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Fernglade Farm
Fernglade Farm
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Cherokee, Victoria, AU
Climate zone:
Cool Temperate

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Fernglade Farm

Fernglade Farm

Cherokee, AU

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A song of water and fire

Project: Fernglade Farm

Posted by Chris McLeod almost 10 years ago

This week's blog looks at lemons, eucalyptus leaves, bushfire sprinklers and the shed water capture system

Depending on your point of view, the weather in the Southern hemisphere is upside down – or the right way up. Late January to early February is the hottest part of the year here, so late July to early August is the coldest part of the year

So, it is hardly a surprise when it snowed here again this morning. The snow didn’t settle on the ground, but it did put on a good show whilst it was here. Within half an hour it was merely a memory though.

Apologies to fans of George RR Martin’s epic and lengthy story, but I couldn’t help myself with the title of the blog this week

The wild weather of the previous week which included strong winds and heavy rain at times, meant that there was a substantial amount of fallen timber on the ground. I’ve since spent 3 of the past 7 days clearing this fallen timber in the orchard and from around the surrounding forest. The branches and trunks are all cut into firewood lengths and stored in neat piles to season for a few years. Seasoning refers to the process of letting the timber dry which in turn also reduces the sugar/sap content. Without seasoning, the freshly cut timber will not burn. All of the smaller branches and leaves were burnt off though

As a fun fact, eucalyptus leaves contain quantities of volatile oils. Those volatile oils can be extracted and as a bonus they are widely used in Australia as both a household cleaner and a disinfectant. Tidy work! The downside to this volatile oil is that the eucalyptus leaves are effective against both bacteria and fungi in the top soil as well as in the household. This is a bad thing because it is those bacteria and fungi which convert organic matter (i.e. the leaves and sticks) into productive top soil. So the leaves can sit on the ground for a few years, happily drying and providing fuel for any forest fires which may pass.

Those leaves and branches sitting on the ground also tend to produce a soil with an acidic ph., which is typical of eucalyptus forests

For the rest of the blog entry please visit: http://ferngladefarm.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/a-song-of-water-and-fire.html

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