Our last event of 2013 was a fabulous night with musician extraordinaire Paul Robert Burton whose concert provided a frame for the documentary 'Fractured Country" . Paul provided first hand stories of farmers and families affected by CSG he had met as he supported activists, mums, dads and grandparents at blockades around the country with his music. Our camp kitchen transformed into a stage as we sat under the stars, inspired by both the music and the ordinary people trying to protect the Land. A fitting acknowledgement of our Care for Country on the Solstice.
The first house completed at BIndarrabi!!
Carol & Doone were thrilled to have a bed and fridge in their new house to celebrate Christmas day with fresh figs from their tree for breakfast.
The house was completely built using the solar power from their stand-alone 3.5 KW PV tracking system. It is North facing with a polished concrete floor for thermal mass, 6ml e-glass windows, composting toilet, limestone walls with extra insulation in both roof & walls. In spite of the louvers in the cupola not being wired yet (they are electrically operated) to help with venting hot air, on a 39 degree day it was 10 degrees cooler inside the house. Definitely happy with that!. The in-ground 10,000 gallon concrete tank also doubles as a patio area. The house is designed for minimum maintenance and to Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) 29.
In the first week of January we had the fire trails behind the house sites put in and the all-weather road to the proposed fire-safe house from both precincts completed. It has been a busy start to the year!
January Long Weekend saw much progress being made on our new Nature Loo composting toilets for the campground. We should be able to have the Grand Opening (?) at our Feb gathering :) We also added more concrete to the rock ford over to Harvest Field to smooth out a few bumps and a mighty effort was made to clear all of the Groundsell weed. Next year will be very easy to clear any regrowth.
On Saturday night one of our Friends, Dr. Delton Chen gave an interesting presentation on a new project he is working on to provide a digital currency to be used as payment for companies who reduce CO2 emissions. This removes the stigma of a 'tax' and is not political. We wish him all the best in birthing his idea.
And...... it is blackberry season! We all now value the effort put into gathering a bucket of blackberries ! Kathy kindly converted many of them to blackberry pikelets for morning tea. Absolutely delicious! Sorry there is no pic. We ate them all before I thought of it!
However I did get a picture of our Bunya Nut efforts. A Friend brought us a Bunya Nut so we of course Googled a recipe for Bunya Nuts and found a recipe for a cake that we approached with some trepidation. It was delicious!!!!!!!!!
First we had to crack the nut open, a special technique of throwing it on the ground, then boiling the nuts for around 3 hours until the kernals split open. We then de-hulled the kernals and they were ready for our recipes. The kernals are a little like a chestnut/potato mix and are 9% protein with the rest complex carbohydrates.
As well as the cake we kept some and stir-fried them with garlic and ginger. Very moreish....great bush tucker!!
Lets take a breath and see what the rest of the year brings!
Well, we are hurtling towards the end of the year at breakneck speed so I am delighted to let you know about our special event for this coming solstice on Dec 21st.
The new 'Lock the Gate' documentary “Fractured Country”, narrated by Jack Thompson, will be shown within the context of a concert with acclaimed musician Paul Robert Burton. This ground breaking documentary gives the first clear, compelling, factual overview about the impacts of coal seam gas (CSG) mining and coal mining on Australian communities, particularly rural and regional communities, farmers and our natural environment.
It features the stories of people whose lives have been changed forever by CSG mining on their land as well as highlights the groundswell of grassroots community action to stop the industry from ruining lives and communities across Australia.
Paul Robert Burton performs a highly eclectic solo repertoire of originals and unusual traditional musical pieces that blend together blues, Celtic, gypsy, Middle Eastern, gospel, bluegrass, swing, jazz and folk-rock influences together to perform music as the universal language of unity.
Paul said, “Over the past three years I have been travelling to communities affected by corporate mining and industry and using my music to inspire, connect and empower people and communities.
Suggested donation for this event will be $10 and includes supper.
So..... have a break before Christmas and come camp and enjoy Bindarrabi on Dec 21-22and be inspired by this grass-roots action that cares for people and country.
Please share this with family and friends and let us know if you are able to join us !!
We had a very promising reception with our presentation to the Tenterfield Shire Council on July 24th. The councillors even almost got to the point of a vote, however some were keen to see the property before making a final decision, which is quite reasonable. Hence we are slashing and tidying and dusting off our scone recipe before their visit on August 15th :) All going well, it will go back to council on the 28th for their decision and then....
WE WILL CELEBRATE!!!!!!!!!!! All prayers and good wishes happily received for those two dates.
September Equinox could be a fantastic celebration!
We are very Blessed to have some generous hearted peopple come and share their passions at Bindarrabi.
This weekend Joe A. Friend (yes, that is his name) came with 100 Red cedars that he wanted to plant in the forest. Joe had planted a few about 5yrs ago and they have done well, so he came back with more !
Red cedars were of course logged out in the local area so it is great to be planting more for the next generation to experience. Here are a few words from Joe:)
Unfortunately we have had to cut down a few trees to meet Fire Safety requirements for building our house so we have a lot of firewood for the next few years but we are also keeping some of the logs for different projects.
I thought you might be interested in the debarking process which can be a bit daunting but Doone is getting it down to a fine art. I did fail to mention though in the clip that you run the chainsaw along the length first to give you an edge.
We are very grateful that National Parks received an insurance payout from the 2010 flood. This has allowed them to upgrade crossings and infrastructure in a number of parks, including Koreelah. As most of you know, when we have floods or storms there is damage to the approaches to the bridge and to the crossing at the locked gate.
Fortunately now the bridge approach is concreted as is the causeway at the locked gate. All of this new work was put to the test with the recent storm and it came through with flying colours.
The Gods have smiled upon us and we are grateful :)
Our last post talked about the completion of our new dam. We were very excited!. Well, excitement turned to apprehension as the BIG RAIN came. Would our new dam wall hold? Well, we were blessed and it did. The dam filled to overflow and cascaded onwards with only a minimal amount of erosion.
The next big rain, we stayed at Bindarrabi and were cut off as the creeks at both the locked gate and the bridge went under. Unfortunately we lost our bridge over into the Harvest Field. The pipes were swept away with one being found about 400m downstream. Consequently Doone decided a ford was the answer. So we have cleared either side of a rocky ledge and will concrete that entry and exit once the rain has stopped, and yes, it is still raining as I am writing this. Fortunately, we have had a few sunny days in between and we had some lovely brazilian folks vist which was a lot of fun!
The rain stayed mostly away for our Easter camp which was very relaxed. We showed some new visitors around, had a lovely walk to the Hidden Waterfall and watched movies under the stars, well, one night under the stars and the next night in the camp kitchen out of the drizzle :)
Hopefully we will have some news in the next couple of months regarding our Development Application so stay tuned!!
Water water everywhere!!
Fun with our Brazilian friends!
The saying goes that all good things are worth waiting for. We decided water storage was a priority at the end of the drought. By the time we found someone able to dig the dam, the rains came and came and came. Then we had to wait for things to dry......so two and a half years later we have our Big Dam of approximately 10,000 cubic metres, which is spring fed and uphill from some alluvial flats so we will be able to do gravity feed irrigation.
Our thanks to Bill Hoffman and Peter, our bulldozer and excavator drivers for an excellent job.
With the dam being spring fed it has taken one month to be 1/4 full with no rain to speak of and as you can see, some couldn't wait to test the water !
Our Thanks to all our Friends who helped through the year to bring the camp kitchen into manifestation!!
From the logging of the poles in the forest to the turning on of the hot water to the showers, it has been a journey So heartfelt thanks to one and all as we meandered our way through a great adventure of learning. We hope you all feel it was worth it. We Do!
Of course we hope you will come visit in 2013 and enjoy the fruits of our labours.
What a sweet weekend we had in August. Quite laid-back as folks came out of winter hibernation. We enjoyed the sun and sitting and chatting, meeting new and re-cnnecting with old.
Unfortunately Rob Williams from the Githabul tribe was unable to attend due to grandfatherly duties, but his people are in accord with our project and we are moving forward in negotiation, so that is terrific.
After our Saturday catch-up we did do some work on Sunday and the children had a lovely time.
We have brought the October weekend forward one week as it is a long weekend in QLD. If any of you would like to join us for Sept 29, 30 and Oct 1st please let us know.
Doone and I are finalising quotes with a builder to build our little house to lock-up so hopefully that will start either late this year or early next year. In the meantime we are erecting a yurt for temporary accommodation for builders and us. Check out http://www.ozyurts.com.au
we look forward to seeing you at the end of the month.