Monday, 9 January 2012

Things are blowing up!!

The bag starting to blow up.. hehe
Some progress on the biogas!

Come December, we had enough gas to be able to cook 2-3 days of the week on the biogas stove. This is awesome actually, and because of that we are obviously saving on LPG usage for the regular stove.

The gas production is dependent on our own black water from one toilet, the dog poop from both of our dogs, so they also, and a 20 l bucket of cow manure slurry every 2nd week or so. The cow manure we are picking up in the street, but as soon as Kevin our pig starts to produce larger amounts of poop, I am sure we can cut out the cow manure.
Feel the burn...hehe

The flame from the biogas is actually so effective that we can cook a kettle of water for coffee in half the time it would usually take on the LPG stove.. Isn't that amazing??

But for this post we were cooking a stir-fry. And even this was cooked in less time. Jan is truly amazed every time we use the biogas, and its such a satisfaction knowing that is a green solution, and that it has not cost us anything to produce this gas.

Amazing stuff!
We have also acquired two biogas lantern/lamps, and a small generator. Our plan is to use all of these things for demonstration purposes as well as personal use. So in the mudroom extension will be like a second kitchen as well, but we will set it up in such a way that all the biogas utilities/tools are in the same place.. There will be a counter top for the two-plate stove, and above that the two lamps. Having the biogas is an integral part of greening up our home, and it will be great once we have completed this space, as we will be able to host open days for all and

We have already had an enquiry from Permaculture South Africa, which is run by Hazel Mugford, for a biogas reactor at their home, which they will be able to use personally as well as for course purposes. This is an exciting development for Jan, seeing as he might be able to host the course, and also be able to expand his services that way.. It will be the first permaculture offering of its kind, in the world!!

Isn't the blue flame pretty?
So in a manner of speaking we are pioneers in this area in South Africa, which is such an awesome achievement! Watch this space people!!

The first forest mushrooms..

What are these??
Just a quick post to show you the first of the wild mushrooms from our forest. I am not sure what they are, but they are pretty.. hehehe..

I guess we will start having more mushrooms from now on and especially after end February.. but its a start.. :)

Newest addition to the homestead

Kevin enjoying a milky
Last month (December 2011) we got out first little piglet. He goes by the name of Kevin Bacon, or just

We got him at four weeks of age, so he still needed some milk, and we had to do this by hand with a bottle. Poor thing was the last one of his litter to survive after his mom had laid on the rest. He comes from our friends, Pierre and Carmen Nykamp who live in De Hoop in the Bo Kouga.

Yum... I get little sleepy..

Such a small guy. We got him some salve for his wounds, and pretty much got him settled in quite quickly. He does love his food though, and his favourites are fruit like apricots and peaches, apple and basically any kind of waste from the kitchen, so he gets a nice variety of stuff. He has also not at  about 7/8 weeks started to grovel with his snout for titbits in his pen. He is just such a cutie, and has grown nicely already, his wounds are all healed, and he has a very nice skin now.

ooohhh... what are these ??

So this being our first little chapter in the Animal Husbandry of the homestead, we wanted to introduce Kevin to everybody. :) Our plan is to get a sow soon, and to let them have piglets twice over the next two years after which we will slaughter Kevin. He is a Landrace (the pink ones) and will just grow to an unmanageable size if we keep him. So when his two years are up, he will literally become bacon. :) But we have made peace with the fact that although we will get animals here, they have to work, and serve a purpose, otherwise there is no point really..

Rene the farm animal whisperer!
The kids know this too. Rene our eldest has been a good example to his peers this holiday. He has taken not only Kevin under his wing, but has really helped with the lone roosters too. Feeding, giving water, socializing.. We are very proud of him. :)