Monday, November 3, 2014

What do Lunar Landscapes and Bush Fire Season have in common?

so .... i know i don't post as much as i should.  and, frankly, i'm gonna stop apologizing.  most of you will recognise that if i'm not posting ... well, it means we're busy!

but a quick update today because it's early spring and early spring deserves a bit of a huzzah and hooroo!

here Down Under we are heading into summer .... it's arriving with all the climate change promises of dryer, hotter and drought that we are afraid of.  our place is full of trees and ground cover.  making it the ideal fuel for a bush fire to come roaring through.  you can keep the area around your house clear ... which we do .... but after that 100m clearance .... well, lets just say its quite lush and full of growth ... ideal fuel for any bush fire.

I should back up and share a diagram of what we had intended originally for our whole "pasture pig" area.  knowing they need heaps of ground cover and pasture to enjoy.  we opted for a rotational system that was around a quarter acre per pasture.  unfortunately we had been having a few problems with escape artists on just electric fence, so we opted to use traditional fencing, along with the electric fence in the new area.  this is the pig pasture area as we envisaged it originally.
our piggies have been having fun on Pasture One.  and if you've been around pigs at all, you know what they can do to an under story if given the opportunity

so, we did something that i wish i could say wasn't by accident.  we'd been nervous to move our sow and gilt out onto pasture for fear that they would get through the electric fence.  so had been procrastinating about moving them on to "greener pasture".   but i'm glad to say we allowed it.  we left our piggies in their first pasture area way too long and they created a lunar landscape that will, i am happy to say, not be of any help to any bush fires that might want to wander through!

we bit the bullet last weekend and did a proof of concept to see if we could keep them in electric fencing, with the addition of a grounding wire.  some of you are probably laughing as you can hardly believe we would've tried without a grounding wire.  remember we are still green horns in so very many ways!

but we knew it was time to move them on .... not just for our benefit and learning, but for their own health and happiness ... what pig wouldn't want to live on this?

but, i am happy to say that the piggies are now moved to Pasture Area Three... getting zapped at a 6.5 if they try anything!

Lucy, who is "in pig" already making her mark on the
new landscape!

Look closely and you'll see Susan's ear ... she is a smart
bit 'o bacon and likes to lay near the water trough.
they seem happy .... and are enjoying all the greenery and lushness that is theirs to dig and root through .... finding grubs, bugs and all sorts of wonderful little things to chomp on.

and in the meantime .... we have a quarter acre little square that will be very hard for a bush fire to take in!  and in a few days (when my green harvest and eden seeds order arrive), we will be throwing down heaps of great summer green manure.  we'll also do lots of pumpkin, sweet potato and choko.  these will not only be food for us, but yummy treats for piggies when they come back onto the area next winter.

and in the meantime, we'll keep destroying the sandy loam under story with piggies rooting digging and poo-ing.  they are adding so much fertility to the landscape! can't wait for late January when our piglets are due! they will certainly add life to the equation!


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