Fernglade Farm
Fernglade Farm
Details
Commenced:
01/01/2005
Submitted:
08/04/2011
Last updated:
16/02/2016
Location:
Cherokee, Victoria, AU
Climate zone:
Cool Temperate





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Fernglade Farm

Project Type

Rural, Residential

Project Summary

The project involves owner building a self sufficient bushfire resistant residence surrounded by a food forest (300+ trees so far) plus raised no dig vegetable, herbs and seedling beds (12 beds so far) experiments with hugelkultur plus chickens (12 chooks)

Project Description

I started the food forest many years ago because I'd outgrown the capacity for any further fruit trees in an inner Melbourne terrace backyard. Somehow I've ended up with a collection of around 300+ diverse fruit trees, which seems to be constantly expanding.

In late 2009, I commenced construction of a small residence on the 22 acre block (finished in Dec 11). It's an interesting place because I have no infrastructure supplied which people may or may not take for granted. That means, no water, no sewerage, no garbage pickup, no mail delivery, no electricity. It's a bit like the wild west, yet I'm under an hour from Melbourne by either train or car.

So, I've had to supply all of my own infrastructure. Solar off grid for electricity, rainwater tanks for water, a worm farm for all organic wastes, drainage, roads etc. It's been a challenge! If that wasn't hard enough, the house itself has been constructed to be resistant to bushfires which are a natural occurance in this environment. It incorporates a wide range of features to achieve this and it has been built holistically with this in mind. The windows for example would see off the zombies! Oh yeah, it's also heavily insulated and has an unusual but effective wall and roof design.

You may ask given all of that why would you want to live where I do?

Well, there's a mild climate, good soil and reliable rainfall because of the volcanic massif that rises up behind the house. A drought year will still provide around 500mm of annual rainfall whilst a wet year will bring in excess of 1,400mm. I'm also at around 700m above sea level so at this latitude, there's a 1 degree drop in temperature for roughly every 100m you climb in altitude. What this means is that it's usually about 7 degrees cooler than in Melbourne (which gets quite hot over summer ie. >40 degrees celsius).

The soil is also rich in minerals, but low in organic matter. So if I get the top soil restored then whilst I have a shorter growing season than the surrounding areas, the fruit trees survive and fruit really well without any additional watering.

I've recently expanded my efforts into chickens, vegetables and herbs and both are heaps of fun. We are now self sufficient for herbs, vegetables and eggs.

Updates

A Spanikopita in the works

Posted over 3 years ago (0 comments)

Tomato Jungle

Posted over 3 years ago (0 comments)

A day at the beach

Posted almost 4 years ago (0 comments)

Plastic unfantastic

Posted almost 4 years ago (0 comments)

Frog in hot water

Posted almost 4 years ago (0 comments)

Bikram Ultimate Fighting Kanagroos

Posted almost 4 years ago (0 comments)

Learning to fly

Posted almost 4 years ago (0 comments)

Devils haircut

Posted almost 4 years ago (0 comments)

Breaking Bread

Posted almost 4 years ago (0 comments)

In Your Dreams

Posted almost 4 years ago (1 comments)

Shedding the past

Posted almost 4 years ago (0 comments)

THE EDITOR STRIKES BACK

Posted almost 4 years ago (0 comments)

Scrapping

Posted about 4 years ago (0 comments)

Strange days indeed

Posted about 4 years ago (0 comments)

All day I dream about chickens

Posted about 4 years ago (0 comments)

Berry nice!

Posted about 4 years ago (0 comments)

Frankenstein lives

Posted about 4 years ago (0 comments)

Picket lines

Posted about 4 years ago (0 comments)

Give bees a chance

Posted about 4 years ago (0 comments)

How much can a Koala Bear?

Posted about 4 years ago (2 comments)

Manure happens

Posted about 4 years ago (0 comments)

Power struggle

Posted about 4 years ago (0 comments)

The Hen House formerly known as

Posted about 4 years ago (0 comments)

Choking on Chooktopia

Posted about 4 years ago (0 comments)

Sunday promises

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Antarctic Anomaly

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Chooks – the next generation

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

How to dig a hole

Posted over 4 years ago (1 comments)

Worst day eva!

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

All the small things

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Ripped off

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

A bright idea

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Predictive text

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Pole Position

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Beeing ahead of the Game

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Building Walls

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

A water shed moment

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Hen’s teeth

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Easter eggs

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Watching the detectives

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Rats that eat cars

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Burning Scones

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Aerials in the sky

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Stumpy seizes the day

Stumpy the house wallaby does a smash and grab with the stawberries. New berry fencing is in the process of being installed for testing. Blackberries galore and manning a stall at the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Festival.

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Chookflation

Hot weather, sharknado, spiders, and increasingly expensive chickens and more...

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

The Fourth R

It's hot, hot, hot here this week - then it rained heavily. Not bad for a cool temperate environment... Still work continues and I focused on maintenance this week.

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

One wombat to rule them all

The boss wombats makes a special appearance for the camera. The trailer has now been finished. A new steel staircase is almost finished. Strange frogs turn up. And other general growing news.

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

The T-rusty trailer

Repairing an old and much loved car trailer. Ripening tomatoes and zucchinis and fruit tree damage from wallabies.

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

The seed of an idea

All about seed saving activities for trees

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

The go away price

Outrage about the price quoted for a set of steel stairs leads to an innovative response

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Courting trouble

All about the bees here

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Everything including the squeak

Using waste to good effect never goes out of style!

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

The Hills have eyes

Foxes have turned up at the farm. Is this a good thing?

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

Christmas Down Under style

Check out how Christmas rolls Down Under at the farm

Posted over 4 years ago (0 comments)

The eleventh hour

Wombats, sheds, preserves, spiders and more!

Posted almost 5 years ago (0 comments)

A hive of activity

Scritchy the boss dog gets into further misdaventures. There is a whole lot of heavy rainfall. Preserving the summer harvest goes up a notch.

Posted almost 5 years ago (0 comments)

Steel Yourself

Scritchy the boss dog has misadventures due to heat stroke when it hit 38'C degrees in the shade. The new shed is progressing nicely too.

Posted almost 5 years ago (0 comments)

Every single drop

If you've ever wanted to know what the mountain range would look like if a volcanic eruption occurred, then wonder no more! Plus all of the usual, flower, shed and rock stuff. Enjoy!

Posted almost 5 years ago (0 comments)

Children of the corn

You wouldn't think that demons and gardening could be related - You'd be wrong! Lots of shed building stuff, and lots of spring flowers.

Posted almost 5 years ago (0 comments)

Access all areas

Well, you need access paths and stairs to get into an area, otherwise it never gets looked at. Plus just to make Northern hemisphere readers jealous, there are some photos of the ripening fruit at the farm.

Posted almost 5 years ago (0 comments)

We’re back babe-bee!

This week I've written about all of the disasters with bees, what I've learned and what I'm doing about it. Plus there's more rocks, of course and also I show some of the work that I'm doing with the remnant rainforest here at the farm

Posted almost 5 years ago (0 comments)

Trying to smile

Ahh, protein without all of the hassle of raising livestock. Stage 1 of the excavations are now finished. I also show before and after photos of a few sites at the farm.

Posted almost 5 years ago (0 comments)

History revealed

Rusty chains, bushfire sprinklers and all about the Echium plant!

Posted about 5 years ago (0 comments)

Now you see it, now you don’t

This weeks blog looks at utilising a disappearing act to clean up about the place. Also, there is a score from the local tip shop towards the new shed under construction. Lots of fun and video on herbs at the farm here.

Posted about 5 years ago (0 comments)

It’s feral out there

Some people have cattle, goats, sheep, or pigs in their productive systems. Here the native animals slot into that role and you can see kangaroos, wallabies, birds and wombats all happily munching together on the herbage.

Posted about 5 years ago (0 comments)

Rock and roll

This week we look at the impact of Peak Rocks at the farm. The blog entry was also interrupted by a smash and grab raid on the chicken enclosure by the local parrots

Posted about 5 years ago (0 comments)

On top of the world

Spring brings fog and it is nice to be on top of the fog line looking out over the sea of cloud. Plants are progressing at the farm and there is even some almond fruit set. Plus wombats have been visiting at night.

Posted about 5 years ago (0 comments)

When good tanks go bad

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.

Posted about 5 years ago (0 comments)

Sometimes you just need a deadline

This is a teaser for the weekly blog on all of the activities at the farm here. This week involved installing a new water tank and breaking some rocks

Posted about 5 years ago (0 comments)

Fernglade Farm – Water Storage Systems (Victoria, Australia)

This an article on the permaculturenews website about the 3 different water systems at the farm

Posted about 5 years ago (0 comments)

Break through

This is a teaser for my weekly blog where I discuss the realities and challenges of living on a permaculture inspired and organic small holding in the south eastern corner of Australia

Posted about 5 years ago (0 comments)

An eggcellent mystery

This weeks blog looks at a really weird egg, the blackberry enclosure, excavations for the water tank site, and the first signs of spring

Posted about 5 years ago (0 comments)

A song of water and fire

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

Posted about 5 years ago (0 comments)

A little bit more sunlight

This week has involved work on increasing the off grid solar electric capacity here at the farm. I also include a link to a video I recently uploaded showing the chicken enclosure, hen house and gravity fed water capture and distribution systems.

Posted about 5 years ago (0 comments)

Cool for wombats

Yeah, the farm here is still in the depths of winter, with even a brief snow shower last week. This week I'm writing about the recent activities on the farm and also the water systems here.

Posted over 5 years ago (0 comments)

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

This is a link to my weekly blog showing all of the things going on at the Permaculture designed and Organic farm here in the South Eastern corner of Australia. This week I'm writing about water and hopefully giving people a new perspective on plant life

Posted over 5 years ago (0 comments)

Time is passing

Having a permaculture farm in a cool temperate eucalyptus forest can sometimes involve big trees crashing down into your food forest...

Posted over 5 years ago (0 comments)

Don't speak too soon

On a farm in a remote location dodging work - even for the purpose of research for a blog - can end you up with even more work.

Posted over 5 years ago (0 comments)

Confused chickens and tree stumps

Weekly notes from Fernglade farm: A permaculture and organic small holding farm

Posted over 5 years ago (0 comments)

Let's talk about collapse

Collapse is with us, it just doesn't look like the zombie apocalypse! There is a middle ground which few people like to consider. I'm discussing that in the article below:

Posted over 5 years ago (0 comments)

Fernglade Farm - Update late Autumn 214

The summer just past was a shocker. It has now cooled down and I've added an update for the activities at the farm here

Posted over 5 years ago (0 comments)
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