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.

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)

Regular Events: A Day in the Waterless Garden

New Growth in the waterless garden - self seeded

New Growth in the waterless garden – self seeded

A Day in the Waterless Garden is an event (usually a morning) generally facilitated by Lincon Trelor and Philippa Gray. (Check the Events Page for the next one)

It is an open invitation to come and learn the principles behind the waterless garden concept and to gift and contribute your time to various parts of this on-going project.
Lincon and Philippa hold days periodically and will do so until the project is completed. Check out the Events page for dates you can volunteer your time and efforts if you so desire.
For more information please contact Philippa and Lincon via email.
General things to Bring each time, check Events Page for specifics before you come as items may vary depending on the activity:
  • Water
  • Snacks if you want them
  • Sun protection
  • Gloves
  • Anything you feel you need for a day in the garden outdoors
Parking: Please park cars/vehicles up near the big green shed (Jumbuck) on the roadway and walk to the garden, behind the cottage on the grass oval, Thank you.
waterless garden

Soul Experiment Series: What the Aphid’s Revealed

Comparison November 2012*:

20121103 Aphid infested kale plant
20121103 kale plant next to Aphid decimated one, no aphids in sight

Aphids are small amazing creatures that have a collective consciousness. They are most well known for sucking the life out of your plants and killing them. We did an experiment with the aphids. I had a plant indoors (American Watercress), it was sitting in the window and growing really well, I was looking forward to eating it and it giving me a tasty snack. A few days after I had brought it from the supermarket I noticed a couple of aphids on it. I was a little taken aback and awe struck about how an aphid could suddenly appear on a plant in my house ( I am still wondering about how this actually happened) Anyway over the next week the aphids took over and the plant was getting really hammered, eaten alive literally. I thought about many nasty ways to hurt the aphids and get rid of them. finally I put the plant outside and abandoned it thinking it was going to die. I checked it out a few days later and I was super surprised as suddenly the aphids had diminished in number. I felt sorry for the plant and somewhat guilty that I had just stuck it out in the cold so I brought it back in to see if it would grow again and heal.

I was telling our friends about this experience and in doing so had some really amazing revelations, the main one being that when it came down to it I was the Aphid. I was the one sucking the life out of things around me through my expectations and demands upon them. I was shocked and ashamed. But guess what? Some amazing things happened from just having this intellectual realisation! (Our friends were also telling us about goats and how accurately they reflect the soul condition of most humans on the plant at the moment – take, take, take, eat, eat, eat, constantly, they are never satisfied, never have had enough, greedy, wanting more, more, more, decimating everything that is in their environment and still eating. Like the aphids I also realised I am the goat – this is actually ironically funny in that my star sign is capricorn and I have always hated the fact that the symbol for that is a goat, but on this particular occasion ALL the associations lined right on up and I was horrifically amused, smile.)

When I realised this (I was mortified) I reflected upon what had happened with the watercress and the aphids: I had a demand and expectation that the plant would feed me, the aphids attacked, I unceremoniously and rather abruptly took the cress outside and abandoned it ‘cos it was not going to give me what I wanted from it, the aphids diminished in number, the plant that had been attacked perked up and began living again – my expectations had gone down due to thinking it was not going to be able to feed me and as my expectations and demands on the cress ceased so did the attack. When I brought it back into the house out of guilt, it didn’t thrive and it didn’t heal very well.

I decided after realising that I was a goat/aphid, that I would choose to love the cress and feel love for it without the expectation of eating it, without the demand that it would feed me. I found a lovely little spot at the bottom of our garden tap where water collects and made it a little bed to live in, I literally told it out loud I would not eat it and that it could live out it’s life as long as it liked in this nice moist spot, I also felt really sad that I had treated it so badly and apologised out loud form my heart. I am telling you it has gone from limp aphid attacked unhappy to thriving flourishing and happy. I am in awe of the power of my soul and at how similar to an aphid/goat I am – a demanding life sucker who expects to get everything I want immediately.

This was the cress after being outside a little while.
I will update this with a picture of the Cress now tomorrow.

Unfortunately I didn’t document that one so you’ll have to take my word for it, But I did take some pictures of a similar thing happening in our garden with aphids and the kale. (See top two images for best comparison of the kale up close).

20121008 can’t really see the difference but the left hand plant is getting sucked by the
aphids the right hand side is pretty much untouched – a few bite marks only.
 

There were 3 kale plants and one got decimated and two were left with only a few bite marks pretty much untouched by the aphid colony. We found if you squashed or tried to kill the aphids it was as if every single aphid felt attacked and was terrified that you were going to kill them too, so they began cloning and clone they did till the entire plant was covered in this amazing collective organism. What was interesting is that one plant got entirely covered and attacked and the others didn’t and they were right next to each other.

20121008 aphids up close
20121008 aphids on the stalk

Then a month later the ladybirds moved in.

20121103 Ladybirds and Aphids

Honestly it is as if all aphids are one aphid.

Aside: I notice this sometimes with the sheep, one sheep makes a decision and all the sheep make the same decision almost simultaneously, like they have been told, they can be half a kilometre away from each other and yet they still make the same decision. I was told sheep are dumb, but honestly my experience of sheep is that they are highly intelligent. They have been dumbed down a lot due to domestication but gee whizz, sheep are smart, they are also athletic. We have one dude who easily high jumps the sheep yards without touching the top bar. I am telling you they are super duper cool! Just like aphids.

I think aphids are awesome and due to their helpfulness in highlighting some issues of love I need to look at I am even more grateful to them. I am also in awe of the precision and total perfectness of God’s love, God’s Laws and feedback system. I am still coming to terms with how powerful my soul is and how instantly animals and plants respond to the love or error that is within it!!

I encourage you to take notice of the living environment around you and the effect your soul (both loving and unloving) is having upon it! It is fascinating, revealing and you can learn so much about your self and God through the process!

*This happened last year, it has taken me some months to actually record it and post it.

Soul Experiment Series: What the Aphid’s Revealed

Comparison November 2012*:

20121103 Aphid infested kale plant
20121103 kale plant next to Aphid decimated one, no aphids in sight

Aphids are small amazing creatures that have a collective consciousness. They are most well known for sucking the life out of your plants and killing them. We did an experiment with the aphids. I had a plant indoors (American Watercress), it was sitting in the window and growing really well, I was looking forward to eating it and it giving me a tasty snack. A few days after I had brought it from the supermarket I noticed a couple of aphids on it. I was a little taken aback and awe struck about how an aphid could suddenly appear on a plant in my house ( I am still wondering about how this actually happened) Anyway over the next week the aphids took over and the plant was getting really hammered, eaten alive literally. I thought about many nasty ways to hurt the aphids and get rid of them. finally I put the plant outside and abandoned it thinking it was going to die. I checked it out a few days later and I was super surprised as suddenly the aphids had diminished in number. I felt sorry for the plant and somewhat guilty that I had just stuck it out in the cold so I brought it back in to see if it would grow again and heal.

I was telling our friends about this experience and in doing so had some really amazing revelations, the main one being that when it came down to it I was the Aphid. I was the one sucking the life out of things around me through my expectations and demands upon them. I was shocked and ashamed. But guess what? Some amazing things happened from just having this intellectual realisation! (Our friends were also telling us about goats and how accurately they reflect the soul condition of most humans on the plant at the moment – take, take, take, eat, eat, eat, constantly, they are never satisfied, never have had enough, greedy, wanting more, more, more, decimating everything that is in their environment and still eating. Like the aphids I also realised I am the goat – this is actually ironically funny in that my star sign is capricorn and I have always hated the fact that the symbol for that is a goat, but on this particular occasion ALL the associations lined right on up and I was horrifically amused, smile.)

When I realised this (I was mortified) I reflected upon what had happened with the watercress and the aphids: I had a demand and expectation that the plant would feed me, the aphids attacked, I unceremoniously and rather abruptly took the cress outside and abandoned it ‘cos it was not going to give me what I wanted from it, the aphids diminished in number, the plant that had been attacked perked up and began living again – my expectations had gone down due to thinking it was not going to be able to feed me and as my expectations and demands on the cress ceased so did the attack. When I brought it back into the house out of guilt, it didn’t thrive and it didn’t heal very well.

I decided after realising that I was a goat/aphid, that I would choose to love the cress and feel love for it without the expectation of eating it, without the demand that it would feed me. I found a lovely little spot at the bottom of our garden tap where water collects and made it a little bed to live in, I literally told it out loud I would not eat it and that it could live out it’s life as long as it liked in this nice moist spot, I also felt really sad that I had treated it so badly and apologised out loud form my heart. I am telling you it has gone from limp aphid attacked unhappy to thriving flourishing and happy. I am in awe of the power of my soul and at how similar to an aphid/goat I am – a demanding life sucker who expects to get everything I want immediately.

This was the cress after being outside a little while.
I will update this with a picture of the Cress now tomorrow.

Unfortunately I didn’t document that one so you’ll have to take my word for it, But I did take some pictures of a similar thing happening in our garden with aphids and the kale. (See top two images for best comparison of the kale up close).

20121008 can’t really see the difference but the left hand plant is getting sucked by the
aphids the right hand side is pretty much untouched – a few bite marks only.
 

There were 3 kale plants and one got decimated and two were left with only a few bite marks pretty much untouched by the aphid colony. We found if you squashed or tried to kill the aphids it was as if every single aphid felt attacked and was terrified that you were going to kill them too, so they began cloning and clone they did till the entire plant was covered in this amazing collective organism. What was interesting is that one plant got entirely covered and attacked and the others didn’t and they were right next to each other.

20121008 aphids up close
20121008 aphids on the stalk

Then a month later the ladybirds moved in.

20121103 Ladybirds and Aphids

Honestly it is as if all aphids are one aphid.

Aside: I notice this sometimes with the sheep, one sheep makes a decision and all the sheep make the same decision almost simultaneously, like they have been told, they can be half a kilometre away from each other and yet they still make the same decision. I was told sheep are dumb, but honestly my experience of sheep is that they are highly intelligent. They have been dumbed down a lot due to domestication but gee whizz, sheep are smart, they are also athletic. We have one dude who easily high jumps the sheep yards without touching the top bar. I am telling you they are super duper cool! Just like aphids.

I think aphids are awesome and due to their helpfulness in highlighting some issues of love I need to look at I am even more grateful to them. I am also in awe of the precision and total perfectness of God’s love, God’s Laws and feedback system. I am still coming to terms with how powerful my soul is and how instantly animals and plants respond to the love or error that is within it!!

I encourage you to take notice of the living environment around you and the effect your soul (both loving and unloving) is having upon it! It is fascinating, revealing and you can learn so much about your self and God through the process!

*This happened last year, it has taken me some months to actually record it and post it.

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