Work Bench


I think our house construction is officially under way :-)

Built a workbench specifically for fabricating the post and beam laminates. Some of the beams will be up to 4.2m long so need a level,  sturdy bench to clamp and screw them all together.


Work Bench

Work Bench

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Fruit Tree Grafting 2014

Beurre D’Anjou 15

Beurre hardy 15

Beurre Caprimont 23

Clapps Favourite 17

Conference 30

Dorendeau 14

Eldorado 20

Harrows Delight 15

Howell 15

Napolean 15

Jargonelle 10

Hosui 15

Danbae 12


Narabean 1

Mariposa 1

Satsuma 5

Robe D’Sergeant 5

Santo Rosa 5

D’Agen 5

President 5

Speldor 2

Damson 2

Angelina 1



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Portable Observatin Hive

I recently made this small single frame observation hive to be used for education and demonstrations.

It is made out of cheap pine and uses lightweight perspex covers which are bolted to the frame.


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Bee Forage


Eucalyptus cladocalyx

E. kitsonia

E. leucoxylon

E. viminalis

E. elata


A. mearnsii

A. baileyana


L. lanigerum


B. marginata



M. ericifolia

M. squarrosa



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I finally got the skin onto the polyhouse frame. The hoops and skin did not cost anything. We recovered them from a nursery that was closing down several years ago.

It is 7.5m by 3.6m and will be a very useful addition to AllFoods Farm. We have tried several times to grow Manzano chillis and Pepinos. But the few frosts we get are too much for them. We have not found a suitable micro climate for these frost sensitive plants. Also, tomatoes do not do so well.

Polyhouse almost complete

Polyhouse almost complete


I had to spend about $100 on timber and fittings and about $350 for a load of screenings for ballast around the edges and a well drained floor inside. I had some left over builders plastic to line the floor and some ag pipe.

Polyhouse nearly finished

Polyhouse nearly finished


We will create a planting bed on the south side that runs the length of the tunnel for perennials. The floor on the other side will be screenings for pots, cuttings etc.


Polyhouse floor preparation

Polyhouse floor preparation


The permanent bed is constructed and the gravel area leveled out and draining dug ready for ag pipe.

Polyhouse Floor Ready

Polyhouse Floor Ready


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Orchard Chook Tractor

We tried out a new orchard chook tractor.

This one was inspired by Joel Salatin’s pastured poultry book. It is a bit smaller but can accommodate 20-30 birds comfortably. Designed to fit between the rows of apple trees in the orchard. I have tried to make it as light as possible, two people can easily lift it into position. One person can drag it, depending on the ground and grass.

It is a prototype of more if it proves secure and easy to manage :

  • a layer of aviary wire for better security
  • wheels for single handed moving

So far it has proved quite effective and keeping grass down, moving it each day.



Orchard Chook Tractor

Orchard Chook Tractor

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Shed Slab

I started concreting the large shed, in anticipation of getting under way with building the strawbale house. This space will be much more usable once it has a concrete floor.

I levelled out the floor, and setup the formwork and reo. A friend helped me with the pour.




Slab Formwork

Slab Formwork


The first slab is about 25 square meters all up

First Slab Done

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Mushroom Blooms



2012_08_07 016

Oyster Bloom

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Shitake Bloom

The Mushroom Logs are finally becoming productive. And we are eating them if the slugs dont get to them first.  We have decided the best place to keep them now is in the bath, in the bathroom, as otherwise we have to share them with the slatters and slugs.

This lovely bunch are going to make a tasty pasta sauce

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Shitake Mushroom Bloom


Finally got a Shitake mushroom before the slugs and slaters got to it.

I think the oak logs used take a lot longer than the willow and elm logs we have also been using for the oyster mushrooms.

Shitake Mushroom Bloom

Shitake Mushroom Bloom


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Oyster Mushrooms Blooming

Some of our logs are finally blooming heavily! These mushrooms are Phoenix Oysters. Very tasty!

These logs were not soaked in cold water to induce blooming. They decided to bloom right in the middle of a 10 day heatwave, where daily temperatures were over 30 degrees. They are in a shade house that gets misted twice daily.

Phoenix Oysters

Phoenix Oysters


The species of logs that has bloomed the most so far is the Salix (willow). The oak and elm have had a few small blooms but nothing major.

The logs are about 18 months old. I think the oaks are taking longer to colonise.

April 8th

A few of our logs at Heathmont have started blooming. This time the oaks and liquidambar  have started to bloom. It is early Autumn here and it is getting cooler so mushrooms are blooming.

It has been about 18 months since we inoculated these logs. We thought it would only take about 12 months.

Pheonix Oysters

Pheonix Oysters

The slugs get stuck into the blooms when the logs are outside. We don’t have any ‘non-chemical’ way of deterring them so for now, we bring the logs into the bathroom when they begin to bloom.

I will have to think about how to slow down slugs and slaters from getting to the logs.

Mushroom Logs In Bathtub

Mushroom Logs In Bathtub


Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster Mushrooms

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