Rain

I love rain. In Queensland when it rains it is warm so you can be out in it for ages.

Ants:

Have you ever wondered how ants plug up their holes so water doesn’t get into their nest? This is what we observed in one species last week, a living ‘door’

DSCN1667

Termites

Termites making an addition to their nest. We watched them a few weeks ago and their skills in building, teamwork & cooperation is incredible

Fungi

A few days before the day of rain we had a couple of smaller storms and all kinds of fungi began sprouting out up out of the debosia and hardwood chip

These ones looked like flowers and if they are left on paper they leave a flower like spore pattern

cropped-dscn4322.jpg

Bright Yellow Fungi

These fungi look similar to coral. They open with moisture and stay tightly closed when dry

DSCN1330

Dams:

The images on the left are what it was like in 2015. Images on right were taken today.

Eating Meat Is Destroying Our Planet

Discoveries Along The Way

Hi my name is Pete Lytton-Hitchins. I was born a country boy and ever since I can remember all I wanted to do was be a sheep and cattle farmer. I remember the first time I killed a kangaroo, the first time I fell off a horse and I used to think all I would ever do was be a sheep and cattle farmer.

With the help of my family over a period of 20 years we own and killed over 100,000 sheep and 10,000 head of cattle.

In 2015 we sold the farm and stopped making money from meat farming. I say the words “meat farming” because when we farm animals we are in the business of producing kilograms of meat for human consumption.

I gave up what I thought was my life long passion. Once I released that eating meat and killing animals was wrong I no longer…

View original post 1,301 more words

What I’m Learning About The Environment & Land Recovery

I have spent much of my life so far focused on Results. If I want to plant a tree, I want to plant it now. In the past I was happy spending lots of money bringing in big machinery like tractors and graders to get instant results that then take even more money to maintain the projects long term. It was a very costly and an extremely ineffective way to heal land destruction.

Over the past few years I have had the privilege of seeing how Jesus looks after his land and shares his thoughts on how to make loving eco systems and help with environmental recovery. There is a talk on the Divine Truth website that covers a lot of this information in detail called ‘Creating Loving Eco Systems‘ and can be found at the links you will find at the bottom of this post*.

The information below is based upon my personal experience with what has been shared and shown to me over this time.

When I observe Jesus caring for the environment his main concern is working out how God cares for the environment and then replicating that any way he can. This means things take time and that there is a natural order of how to heal land.

The modern way to make soil fertile is to add fertilisers and use heavy machinery to aerate and break down soil compaction. Gods Way I’m learning is very different

Gods Way is all about holding water/moisture in the soil and creating fertility through the intelligence in the soil. The intelligence is living creatures, organisms and seeds that live in the eco system. By looking after the seeds and feeding the creatures and organisms real recovery can then begin. Fungi, earthworms and ants are all examples of intelligence we want to grow and encourage in the eco system.

The first step should be to protect the soil and allow seeds to grow. This starts with removing grazing animals that constantly eat the shoots and leaves of seeds that germinate. Each seed has inbuilt intelligence and will only grow when the environment is suited to it’s germination. The more seeds germinate and are constantly eaten by animals the less seeds the soil has for the next cycle.

Think about this process happening for 100’s of years and you can start to see how serious this problem becomes. The soil gets no new seeds and all the seeds that do germinate get eaten. Gods Way of looking after soil is no longer working effectively. No seeds and less and less plant life creates a drier environment which eventually becomes a man made desert. The living creatures and organisms that thrived in the environment are no longer able to exist.

When the grazing animals are removed first generation seeds can start to germinate. These plants are mostly seen as weeds. They have the toughest job to do. They can grow in little fertility, need less water and sometimes have a tap root to help open up compaction. In some cases they are also not very attractive to animals and are spikey or prickly. This is often the only way they can survive. Ideally they are legume plants that release nitrogen into the soil. Australian wattles are a good example of first generation plants also known as ‘pioneer plants’ that start the healing process to rebuilding soil fertility.

So how do we create an environment that supports the living creatures and organisms essential to making a sustainable eco-system?

Firstly we need to provide the Food, Water and Shelter (a home) that all life needs. This becomes the focus. In some cases we need to re introduce the intelligence as well. Earthworms are a great example of intelligence we can re introduce into the system once we have the necessary food available.

Food swales and trenches are one way we can create a home that can feed the intelligence that makes the soil.

Swales are a man made bank built on a contour. The idea is for the swale to collect and hold water. With a food swale* we take this one step further and fill the water collection side of the bank with organic matter and hence the name “Food Swale”. The organic matter becomes the food feeding the system. The organic matter used can be anything from waste food scraps to hay and newspaper or bales of cardboard. This organic material becomes a sponge that releases moisture and nutrients out slowly. It’s a fertility bank full of life. When it rains we are now collecting all the water we possibly can and keeping it in the landscape as long as possible. The landscape is now becoming hydrated for longer periods of time.

The organic matter we bring into the system we want to break down slowly through decomposition rather than composting. Decomposition is Gods Way, a slow release over time that supports the whole of the eco system and takes time. When we compost we create heat, which kills life in the organic matter and breaks down fast. Composting has no intelligence. Decomposition is full of intelligence. With decomposition creatures have a home and food.

A Trench is similar to a food swale expect this time everything is below ground rather than on the top. A Trench is an underground hole that is built on contour. The trench is then filled with organic matter just like the food swale. Its size can vary depending on how much organic matter you have available. You can build these trenches quite deep so they are like an underground water reservoir full of life on top. The benefit of the trench is that it can hold more matter and water than a swale.

The aim for both food swale’s and trenches is to create life in the system. The more we feed the intelligence the more the intelligence feeds the soil.

One of the first noticeable changes is the amount of flying insects and ants that appear. As more abundance is created bigger creatures and birds start arriving and feasting on all the tasty food now in the eco system.

It is also amazing how long water/moisture stays in the system once it is no longer been lost through evaporation and is been collected and stored when ever it rains rather than flowing off the landscape.

One way you can experiment at home is by digging a pit in your backyard and filling it up with your kitchen scraps and any other organic matter you have around the house. Cover the green waste with a layer of dry organic matter like sugar cane mulch or shredded up newspaper to help with the smell. See what happens and then maybe in a year or so plant a seed on top of the pit. You will be amazed at all the life that turns up and the beautiful soil it then creates.

Happy Experimenting

Peter

* Links:

24 Oct 2012 Creating Loving Eco Systems – An Introduction S1

06 Nov 2012 Creating Loving Eco Systems – Audio Lessons

There is an Intro and 8 Audio files for the above can be found at this link, you will need to scroll down to find it.

06 Nov 2012 Creating loving Eco-Systems – An Introduction S2

  • Food Swale- A name I made up

 

Snow in Kentucky

*This post has been updated

20150712 Sunday

We returned from a trip to Queensland yesterday to a steadily decreasing temperature as we traveled south. We awoke this morning to a light covering of snow all around and the kids getting their snow gear on at 6:30am to build a snowman and chuck snow at us as we emerged from the front door. It is literally freezing, and fun to play in snow. Snow didn’t settle for long, it has all melted away by lunch time. Windy – freezing, we are glad for a toasty fire. We are hoping for more and deeper tomorrow.

20150712 Snow in Kentucky - snow paddock

20150712 Snow in Kentucky – snow paddock

20150713 snow day 1 - snowman

20150713 snow day 1 – snowman

20150713 snow day 1 - snowman, Archie eating snowman's nose

20150713 snow day 1 – snowman, Archie eating snowman’s nose

20150713, Monday

We went to the snow! And didn’t leave Kentucky.

Day 2 of lovely snow, awoke today to beautiful fluffy flakes of snow falling from the sky. Snow is so fun and so cold.

20150713 snow day 2 - front drive

20150713 snow day 2 – front drive

20150713 snow day 2 - view from the front dooe

20150713 snow day 2 – view from the front door

20150713 snow day 2 - wattle

20150713 snow day 2 – wattle

20150713 snow day 2 - tracks

20150713 snow day 2 – tracks

20150713 snow day 2 - farm equipment snowed under

20150713 snow day 2 – farm equipment snowed under

20150713 snow day 2 - Pete and kids

20150713 snow day 2 – Pete and kids

Snow!

We awoke to the softness and silence of big fluffy snow flakes falling outside this morning!
We have been ‘waiting’ for snow all year and finally in October it fell.
It was so beautiful and so much fun!
The kids made snow breakfast and snow collections.
There is something magic about snow!

Three days ago we were in the sunshine in tee-shirts, today we are rugged up in layers of wool. Contrasts and opposites, it is never predictable, smile.

ladybirds in the sunshine
Lady bird in the snow
Snow in October!

snow
2 days before the snow
2 days before the snow
snow!
catching snow for breakfast

snow balls to throw at daddy
First taste of snow – first experience of snow ever

snow and cranberries for breakfast
-warming up in bed
strawberry flowers in the snow

plant sleeping bags

Living Systems

Environment day today was about creating: Living Systems. Thank you Jesus for teaching us about love. Thank you to everyone who gave their time today to create a ‘worm hole’ and an experimental ‘worm mound’. We are grateful for your efforts! We are excited!

A worm found already in residence.
They were few and far between
So grateful for the tractor – what a great hole digger!!!
It was a really great day learning about the earth, ourselves and how to create abundance through giving love and supporting the intelligent life systems without expectation* that support us.
I feel that one of the greatest gifts was the fact that if want to take and we want for everything to be given to us from the earth; If we do not desire to give and love the earth, land and all the intelligent life – the fungi, bacteria, microbes, micro-organisms, worms, insects, and all the creating things – then it is really best to not begin in the first place. The whole exercise is an exercise in giving for the pure desire to give to that which creates. To give without gain.
The hole
What I learnt today is that I need to be like a worm hole.
To stop expecting and demanding** from the earth and the land and to trust God’s abundance and her way of creating and see the way she creates and help out the best that I can by providing food, water, shelter to everything that sustains life. To all the insects, fungi, bacteria, microbes, micro-organisms etc these are our friends and our desire to erridicate them reflects how much negative, self serving desire we have and how little we understand about the way that the world operates as God designed it. We create more and more problems that then need fixing. We are exhausting ourselves with meaningless things that could be done so much more easily if we were more humble, more logical and actually understood what God has gifted us in the first place. We humans claim to be intelligent but I am beginning to wonder, smile. What I saw today is that God’s way is best*** and it is beautiful, magical, abundant and can create wonderlands…. We are excited about the experiment and to see ‘who moves in’ and what happens.
Thank you to all ye who volunteered your time!
Thank you Jesus for showing us ‘how’, for
explaining the principles, the logic and love behind the
whole system!
Thank you Lena for your time and expertise
in filming and documenting the entire process.
making clay creations
preparing the hole for minerals
adding minerals to ‘help’ the soil
Our dear friends and leaders in Love and logic – Thank you!!
jostling the bale into place
cardboard packing
the more cardboard the better –  food
more  food
and more food
and more food
and more food
add manure, add worms
cover with mulch to keep moist
what a lovely ‘bug’ palace
cover with woodchips
add some homes for other fauna
taking a wee rest
The beginning of the worm ‘mound’
Bale of hay wedged into a bit of open soil
and separated to create decomposition not composting.
‘Bugs’ don’t like too much heat
the beginnings of worm food slurry/brew
make a worm food slurry/brew water, poo,
decomposed hay, small bits of cardboard
fill the gaps with cardboard and manure
put the slurry/brew under the newspaper in all the
holes and cracks so that there is moisture
thank you for all your efforts!
Put it all together
cover in manure, mulch it with hay, cover with wood chips and
then put fallen branches  (ones that have not been on the
ground long and that have not begun creating habitat.) To
hold the mound in place and create habitat and encourage other
fauna and flora to come and make their homes!
The mound
encouraging what is already there – feeding a white ants nest,
adding cardboard and wood chips to encourage the
life and support it where it is.
pretty exciting
Can’t wait to see what happens!

* Today I learnt how much expectation I have about things giving to me in order for me to get what i want. I learnt how much demand we have and how much pressure we put on the earth rather than giving to the earth abundantly and without expectation to encourage intelligent living flora and fauna to create it’s own living self creating systems. 

** This is an emotional change not just an intellectual exercise that we can think into existance. It takes us emotionally releasing the demands and expectations that we have on things to sustain us. To grow our desire to love, grow our desire to give and our desire to find out about all the intelligent life that God has created and support it purely because we desire to support it and for no other reason. 

*** In my arrogance I am not always humble to this fact and try to force my way, but when it is logically explained I wonder why I thought there was any other but God’s way. Much to learn and how exciting!