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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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When good tanks go bad

Project: Fernglade Farm

Posted by Chris McLeod almost 10 years ago

This weeks entry looks at exactly what can happen when a massive water tank rolls away and down the hill. Yep, it is the disaster edition of the weekly blog.

This is the disaster edition of the weekly farm blog!
Since we discuss the good, the bad, and the complete disasters here with no fear or favour, all of the discussions last week about water tank disasters inspired me to take you - the reader - on a journey into the distant past to unveil the ultimate water tank disaster here.

Firstly though, this week the weather here has been superb, with warm sunny spring days. The bees have been buzzing about the place and Cathy’s suggestion last week about leaving a couple of bee boxes out in the orchard just in case the bees returned home has been done. As an experiment, I’m thinking of placing a dish of honey in each of the boxes to lure the bees back into their original hives if only even to familiarise them with the boxes. I’d welcome suggestions and feedback in relation to this as I’m no expert.

Bee boxes in lower shady orchard

I had to take some time out from projects this week to fill up the firewood bays. The bays hold quite a lot of timber, but realistically they are required to be refilled three times during the year so are completely inadequate. This is one of the reasons I’m in the process of excavating the site for the water tanks and firewood shed. The firewood that is in the bays now is about 4 years old and it burns really well. The photo shows just how dry this stuff is.

Firewood in bays

Speaking of the excavations, the ground around the water tanks has been excavated to further reduce it. It is now at its final level so landscaping around the area began. This involved placing a rock wall along the path behind the new water tank and existing shed. Once the rock wall was in place, a soil mix of 50/50 composted woody mulch and mushroom compost (basically horse poo and straw from stables) was pressed onto the steep cutting. The reason for the high carbon content (i.e. lots of woody material) in the soil mix is that such an environment favours fungal growths which in turn send millions of fine filaments through the soil which holds it together which is crucial on a steep slope. A sandy or loamy mix would wash away in the first big rain storm. Into that soil mix I have planted a huge number of borage plants. These plants have large root systems and are fast growing so they will hold the whole lot together reasonably quickly. The clay path and around and also between the water tanks was covered in a layer of screening material which comes from a local quarry and contains lime so it binds together well, whilst still allowing water to infiltrate.

Borage planted into the newly landscaped cutting

The fill from the excavations is being used for new garden beds and that also has had a layer of the 50/50 soil mix applied to it as well.

For the rest of the blog check out: http://ferngladefarm.blogspot.com.au/

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