‘Summerfest 2012 Project’

We recently held ‘Summerfest’, a week long project that included different projects with the intention that those who came could learn techniques based on love that are logical and beautiful* that are applicable to their backyards or acreage. It was a project with lots of different learning experiences so that those who attended and volunteered their time could leave with skills and knowledge on how to do what they learned at home and teach it to others. Below is a summary and thank you to those who volunteered and contributed their time, expertise and energy to these projects.

The week of the ‘Summerfest 2012 Project’ – 28th November to 3rd of December 2012, held at Kyabra Station (Kyabra Learning Centre, Kentucky, NSW), was a great week full of various fun filled activities. 
 
We began and ended with a focus on large scale soil improvement and water management, demonstrating methods using contours and ponds to redirect and retain water, building living eco systems to provide fertility and regenerate soil, and seeding of grasses and re generation plants to prevent soil erosion. This project took longer than expected with some of the pond walls needing adjustments to hold water properly.

There is still some work to be done in this area to complete the project but a lot of headway was made and we are so grateful for all volunteers time in beginning the project.
 
the site – Standbye Paddock
Alternate View of Standbye Paddock
Bedrock the beginnings of  erosion at the top of the paddock
Alternate view of bedrock erosion
Erosion, contours, ponds


Site for contour planting, ponding and living fertility systems:
Contour
Close up of coutour
You can see where the water held and was slowed down
in a shower we had pre-seeding the contour
Harrowing hand planted seeding on the
contours.
Contours at Site (Standbye Paddock):
Digging the Fertility pits
Living Fertility System hole on a contour

The various materials and ‘food’ for the living fertility systems – use what you
have on hand and have an abundance of. We are wanting to create systems
that are self supporting and that can be done with low cost using what is
available.
Filling up the Fertility pit
Tractor moving ‘dead matter’ into place
An almost finished Living System – needs some more hay and
matter around the logs so they will break down faster and encourage life
to live there feeling protected and ‘safe’.
Fertility pit complete
Volunteers working at a Living System

Standbye paddock Site showing ponds:

Just dug pond
After a rain. The soil here as you can see in the background is prone to heavy
erosion after rain. The soil is light and fly-away- when exposed.
Working on the bank of one of the ponds. Creating a dam wall to prevent
erosion and cover as much bare soil as possible. (Begin from the bottom up
when creating a dam wall).
 Harrowing the dam wall
Adding sticks into erosion cracks and at overflow to manage and
slow down water.
Lomandra grasses planted either side of logs – logs
purpose to slow down water flow.
Dam bank complete
Other projects during the week consisted of tending to the swales planted out last year and filling them with gathered matter to transform them into living systems in order to create fertility and improve soil conditions.
Our many thanks to everyone who was on the ‘food’ team for all the living systems spending your days carrying and carting dead wood matter and treading lightly to place it in an already re-generating area. Thank you for your time and care  to disturb as little as possible the new plants and creatures that have been moving in over the last year. Thanks also to our neighbors and Bunnings for supplying much of the ‘dead’matter used to feed the living systems.

‘Food’ for the Living Systems – Thanks Guys for your help pre – summerfest!
More ‘food’ for the systems
shredding paper for ‘food’ for the living systems and
getting the worms going.
shredded cardboard and paper
Other Projects:

Waterless home Gardening project: demonstrating several techniques including fibonacci system to maximize sun and water usage of any area, designing water flow in your garden, techniques to minimize or completely remove the need for watering, mixed planting incorporating natives both flowering and mulching, fruit trees and vegetables. (More detailed information on the Waterless Garden can be found in the blog post titled the same).

Waterless garden before

fibonacci spiral marked out
volunteers creating various systems in the garden
Nature box project: constructing from flat packed pre made kits, painting and positioning boxes for animals and birds according to their particular needs, providing shelter close to food and water. Scouting for suitable locations and some tree climbing to place boxes.

Pre packaged nature boxes, thank you to everyone who made these for us
in Queesland. We are so grateful for all your time and efforts!
Constructed from pre- packaging
eco painting in process
Nature box in place up a tree
‘Reptile Heaven project’: Reptiles are often forgotten or even shunned members of vital ecosystems. This activity focused on providing habitat for reptiles by placing shelter, food and water in close proximity, providing safe transit zones. We utilized above ground living systems to incorporate suitable living shelters and abundant insect life. We also planted various native shrubs, legumes and grasses for protection and mulching. There have already been an increase in numbers of lizards and frogs into the area. 

Reptile Heaven ‘before’ – looking up the hill
Reptile Heaven ‘after’ – looking up hill

 


Reptile Heaven ‘after’ looking down the hill
Reptile Heaven in progress

Some little frogs who have moved in near by
Worm nursery and breeding centre: Setting up optimal conditions for worm breeding farms and educating about lovingly caring for worms and soil creating creatures.

worms – we love worms!
Worm Breeding Centre under construction –
For more information see blog post on the same
subject.
Worm slurry in the field to add to the living systems to
get the worms started.
We had a marvelous time in the woolshed each evening learning new things in presentations from Jesus and Mary and reflecting on events during the day, as well as much fun dancing, singing and being entertained by wonderful musicians and singers. Our thanks to Jesus and local singer/song writer Fabio Tolli for the evening entertainment. Thank you so much for all the time and gifts to all who planned, prepared and attended these events! We hope you learned heaps and enjoyed it as much as we did!
 
We want to thank God’s Way of Love Organization (no longer in existence) for all the wonderful contributions they made, Jesus and Mary, the team leaders and supply teams and everyone who participated and volunteered giving their time, resources and efforts to helping us love the land some more. 
 
We would like to acknowledge the amount of time and effort that went into things such as organizing and pre making animal and bird boxes. We are grateful to everyone who came and made this event such fun and worthwhile this year. We look forward to seeing you again sometime in the near future.
 
Thanks again 
 
From the Lytton-Hitchins Family  
 
For more information or if anything in this takes your interest please feel free to contact us at eloisalh@gmail.com or phone 67787458 or check out www.divinetruth.com for more information on creating loving eco-systems.
 
* We found out how illogical some of us were or how we sacrificed logic for beauty or beauty for logic rather than having a beautiful balance of both. 

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