the main driveway in. We used all the bamboo that we had carried up and went back to camp for a coffee and to grab some more just as the rain was setting in. We messed around with tarps for a while but dad ended up just turning it into some rain catchment and we all hung out in the van to stay warm and dry.

We planned to leave early on the Monday but after a few hours of on and off rain while we struggled to keep the fire roaring. Nothing productive was getting done and we decided that we might as well head back. We grabbed some chilli dogs for dinner, ended back in Perth at about 7.

It was a great weekend as always, very slowly we’re turning bush into a homestead.

Keeping on Planting

Just a quick update on what we’re up to.

I’ve got a few more seeds in for various trees. The best time to plant a fruit tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.
Put in a lot of cherry seeds as well as peaches, nectarines and plums. They have all been cold stratifying for the last few months so hopefully we get some positive results. Cherry’s were the main thing this time around with almost 50 seeds in a pot, hoping to get 8-10 trees but I’ll be happy with even a couple.

The olive barrel irrigation experiment is done, the second try lasted 2 weeks, 6 days and about 12 hours. Very slightly short of the 3 week goal but close enough for me.

On the Perth homestead front I bred the white female rabbit today, the black female should be giving birth some time soon assuming the breeding took. They are both pretty much new mums so its the trickiest litters to get through.

Mothers Day Weekend

I had family flying over for mother’s days weekend so I had a late trip to Bunbury on Friday. Arrived at about 9 o’clock and mum/shan had organised a cabin for us to stay I  so that we didn’t need to get out on the land in the dark.

Sat morning we headed out bright and early with Andrew and Hailey. Ur first and main job was to get the caravan up on blocks and the tyres off so that it couldn’t be just driven away.
Andrew got to try out my quality $96 chainsaw compared to his cheap $1k Stihl one. He decided that it was blunt and didn’t have enough power but it still did the job.

We decided to make the van nice and low so that the step in/out was easy. For that reason we lowered and put stumps in for the door side first. The water level worked a charm and seems to be pretty accurate.
Then we lifted the other side to get the second tyre off.
Turns out that was a bit of a mistake, the extra height pushed the van off the blocks on the lower side. For a second I thought it was going to end up on its side, but thankfully it just dropped to the ground.
After a couple of minutes reassessing the problem we realised the issue was we needed to secure the back then the front.
Another hour later we had it up and more sturdy than ever.
We didnt get it exactly level, but the drop is only about 3cm from the back riggt to the front left, its only noticeable when you put a glass of water on the bench.
The actual water level tgat I built performed great, but it still seems to have a very slow leak.

Next we started cleaning up the general area. A few minutes later mum, Kelvin, Oma and Nicole arrived and we had a nice couple of beers and some sparkling to celebrate. People have posted pics on facebook for us.
Aunty Di, Nev and the kids got a little lost but they made it as well.
Everyone got to have a nice long tour around the block. There are a few pics posted of the kids having fun along the way.

We had to go back into Bunbury again on Sat night for dinner with Shans family but we still made it back out to the block to sleep.
It was a little bit chilly but not as bad as I expected, my biggest complaint is that we were to cold to put Nicholas into his bed so we had 3 of us in the double so it was pretty tight.

We were up before dawn and ready to work. Aunty Di left a few cuttings from her fig trees, I think they were root suckers by the look of them, so I planted then in a few places around the property. I kept 3 to plant in perth just in case the ones on the block don’t take.
We still had 20l drums of water (old cleaning chemical containers) that mum had taken out for us so the figs got a reasonable watering in.

Next we started on the driveway, we got into a good rhythm with Shan finding the level and me clearing a path and marking the line. The water level once again performed great. We got a few hundred metres in and decided we should head back in for mother’s day lunch with my family.

After lunch I drove the interstate people back to Perth,  since we had needed to take 2 cars to Bunbury on the Friday Shan decided to spend an extra day in Bunbury with her family.

Overall it was a really busy weekend, but we got a bit done and it was great waking up out there on Sunday morning.

In other news my olive barrel irrigation is working great. We’re at 1 week 4 days and it’s a little under half full. I also think the Illawarra Plums have sprouted. I originally thought they were Tomatoes from the chook pen dirt, but they are growing in rows and most aren’t putting on adult tomato leaves. As always I’ll keep you posted.

I got a few pics of various areas of the block over the weekend, I just need to get a chance to go through and upload them.