Monday, August 03, 2009

Our old miners cottage, 1 year on

It's now been a full year since we moved in to the Old Miners Cottage. The garden looks a million times better than it did, and the house? Not quite so much, but we're definitely going to work on that soon.

We've planted another 11 trees out the back just recently. They were donated by the council to try and stop some of the spray drift from herbicides coming onto our property. They're planted about 2 metres apart and a metre away from the back fence on the council's side. We've supplemented this by planting 6 native climbers on the fence.

Our tallest tree is one of the she-oaks we planted about 6 months ago. The soil down the back is quite a heavy clay with plenty of rocks, so we're happy with their progress!

We've been collecting the rocks from around the garden, and the rocks from the council land that were being bulldozed. They've always got plenty of bugs under them, and hopefully will provide some habitat for the local lizards and skinks.

The last couple of days we've been working on the new worm farm. Last summer we nearly lost all our worms in the heatwave, so this is a must before next summer! We got the bath for $20, and the rest is recycled from around here. The corners are being held up by star-pickets, the bricks under the bath are a little extra support, and it won't be visible once we're done with it. :)

The lid is made up of the boards that were on the wall in the loungeroom! I knew they'd come in handy one day. We expect to be finished by tomorrow, but of course, if I tell you that, we'll have something come up and it'll be a week! :p

This is Marty working on the second half of the lid!

Being cast iron, the bath should be a nice cool home for the worms all year round. We've got it located under the big deciduous tree, too, which was the coolest place to be in last summers 40°C weather.

So, at last count, we have 39 young plants in the backyard along the fence, and we're gearing up for spring planting of potatoes and pumpkin (and marrow!). The solar hot water system may be a couple of weeks off, depending on the plumber's availability.. and we've checked our electricity usage. If what I read was correct, in roughly 26 hours, the hot water system used around 12.4kWh and everything else used 1.7kWh (the bill says our average use is 11.4kWh per day). I'll keep checking, though, because it seems like an awful lot of electricity for hot water! Either way, it'll be great to finally ditch it! :)

Until next time!


  1. It has been great watching you two get stuck into your little cottage, which is showing great results from all the care and attention. I bet this blog is a great record of your achievements so far!

  2. Wow it all looks so good! Love your worm farm project and what you've done to the back fence too. More importantly, making sure there's a safe haven for all the little critters in your backyard.

    Congratulations for 1 year strong! :)

  3. I meant to comment on a newer post with a mention of the fejoa. Our newer house we have had for 2 years, it had a whole second block undeveloped. So I could relate to your photos. We have a fejoa tree growing too.