Friday, 6 February 2015

Natures way

We have been in the house for 3 months now, it really is a dream come true. There is still a lot of work to get everything into a working system, but it's getting there. This is our rainy season here and there has been a lot of rain, huge storms. This is where we see the transformation around us where all of nature wakes up! The majority of our homestead is indigenous forest and we are leaving it that way, there are many wonderful fruits in there, and great habitat for birds, insects and reptiles amongst others. We are constantly discovering and learning and love it so much. Many snakes have been around, but we just move them into the woods if they are too close to the house.
These are a treasure to find, termitomyces schimperi, they grow on the termite mounds and have to be picked on the day they burst out of the ground, they are truly delicious!!! 

Sundowner's in a tree on our place

I have been experimenting with different ways of cooking, here I baked a chocolate beetroot cake in the dutch oven on hot coals, worked beautifully.

Speeke's hinged tortoise, wandering through our place...

...he came to visit the house and whiskey was intrigued

The paper wasps have been here since I put the roof up over a year ago, it's quite a work of art!

I put mosquito mesh around the verandah just to have a bit of space that isn't shared with all the creatures!!

This leaf was carefully chewed by a caterpillar and wrapped in a beautiful coil to make a cocoon 

I tried making a clay fridge with some pots from the local potters, one large pot with a slightly smaller one in the centre, sand is between the two where water is poured.  The evaporation keeps the food nice and cool.

The vegetables I have put inside have been cool and well preserved!

Washing next to the banana circle, only natural products used so it's feeding the trees!

We have been trying to get Oly used to walking to school, with all the other children, for us it's an hours walk,  hot and sweaty here. 

The solar cooker has arrived!

Giant African land snail, all over the place, they are around 15cm long

making  tea light holders out of nice pieces of wood

Boiling water for free!!! It's so fast and it really works well.

Yabani and Myself made a chicken tractor, a movable chicken run , so the chickens fertilise the land for a week or two and then move.

We used materials from around us apart from the chicken wire.

I planned around the chickens needs, making sure there are perches, shade, water, a nice high up place to sleep and food. Catching water from a shaded dust bath area. 

I bought the chickens from homesteads around us as they will be hardier, I have all females as these will be for eggs only, hopefully they will produce well. They free range for a large part of the day.

Ladder up to a cosy dry sleeping area

The kitchen shelves

Catching rain off of the smaller verandah into second hand 200litre drums

Early morning sun through the round window onto the earthen wall

candle holders in action

The banana circle is thriving

earthen shelf detail

The birds eye chillies in the banana circle have been growing so well, I made some chillie sauce, using only the sun!

mixed up the ingredients using the mixer connected to solar panel, battery and inverter.

cooked on the solar cooker

the finished sauce

Yesterday was a crazy strong storm, like I have never seen,  here it was on the horizon

Here it is

amazing light and rainbow afterwards

Whiskey on safari