Jonie Hill

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since Nov 22, 2014
Couple still looking for our little piece of paradise.  Considered NZ but unfortunately our emotional ties to family led us back to Australia... have been finding it tough looking for land that we can afford, seeing as we don't want to go into debt for it.  Would like to buy bare land and live in a tiny house. 
SE Australia
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Recent posts by Jonie Hill

Thanks for that Dee-Bee!  Don't know if I can burn that close to the highway but could try the spray...unfortunately it will be ongoing maintenance of the fenceline unless I want to tackle the whole area along the hwy.  
Oh wow, ok, good to know....don't know how to keep the Vinca in check then!
I think I've only come across 1 comment on the net about it and just want to check if anyone here knows?
thanks
I think I've only come across 1 comment on the net about it and just want to check if anyone here knows?
thanks
Thanks for the thoughts Travis.  I know we can certainly do a lot with it, but wonder if our ideas of an orchard over much of the site would be the wrong way to go ... perhaps we'd have to limit that to certain small areas and be very selective about the trees/bushes we plant up the slope.  
1 year ago
Hi all,
This is the site we're looking at purchasing at the moment....
Most of the wind comes from the West, so just trying to get my head around how you could use windbreaks & plant fruit/nut etc trees on the contours as well, with decent grazing space in between .... any tips, suggestions?!  
(It's a cool temperate climate with around or over 1000 mm rain/year, basalt soils, 4.5 kms from the coast, low frost.  While it can be quite windy, it's not that bad that you get trees growing at a lean or anything!)
Much appreciated!!
Jonie
1 year ago
Thanks for the thoughts Grady.
I've found a lab in Aus that will test for heavy metals, organo-phosphates & organo-chlorine pesticides and glyphosate separately for AU$630.  Don't know how accurate they are of course, but they do complete testing for organic certification....
We're looking into finding out if there were any spots on the land that weren't cropped, so maybe we could grow veges there while remediating the rest of the land and growing trees...
1 year ago
Hi James, thanks for that reply.  I've read a Lot of stuff in the past, but unfortunately don't have the memory for it all....and seeing as we're under a bit of time pressure, thought people could have some good pointers to narrow my search - I'll look into mycoremediation.  
If we make an offer we will make it contingent on some soil & water testing.
Actually I didn't mention about one spot in particular that was concerning, down a slope from one of the fields, by the little stream that comes off a spring, a dam, & runs into a smaller dam, was a patch of muddy soil which was bright orange & had a sheen to it, you know that oily kind of sheen, like if you have petrol in a puddle.  We assume this is herbicide runoff or seepage, what do other people think?  So we guess that it would be good to take a water sample from above & below that point...

As people have said before on the forum, we can't exactly not use any contaminated land as so much of it is contaminated...but struggling to get to optimum health myself (with glyphosate possibly being one of the reasons I'm not there), the decision is a very hard one to make!  But otherwise it's such a lovely property & we can imagine how beautiful it will be in 20 years time....
1 year ago
Hi all,
We're seriously thinking of making an offer on 20 acres in a good rainfall area, soils derived from basalt, predominantly W facing (some bits NW, SW, S, N), with at least 1 spring fed dam, 1 other dam which may be spring fed or just runoff from the property.  
We have not found much within our budget (or even that is outside our budget but that we like at all), in over a year & a half of looking, even outside of our preferred area.  
This property we like, it feels good, has a nice environmentally-minded neighbour to the west (predominant wind direction is from there) and it's in our budget (no debt to purchase & we have the option of borrowing from family to make improvements).
It apparently ran dairy cattle until the last 2 yrs when they grew potatoes & consequently, roundup has been used.  We don't like this, but feel perhaps it's something we have to compromise on.  From what we've found, it's almost impossible to find land that is a) not really steep (and classed as a landslide hazard) b) isn't a bush block, or at least right in the middle of or next to large areas of bush that put you in real bushfire danger c) hasn't been sprayed, unless it's in an area that's really too cold to grow much.  (We want to do mixed fruit, nut, fodder & wood trees on contour with management intensive grazing of a small number of cattle).

I know this kind of question has been asked before, but I'm hoping some of you might have some good references (anything new?) about healing pesticide-affected land with regenerative farming?  I know we'll be able to grow things and improve the soil health, but I am concerned about whether they'll be safe to eat for a long time....though I know it may be no worse than what you buy in the shop (though we try not to buy anything not spray-free or organic).  We would really like to clean up the water on the property too, hopefully to drinking standard at some point, any evidence that this is possible without very costly remediation?  
How many of you have compromised on buying land that has had chemicals used on it?  Have you tested soil or water after years of regenerative farming practices, and if so, what have you found??
thanks for any & all thoughts on the topic, it's such a hard one for me to make a decision on...
1 year ago
My partner & I intend to (when we get our land) build a THOW, 5 m x 2.5 m.  Even if the property has a house on it already.  We can rent the house out & share the land with others, as we don't feel we need that much house.  We will, of course, need sheds for tools, perhaps machinery, we will be doing a lot of food preserving, drying, etc.  And I also want a greenhouse/conservatory type building for specialty plants, so that will provide a little extra living space.  But I don't feel having a bigger House is the best way to provide room for all those things.  A shed doesn't need to be kept meticulously clean (which is how I prefer my living space).  A house costs a lot more than a shed & needs to be insulated etc, whereas sheds are easier & cheaper to build, & to get permits for.  We spend so much time outside (even when we just have a normal size garden, let alone the acres that we want) that personally, I feel I'll be happy with only a small beautiful space to relax in at the end of the day (or when the weather's bad - but we are not intending to buy anywhere cold enough that it snows).  I also feel that, even though we will not intend on ever moving, you never know what will happen, so a THOW just gives you a little comfort in knowing that if you have to move, you can take Something that you've put your heart & soul into.  I like to spend a lot of time landscape my gardens & decorate my living spaces, so it would be a very personalised space & mean a lot to me, filled with vintage & secondhand fabrics & objects that I find beautiful (as much as will fit!).  I also think of the possibility of bushfire & even though we would probably want to stay to defend the property, if in the end we had to leave, we could take our tiny house with us (or move it beforehand perhaps).  I just like the flexibility it offers.  
2 years ago