Volcano Experiment

We had an exciting morning experimenting with kitchen ingredients to simulate larva in a volcano. It was heaps of fun and the kids really enjoyed it, trying it several more times after the initial eruption.

Below is everything you need to know to conduct the experiment yourself. It is really fun. Suggestion: do it outside on the grass so you have less clean up in the kitchen.

20141217 Volcano experiment: Some of the Ingredients used in the experiment

20141217 Volcano experiment: Some of the Ingredients used in the experiment

You will need:

  • 6 Cups of flour,
  • 2 Cups of salt
  • 4 Tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of baking soda
  • detergent
  • red food colouring (not essential, but makes it fun)
  • vinegar
  • baking pan
  • empty bottle (we used a small one)

Method:

To make the volcano cone:

  • Mix together the flour, salt, oil and water to make a dough for the volcano’s cone (add water as necessary to make a nice dough that sticks together but is not sticky or too dry)

Organising the eruption apparatus:

  • fill the bottle to four-fifths full with warm water, a little detergent and some food colour

Putting it all together:

  • Stand the bottle in the pan and mould the cone around it. Don’t cover the hole.
  • Taking the experiment outside is a good idea at this point
  • Add 2 Table spoons of baking soda, then slowly add vinegar
  • Observe the eruption
20141217 Volcano experiment: Pouring in the vinegar to the water, detergent, baking soda, food colour mix

20141217 Volcano experiment: Pouring in the vinegar to the water, detergent, baking soda, food colour mix

20141217 Volcano experiment: eruption (with added colour)

20141217 Volcano experiment: eruption (with added colour)

20141217 Volcano experiment: conducting the experiment a second time on their own

20141217 Volcano experiment: conducting the experiment a second time on their own

20141217 Volcano experiment: blowing air on the volcano to see what happens next

20141217 Volcano experiment: blowing air on the volcano to see what happens next

20141217 Volcano experiment: near the end of the volcano's short life, watching the last larva pour out before it became play dough. The experiments with baking soda, vinegar and various other ingredients including dam water, sugar, and just plain baking soda and vinegar continued.

20141217 Volcano experiment: near the end of the volcano’s short life, watching the last larva pour out before it got composted. The experiments with baking soda, vinegar and various other ingredients including dam water, sugar, and just plain baking soda and vinegar continued.

Have fun experimenting.

Observation of Dam banks & Exposed Earth

We have been observing God’s perfect design to heal the earth when it has been disturbed or degraded by us.

Fungi growing in the rocky, clay soil. Fungi are the 'fruit' of the mycelium that is running under the ground and the major contributor to creating soil and recycling plant matter into beautiful soils. Fungi is so important in our environment

Fungi growing in the rocky, clay soil. Fungi are the ‘fruit’ of the mycelium that is running under the ground and the major contributor to creating soil and recycling plant matter into beautiful soils. Fungi is so important in our environment

Fungi growing in the rocky, clay soil. Fungi are the ‘fruit’ of the mycelium that is running under the ground and the major contributor to creating soil and recycling plant matter into beautiful soils. Fungi is so important in our environment

Pete created a dam last year near our house, we call it the Big House Dam. We have had very little rain during that time and it has not filled that much going from the first picture below to being dry cracked mud for most of the time since it was created.

Note: In the last week we have had rain so I have included images taken yesterday evening 20140828 of the most water we have had yet. It is really interesting as all the water that is coming down the hill can be seen seeping through the internal dam wall and running into the dam (see last photos at the bottom of this post).

We have observed barren earth banks begin the healing process naturally. It seems to us the earth is designed to heal.

Pete planted some Lomandra along the top of the dam banks and we have scattered seed all about the banks.

Lomandra with plantain growing near it

Lomandra with plantain growing near it

It seems to me that everything in God’s universe just wants to grow, in fact I suspect it is designed to grow. There were flowers that I scattered seed and they grew in a mini version of what they were in more fertile soil. They still flowered and produced seed but were stunted, about one fifth the size of what some others we had planted in more fertile soil grew to be.

stunted flower

Stunted flower still growing but tiny in comparison to it’s same species planted in more fertile soils. The plant was approximately 10cm tall.

stunted flower

Stunted flower*

We noticed also that the plants have been healing the soil from the bottom up and the sides down. Small very close to the ground plants first appeared and different species continue to appear (such as plantain, clover, and heaps of ones I have not yet identified) – this was before we planted any seed, which indicates that there is a natural seed bank contained within the soil, which seems to me specifically designed for healing, regenerating and repairing the areas of the earth we degrade (what we call weeds) already in the soil waiting to do their job when the conditions are favourable. Sharp flat to the ground thistles and fleabane were the next cycle of dominant plants.

Low to the ground, very sharp and spiky thistle species

Low to the ground, very sharp and spiky thistle species

Big House Dam

An example of the ‘softer’ milk type thistle variety

Now there are other smaller flatter plants (not necessarily meant to be small and flat, just that is how they grow in such an arid and harsh environment) growing up and as more and more grow side by side they join up to cover the soil and ‘protect’ it.

pioneer ground covering plants that are slowly covering all the bare soil. You can see how these are joining up to create a more densely covered area. Dead fleabane that will become mulch creating soil

pioneer ground covering plants that are slowly covering all the bare soil. You can see how these are joining up to create a more densely covered area. Dead fleabane that will become mulch creating soil

Close up of pioneer ground covering plants that are covering all the bare soil. You can see how these are joining up to create a more densely covered area. As they die they will become mulch and new plants will come and do their job until the soil is balanced

Close up of pioneer ground covering plants that are covering all the bare soil. You can see how these are joining up to create a more densely covered area. As they die they will become mulch and new plants will come and do their job until the soil is balanced

As the plants complete their cycle they die it is creating mulch (this is not abundant mulch at this time, but it is interesting and cool to watch all these things happening. Note it would be faster and better for the soil if we covered it and helped it out more, we have noticed erosion happening on the banks due to the soil not being covered.)

20130615 Dam in just after it was built.

20130615 Dam in just after it was built.

20131221 some primary plants beginning to sprout and heal the disturbed soil

20131221 some pioneer plants beginning to sprout and heal the disturbed soil

20140220 some primary plants beginning to sprout and heal the disturbed soil

20140220 some pioneer plants beginning to sprout and heal the disturbed soil

20140509 The plants are beginning to sprout up and move in from the outside in.

20140509 The plants are beginning to sprout up and move in from the outside in. This is aided by the cycle and the first lot of plants spreading seeds that are sprouting and also by the plants creeping in. I am in awe of how there are already seeds in the earth designed to grow under the conditions we created through destruction

20140509 Dam, The middle row of lamandra was planted by Pete the rest are all wonderful weedy plants that are doing their utmost to cover the bare soil.

20140509 Dam, The middle row of lamandra was planted by Pete the rest are all wonderful weedy plants that are doing their utmost to cover the bare soil. I am fascinated at how the weedy plants grow and these pioneer ones are very close to the ground. I feel they are trying to cover as much bare earth as they possibly can. After these appear more begin to come up in the gaps creating more and more cover for the damaged and exposed soil area.

20140509 plant life beginning to establish itself on the edge of the dam

20140509 plant life beginning to establish itself on the edge of the dam

20140509 Fleabane that is growing up from the edges in around the Dam, doing its thing to heal the disturbed and damaged soil

20140509 Fleabane that is growing up from the edges in around the Dam, doing its thing to heal the disturbed and damaged soil

fleabane, plantain and other ground covers

20140509 fleabane, plantain and other ground covers that are ever spreading their seeds to grow and cover more and more of the exposed soil of the dam bank

20140509 Growing from the bottom up, all the thistles which have died and will now become mulch along with all types of other soil healing plants all creeping closer and more up the dam bank. I find this fascinating how plants are designed to grow, repair, and heal the soil. They do it without any human intervention and all the plants that are needed the seed is in the soil ready to heal when the conditions are right for them. We have noticed that there are cycles of plants, for example there are sharp spiky thistle crops which come up once to three times until they have done their job and then new types of plants appear, like softer milk thistles and then softer still. Each plant seems to come up between one and three times and then doesn't come up again in the same area.

20140509 Growing from the bottom up, all the thistles which have died and will now become mulch along with all types of other soil healing plants all creeping closer and more up the dam bank. I find this fascinating how plants are designed to grow, repair, and heal the soil. They do it without any human intervention and all the plants that are needed the seed is in the soil ready to heal when the conditions are right for them. We have noticed that there are cycles of plants, for example there are sharp spiky thistle crops which come up once to three times until they have done their job and then new types of plants appear, like softer milk thistles and then softer still. Each plant seems to come up between one and three times and then doesn’t come up again in the same area.

20140828 As full as the dam has been so far. You can see the erosion lines in the foreground and some of the pioneer plants on the far bank

20140828 As full as the dam has been so far. You can see the erosion lines in the foreground and some of the pioneer plants on the far bank

 

20140828 pioneer plants on the inner wall of the dam bank with dead fleabane that will become mulch and in time soil

20140828 pioneer plants on the inner wall of the dam bank with dead fleabane that will become mulch and in time soil

 

20140829 Plants on the internal wall of the dam bank. All of them have started out really small, flat and low to the ground. They are spreading and connecting up to each other. These ones started at the side, and top and ventured down towards the water. They are now getting closer to joining up with each other and making a solid ground covering

20140829 Plants on the internal wall of the dam bank. All of them have started out really small, flat and low to the ground. They are spreading and connecting up to each other. These ones started at the side, and top and ventured down towards the water. They are now getting closer to joining up with each other and making a solid ground covering

20140829 The most water we have had in the big house dam so far

20140829 The most water we have had in the big house dam so far

* The flower is still growing but in miniature version as it is not getting the nutrition from the soil to become a big plant. This demonstrates to me that God has designed things in the universe to grow no matter how harsh the environment is, the potential is there. Imagine what could happen with a little love, some beautiful soil and nutrients.

Living Systems Create Abundance

Below are images of the swales that were first dug and planted out at Octoberfest 2011.

Pete has been converting them into living systems, meaning filling the swale part up with matter, including but not limited to:

  • Cardboard bales – thank you Bunnings Armidale
  • Windfall branches and pruned and dead tree matter
  • Biodegradable household waste, including old clothing, paper, green waste etc
  • Newspapers/paper
  • Sheep manure
  • A couple of dead animals
  • Woodchips
  • Hay

We noticed during the drought a huge difference in this area to other areas of the property. The grass was greener on the swale banks, it was longer and more lush.There is a heap of fungi growing and breaking down matter within the systems, indicating that moisture is being retained in these systems. Insect life is increasing. Animal life is increasing in this area also. Trees are growing and healthier.

We have noticed that each type of matter breaks down at different rates, attracts different insects and grows different fungi and plants.

Living Systems are awesome. They create abundance when made with love and given to generously when initially set up. We cannot stress enough the importance of Love and giving generously when setting up living systems. If there is no desire to love and no intention to give generously and abundantly to the project you are engaging in with the earth, the results will reflect that, our soul’s are powerful creators.

We feel that Living Systems are a really great way to begin to ‘drought proof’* a property as they hold and retain moisture under the ground and are a food source for the intelligent life that creates soil and keeps the earth healthy at the same time.

The images below hopefully give an idea of what can be achieved in your back yard as well as on a larger scale.

*More on ‘drought proofing’ to come

 

 

Swales

Foreground: Swale with tree matter, cardboard, wood chips, notice how green the grass on the top edge is. Background: Swale with hay

Living Systems

Swales being filled with Cardboard – we fill up the swales as we collect the raw materials and as our time is available. We would not recommend digging a heap of holes that you cannot fill. Leaving bare, exposed earth creates a lot of problems and potential for erosion. Make as many holes as you can fill, fill them and then create more. Do one at a time if needs be.

Living Systems

Cardboard bales

Living Systems

Sheep manure covering cardboard bales

Living Systems

Living Systems: Hay covering cardboard bales

Living Systems

Living Systems: A living system with cardboard bales, tree branches covered in wood chip

Living Systems

Living Systems: we noticed this awesome fungi growing in the swales that had newspaper and wood chips. The fungi actually grew out from between the sheets of newspaper as can be seen in the next image

Living Systems

Living Systems: we noticed this awesome fungi growing in the swales that had newspaper and wood chips. The fungi is growing out from between the sheets of newspaper. Noticed this happened after the newspaper had absorbed some moisture. Amazing how fungi breaks down matter!!

 

Photos taken by Eloisa, 20140611

Environment Research Group

plant yet to be identified,

plant yet to be identified,

This is to draw your attention to a meeting on Sunday 15th December, beginning at 2pm in the woolshed (details on the events page).

The purpose of this meeting is to gather with a group of people who are interested in knowing more about and researching further the medicinal, healing properties of plants and soil recovery plants in our environment both locally and world wide.

I personally would like to discover more about the healing qualities, attributes and nature of plants as God designed them; to begin to collate a ‘living medicine chest’ and seed bank of the plants we discover with extensive written research, both known and channelled, as reference material to go with each plant, which is available to anyone who desires it and especially for those that may be affected by major toxic disasters – e.g. nuclear radiation, chemical spills etc.

This meeting is for anyone who likes researching, experimenting, discovering and who has a desire and/or interest in plants. There will be research opportunities and tasks to participate in. You don’t need any previous knowledge to come along.

If you would like to actively join in with this experiment come and join me on Sunday, or contact me at: eloisa@Kyabra.com

Patterson's curse

Patterson’s curse

The images below were taken on an adventure with the kids across Kyabra yesterday (20131210) (click on one of the thumbnail photo’s below to begin a ‘gallery’ viewing session on your screen)

Inspiring People: Sebastião & Leila Salgado

Pete found this interview on YouTube with Sebastião Salgado who is a man with a great story which he is living each day with his wife Leila.

He grew up on his families farm in Brazil that was a 50% rain forested property when he was a child, to a less than 1/2% barren, cattle grazing property that he inherited in later life. Leila suggested they grow the rainforest again when they moved back their. This is their story and link to their own website Instituto Terra (press here).

Prayer For Divine Love

PRAYER FOR DIVINE LOVE

My Father, Who is in Heaven , I recognise that You are All Holy and Loving and Merciful, and that I am Your child, and not the subservient, sinful, and depraved creature that false teachers would have me believe.

I know that I am the greatest of Your creations, and the most wonderful of all Your Handiworks, and the object of Your Great Soul’s Love and Tenderest Care.

I know that Your Will is that I become at-one with You and partake of Your Great Love which You have bestowed upon me through Your Mercy and Desire that I become, in truth, Your child through Love, and not through the sacrifice and death of any of Your Creatures.

I pray that You will open up my soul to the inflowing of Your Love, and that then will come to me Your Holy Spirit to bring into my soul this, Your Divine Love, in great abundance, until my soul is transformed into the very essence of Yourself; and that there will come to me faith – such faith as will cause me to realize that I truly am your child and one with You in very substance, and not in image only.

Let me have such faith, as will cause me to know that You are my Father, and the bestower of every good and perfect gift, and that, only I myself, can prevent Your Love from changing me from the mortal to the immortal.

Let me never cease to realise that Your Love is waiting for each and all of us, and, that when I come to You, in faith and earnest aspiration, Your Love will never be withheld from me.

Keep me in the shadow of Your Love every hour and moment of my life, and help me to overcome all the temptations of the flesh, and the influence of the powers of the evil ones who so constantly surround me and endeavour to turn my thoughts away from You to the pleasures and allurements of this world.

I thank you for Your Love and the privilege of receiving it, and I believe that You are my Father – the Loving Father who smiles upon me in my weakness, and is always ready to help me and take me into Your Arms of Love.

I pray this with all the earnestness and sincere longings of my soul, and, trusting in Your Love, give You all the glory and honour and love that my finite soul can give.

AMEN

Waterless Garden Project Update {Guest Post}

This is a ‘guest blog post’ written by Philippa and Lincon about the findings to date in the ‘Waterless Garden Project’ that they are leading at the Kyabra Learning Centre, Kentucky. There will be a day in the Waterless Garden on Saturday 16th February 2013, for anyone who would like to volunteer their time and give to the land. We feel it is exciting discovering what has been happening and observing the experiments Lincon and Philippa have undertaken so far. Hope you enjoy their discoveries…

 
The Food Forest Waterless Garden Experiment
 
By Philippa & Lincon
The Garden
Findings so far:
 
Of all the Waterless systems that we have created, we have found to date that the plastic lined system held more moisture than the others, due to the water storage capacity.
 
Given the unseasonal conditions we experienced, being very hot & dry, we have been impressed & amazed at the growth & effectiveness of all these systems.
 
Once planted, for the first four weeks we had no rain & 3 of those weeks were 30 degrees plus heat, enough to wilt the sturdiest of vegetables!
 
However, all the systems were still moist & growing well, but needed to be topped up with water given this lack of rain & heat. We both feel had we had the usual summer rainfall this perhaps would not have been necessary.
 
Over the first 9 weeks of the gardens life to date we have watered only twice. 
 
There has been some fixing up required where the kikuyu has come through the gaps where there was either not enough newspaper, the newspaper was not overlapped or the kikuyu in its bid for survival & desire to grow has travelled along under the newspaper & found a thinner spot of mulch to come through!
 
The harvest so far has included ‘whale’ size Zucchini of various colours, watermelons, sweet lettuces & cucumbers. 
The chillies are on the way, as are the eggplants!
 
 
There already appears to be creatures moving into the garden, we have seen lots of lizards, frogs & many six & eight legged wonders!
 
We have also noticed that it seems as though a creature of some sort has made a home in one of the mounds, but to date we have yet to sight it! We will keep you posted….
 
What’s Next:
 
We have two systems left to finish of the approximate 50 that we started with! Amazing, Thank You everyone for the gift of your time.
 
By the middle of this month we will have completed the top half & spread a mountain more mulch to finish the task!
 
Now that the ground has had time to fallow, we will be planting out with the native legumes & other native plants to create the beginnings of the forest canopy & under storey!
 
We have planted some legume seeds (soy & cow pea) to get the  nitrogen fixing plants underway.
 
We will be holding working bees to complete these jobs over the next few weeks.
 
We look forward to seeing how the experiments go, watching things grow & letting you all know about it.
 
Our plans for the lower half of the garden are next, we already have some ideas & will begin to plot them on paper.
 
Having spent more money on the top half than we originally anticipated, funds will be required before we can commence the second stage of the project.
 
Should you have a desire to donate to The Waterless Garden Project, the details are below:
 
Donations for the Waterless Garden Project:
 
Account Name: Lincon Treloar
Account:  9897348
BSB:  638 – 080