More Tales from the Rusty Nail

I’ve been cranking out projects recently.

New nails, old nails. Each has been more than capable of doing the job.

All manner of irritating descriptions on my To Do List have been getting a working over.

I’ve nearly finished the rabbit hutch with a worm farm underneath to catch droppings and food scraps. I moved the old guinea pig hutch that was claimed by Little Fella No. 1 as a potting bench – and on further inspection decided to patch and mend rather than dismantle. So I worked on that also.

The rabbit hutch taking shape. Even the wire I just managed to have enough!

I’ve whittled down the excess timber that was hanging around and used it to complete these jobs along with a heap of old nails that Pa Prof had laying around in his shed. So far I’ve not had to go near the big green shed to purchase anything. Even down to the cage wire. I’ve done the rabbit hutch and also replaced a frame of the guinea pig hutch with newer wire.

In using all of these resources that have been kicking around for quite some time now I have gradually been making more space around the patio, garden and under the house. Even some of the scrap off-cuts I’ve made into biochar which has gone into the banana gardens, the bioreactor, buckets with worm castings to inoculate it, and bagged up for later use in planting fruit trees or other uses.

Whilst working on these projects I’ve spotted both Red and White tail Cockatoos flying around. I’ve spotted the Red Wattlebirds nest high in a gum up on a neighbour’s front yard. They must be onto their second clutch for the Spring. I’ve noticed the Hoyas are coming into flower so the honeyeaters will be delighted with those syrupy flowers.

The Guinea Pig hutch getting a strip down and make-over.

I’ve seen how incredibly fertile the soil is in the banana gardens. They were filled with cardboard, timber off-cuts from building the Little Fella’s cubby house, mulch, soil, more cardboard, more mulch, kitchen scraps. The soil now, under its mulched cover, is like a jungle floor. The worms are active very close to the surface given that it is very well shaded most times of the day by the thick cover of banana leaves. Today I took some of the soil off and scattered a layer of biochar, placing the mulch back over the top. I am expecting some settling of the soil as the timber that is buried near the bottom begins to break down and the air pockets collapse. In adding mulch during the year however, I have noticed that it does break down pretty quickly and the bananas are starting to really kick in and give some decent growth this Spring.

Luckily I posted about this whole garden filling exercise with photos of exactly the sort of stuff I was throwing into them. You can find it here it your are interested. Reclaimed Timber, Bananas and Cubbies

I’m using mainly old pieces of Jarrah timber for these projects. The main timber left over (salvaged!) from our house renovation. There is the stray piece of pine, but mostly it is Jarrah and so there is a decent weight and solidness to the timber projects. Not too heavy, but reassuring compared to the very light weight timber usually used to manufacture the store bought hutches. Serendipity has still be on my side with my managing to find just the right lengths of timber required, or wire mesh for that matter. Fantastic. Like finding a piece of the jig-saw that has been bothering you for some time.

Speaking of which, Gran has finally finished the Eiffel Tower jigsaw which was taking her months. She is working on a lovely picture of a male Peacock now. Something which I’ll be happy to look at for a couple of months, if that is how long she manages to make it last.

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