Last week in Ligaya Garden #10

So much is happening, both here and out there in the big world that we thought it worth doing a little catch-up every Sunday and publish it on a Monday, Oz time.

All of the posts will be listed here on this page for your elucidation and convenience.

Jelina grass roots

It’s been. A huge week in and around Ligaya Garden.

We are in the current edition of Grass Roots magazine with a little article about our aquaponics system. That’s on p. 61. Better news is that Jelina’s smiling face is welcoming folks to the contents page!

Grapes at Cafe Nova

I’ve been continuing my climate chats at Cafe Nova and actually had a person attend! A great chat was had and while we didn’t actually fix any issues, we talked through a lot.

A big clean out of two of the media beds in the aquaponics was called for. It wasso big that I’m too tired to write about it again but you can read all about it here : Rooted in the aquaponics

A bit of hard graft completed the drip irrigation in the front yard. That’s should be it now as the front is all perennials except for the annuals that we are letting self seed so that they can find their own moisture.

Of course, there’ll be some sprinkler and hand watering to keep things fresh but the majority of it will be maintained through drippers. I added some larger output drippers to the PVC pipes that go to the roots of the trees and the soil layer below the mulch. Hopefully, besides twice yearly cleaning and accidents (hopefully not twice yearly), that should be it for the system, though Arduino controlled solenoids and moisture sensors are in the back of my mind… Hmmmm….

On the subject of irrigation, a take off pipe, tap and hose fitting has been added to each of the steel raintanks in the front. That way we can actually pump water with a little more pressure and don’t need to rely on gravity.

I doubled the size of the DC pump in one of the back tanks, the one that collects from the largest roof area so that we can pump to anywhere around the block. That pump was fitted to the system with a dodgy DIY adaptor and poly clip on hose fittings for easier removal and maintenance. Previously it was connected straight to the PVC pipe which meant a bit of struggling to disconnect it.

New tap for pumped rainwater

A pipe with a tap and a universal swivel tap connector has been added near the aquaponics. This means that we can get pumped water to any part of the back yard.

All this talk of rainwater and pumps might sound that we’re off grid but we’re not. We still have mains water but are reducing our reliance on it greatly. We only have just shy of 6000 litres of storage (plus the aquaponics reservoir at a pinch). With the hotter, drier weather coming, that wont be enough.

A while back, we did some fundraising to get enough to buy some polycarbonate kit greenhouses. They’re still not here and queries sent to the company are now falling on deaf ears. That’s a bigger as generous fiends and community donated over $400 for the project and we matched half of that too. It’s a lot of money to have go astray.

Our main hope is that they were sent by sea. That takes around 3 months which keeps us in the ballpark.

We purchased two skylights and some ceiling vents to help increase the natural light inside of the house and to passively remove some of the heat that builds up at certain points of the house over Summer.

If you know anyone who enjoys scampering around in roof cavities and can do a bit of DIY work, let them know we are in need of someone. It’ll be a paid gig.

Weatherproof power sockets

Since the successful upgrade of the solar, I’ve been adding weatherproof power points and switches around the house. A double power point has been added to the aquaponics so that there are no untidy loose cables there anymore and we can run extension cords to that so that we don’t have to run them through doorways and windows any more.

I’ve added a weatherproof double power point and a light switch to Jelina’s work area too. That should make her a bit safer. Just got to connect the lights now and she’ll be happy.

I realised that the wiring that ran from the house to the aquaponics was only 2 core, not 3. That was OK before because when it was installed, it was for DC to run from the batteries into the house. Then over Winter, we needed AC to the aquaponics so I used that for the job. Now that that run of cable is for AC, it has to be changed to 3 core cable.

New style of clips for the shadecloth sails

With the arrival of warmer weather, it’s time to roll out the shadecloth sails. This year, I’m trying a different, more permanent solution and using the little rings that are used for repairing mesh screens. They’re steel and will no doubt be more effective than replacing cable ties or shadecloth clips every year. Less waste, less plastic.

I’ve started to concentrate on learning Linux and Java. The Linux is because I’m tired of Microsoft and open source fits much better with my outlook. I’ve stuck with Windows for so long, purely out of laziness and complacency.

The Java is so that I can program Arduino projects more effectively. I’m planning all kinds of sensors around the house reporting to my phone or laptop through our home wifi.

As for posts last week, we have –

Ligaya gardening tips #12 being the top predator

Ligaya Gardening Tips #13 Pigeon Poo Percolator

That’s about it. There’s probably some stuff I’ve forgotten but that’s life…

Don’t forget to check back next week.

Note… For some WordPress kinda of readon, the captions for the pics aren’t working today.

A family with a garden near Gawler where we experiment with sustainability.

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