It’s been a while since our last update

  • Posted on: 15 January 2017
  • By: Mick

It’s been quite busy over the past few weeks with lots happening! The house is really starting to take shape which is both exciting and infinitely frustrating at the same time. We can imagine what it will be like but it’s still at least about 6-8 weeks before everything will be done and we can move in and we just want to be able to get stuck in and get on with things – also we’re a bit tired of living in an apartment!

We really wanted a big skylight over the main kitchen island but when we looked at the spacing of the struts in the roof we weren’t sure it would fit.

Luckily the roof plumber had no problem getting it installed (with some fancy carpentry involved I think). It looks great, they finished off the woodwork around it really nicely and I love looking up and seeing the clouds up in the sky.

The kids have been on school holidays the past two weeks and I took leave as well. We booked into a self-catering cottage in Daylesford which gave us a chance to spend a fair amount of time at the farm and get some stuff done.

As you can see, “getting stuff done” involved moving a fair amount of compost. Unfortunately the day the truck delivered large pile of mushroom compost, the ground was very wet and muddy and so it had to be dumped about 150 metres away from where we actually need it…

To begin with, Ken and I built a potato “coop” and the kids carted all the compost over to fill it – though built is perhaps a bit of an ambitious term for our jerry-rigged contraption which was the best we could do without the proper tools (Bobby would laugh his head off at us!) but although it is decidedly rickety, it should do the trick (unless 8.9.13 potato coop 0801the sides fall down at some point which is a distinct possibility…).

We planted a whole rainbow of potatoes – blue ones, yellow ones, burgundy ones, white ones with pink eyes – and apparently it’s not just the skins of the blue and burgundy ones that are coloured but the whole potato comes out that colour, even after it’s cooked.

We could make a seriously funky potato salad with that lot I reckon!! I’m hoping they grow okay – a couple were starting to show little green sprouts this weekend so we’re hopeful.

We also seeded our dams with some trout – approximately 100 each of brown and rainbow trout fry (about 1 inch long) in the bigger dam and 20 rainbow trout yearlings (about 6-8 inches long) in the slightly smaller dam. I always wanted to try raising trout in the reservoir at Blackwoods so finally I get to try. This is trout country with many trout dams and rivers around here so they should do well. 28.9.13 trout fry 0851

We’re now eyeing the birds around the dam with a degree of suspicion! Coincidentally, we had a temporary invasion of around 200 straw-necked Ibis passing through the day after we released the fry and they were all around the dam pecking away at insects in the grass but, of course, aren’t fish eaters. The herons are a different story, but hopefully the larger trout are big enough to be safe and there are enough of the small fry that we’ll lose some but not all. The dams are pretty deep so there’s enough refuge hopefully.

Other developments:

The insulation has been installed (don’t you love the funky, shiny purple colour?) and the external cladding is now going on.

The main deck off the main living area of the house has been completed and they’re busy with the rest of it around the front and the side of the house now.

The solar has been installed and is ready to switch on once the Powercor inspector has signed it off and done

whatever it is they need to do on the meter to track how much power we are drawing from and feeding into the grid. We get charged for what we use and paid for excess solar energy produced and pushed back into the grid which is quite cool. I wonder how much you have to generate to class as a minor utility company :-) .

The internal walls have now all been built as well and have received their first coats of paint and the cornices have all been installed.

The timber floors were all laid last week and are looking stunning! We can’t wait to see the final result once they are sanded and sealed – but even in their rough state we’re really pleased with them.

Next week, once the decks and the external cladding is all completed, the internal fixing starts with doors, architraves and the like all getting fitted. That will take a few weeks as there is a lot to do – the next big event will be the installation of the stove and the kitchen cabinets in last week or two of October. We can’t wait to see what it all looks like!