I am working on a long post discussing the retrofit of our little house in Canberra. In 4 years we took it from 0 to 4 stars, with insulation, glazing and some chicanery. That post isn’t far off I hope.
In the short term I’ve been sounding off on twitter about residential energy efficiency, and just got off the wireless with Carol Duncan talking about the same thing.
That conversation is getting a bit long for Twitter, or even SMS. So, questions, comments on residential energy efficiency, drop them below.
Mostly just recording this for my own records, but here is a video of me telling a story recently
It was told for a night run by Melanie Tait, ABC local presenter. The night is called Now Hear This and runs occasionally. Their next one is up at Mt Stromlo and will be stories from the 2002 Canberra fires.
It was a fun night, in a terrific setting. I might try this caper again. I wonder if the audience is ready for some birdwatching stories?
Short post to link to a piece I’ve written on raising pigs and eating them
I’ll do a post here soon on the butchery and slaughtering process, probably with graphic images.
I built a deck recently. Here’s how I did it. Learn from my mistakes.
The paved area at the back of the house has always been a bit awkward; weeds grow up through the pavers, but it’s too close to the south side of the house to bother pulling them up and planting more gardens. The house was also starting to feel a bit small once babby started crawling, so a bit of an “outdoor room” was a good cheap option.
The idea then was a low deck, extending almost along the length of the back of the house, straight out the back door, and covering most of the paved area, which takes it right to the edge of the vege garden beds. That door leads into the kitchen, so it will be a space to sit outside and drink cups of tea and look at the garden, with maybe an outdoor table in the sun as well. The little bit of height gives one a feeling of lording it over our backyard and gives a nice vantage over the strawberry patch.
Managing chickens in suburbia comes with different challenges than a rural environment; where the land is less scarce, and neighbours further away. Keeping a flock of layers or even meat birds will require a bit of management to avoid odours, keep the ladies on a varied diet and keep the predators at bay. Here I’m going to focus on what we’ve tried in our 5th of an acre block to control odour and diet; if predators are your problem I’ve talked a bit about that here.
I’ve been looking for some ideas to re-imagine our backyard in the last couple of months, having recently decided to stay in this house for a few years. Inspiration came in a short article in a Green Architecture magazine, talking about these new-fangled wicking garden beds. This discovery, plus a desire to get some growing space under glass, lead to this little project.
We’ve had chickens for a while now, and recently acquired some ducks. I’ll do a post on their behavioural differences later, but this post is going to concentrate on some of the more explicit differences between the birds which are now in my freezer. So vegetarians, look away.