Logo primary
Logo secondary
Fernglade Farm
Fernglade Farm
Last updated:
Cherokee, Victoria, AU
Climate zone:
Cool Temperate

My Projects

(projects i'm involved in)

Fernglade Farm

Fernglade Farm

Cherokee, AU

Abdullah Nugent Aileen Harrigan Alyssa Hays Andrew Sutton Ann Cantelow Anthony Cook Ari Dunphy Ben Rhodes Carolyn Payne-Gemmell Christine Bauer Clarity Jean Corey Schmidt Dimitrios Russo Dominique Chanovre Evan Young Jennie Vick John Lee Jonathon Coombes Kim BEST Laurie Branson Monique Miller Nathan Dow Samantha Lau Ute Bohnsack Wessel van Keulen WPN Admin

Back to Fernglade Farm

Rats that eat cars

Project: Fernglade Farm

Posted by Chris McLeod about 9 years ago

Last week, a desire to see the sea came over me and with that desire there were thoughts of heading off to my favourite coastal escape of Apollo Bay. That part of the world is not far from here as the crow flies, but it is a couple of hours drive because the roads are so twisty. The car which is normally very reliable started playing up the day before. To my absolute horror, I'd found that a rat (or a couple of rats) had decided that the engine bay of the car would make a toasty warm place to nest on cool nights.

Who would have thought that rats could actually eat vehicles? I was completely surprised by this discovery. The rats mostly chewed through hoses – some of which were hydraulic hoses (I’ll bet that gave them a surprise when they leaked!), and a whole lot of wires – including the control wires for the fuel injectors. Sorting the mess out has cost me about half a week’s income. Well done them!

Rats and repairs aside, I made the journey to Apollo Bay and had a lovely time. Peak holiday season has passed so the town is a bit quieter than it would be in high summer. It is a beautiful part of the world and the Otway mountain range extends right to the shore line. I took this photo of the beach at low tide:

Apollo bay at low tide

Because I don’t really travel much these days, it was particularly interesting to note changes from my last visit to the area. The high tide mark can be clearly seen in the photo due to the wet sand and it is almost reaching the vegetation at some points. Storm surges have also cut into the dune and there is a very obvious cliff on the dune in the photo above. It should be noted that there is only a single narrow dune between the ocean and the road and beyond.

The Otway mountain range which rises up behind the town and also right along that coast line peaks at an elevation of about 500m (1,640ft) above sea level. That elevation doesn’t sound like much, but given that there is really not a whole lot of land between the Otway mountain range and South America, the winds off the Southern Ocean dump a massive amount of rain into the area. In fact, the area contains the wettest location in the state which receives an average of about 2m (6.56 feet) of rain per year.

Like most parts of Australia, the Otway mountain range is quite old and worn down over time. Land slippages in the mountain range do occur and those slippages combined with heavy rain means that there are some very impressive deep valleys. The whole area is very scenic.

Tree ferns re-establish themselves in a paddock of cleared land just off Wild Dog Road

This isn’t a travel blog though and I was up in the mountains on a mission. Anyway, tucked away in a remote location high up in the mountain range is the Otway Herb Farm. They have an impressive selection of plants for sale at very reasonable prices. Autumn is planting time here at the farm because the sun is gentle, the soil is warm and the rain occasionally falls from the sky at regular intervals.

Apollo Bay at low tide

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to comment.

Courses Taught Here!
Project Badges
Rural Residential
Chris McLeod - Admin
Team Members

Report Fernglade Farm


or cancel

Hide Fernglade Farm


or cancel

Hide Rats that eat cars


or cancel

Legend of Badges

Note: The various badges displayed in people profiles are largely honesty-based self-proclamations by the individuals themselves. There are reporting functions users can use if they know of blatant misrepresentation (for both people and projects). Legitimacy, competency and reputation for all people and projects can be evidenced and/or developed through their providing regular updates on permaculture work they’re involved in, before/after photographs, etc. A spirit of objective nurturing of both people and projects through knowledge/encouragement/inspiration/resource sharing is the aim of the Worldwide Permaculture Network.



A member is a permaculturist who has never taken a PDC course. These cannot become PDC teachers. Members may be novice or highly experienced permaculturists or anywhere in between. Watch their updates for evaluation.

Male memberFemale member

Permaculture Matchmaker

One of these badges will show if you select your gender and the "I'm single, looking for a permaculture partner" option in your profile.



People who claim to have taken a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course somewhere in the world.


PDC Verified

People who have entered an email address for the teacher of their PDC course, and have had their PDC status verified by that teacher. Watch their updates for evaluation.



People who’ve taken a Permaculture Research Institute PDC somewhere in the world.


PDC Teacher

People who claim to teach some version of PDC somewhere in the world.


PRI Teacher

With the exception of the ‘Member’ who has never taken a PDC, all of the above can apply to become a PRI PDC Teacher. PRI PDC Teachers are those who the PRI recognise, through a vetting board, as determined and competent to teach the full 72-hour course as developed by Permaculture founder Bill Mollison – covering all the topics of The Designers’ Manual as well as possible (i.e. not cherry picking only aspects the teacher feels most interested or competent in). Such teachers also commit to focussing on the design science, and not including subjective spiritual/metaphysical elements. The reason these items are not included in the PDC curriculum is because they are “belief” based. Permaculture Design education concerns itself with teaching good design based on strategies and techniques which are scientifically provable.

PRI PDC Teachers may be given teaching and/or consultancy offerings as they become available as the network grows.


Aid Worker

The individual with this badge is indicating they are, have, or would like to be involved in permaculture aid work. As such, the individual may or may not have permaculture aid worker experience. Watch their updates for evaluation.



The individual with this badge is indicating they are, have, or would like to do paid permaculture design consultancy work. As such, the individual may or may not have permaculture consultancy experience. Watch their updates for evaluation.


Community Project

Community projects are projects that help develop sustainable community interaction and increase localised resiliency.

Report Rats that eat cars


or cancel