Monday, November 3, 2008

Nov 1 Tropical Farm

Fellow homeschooling family, Gwen, Michael, and their children Callum, Liam, and twins Imogen and Ewan have invited us to their farm - nestled into a stunning tropical hollow. They are working to both refurbish the property and build anew. The paddocks hold some goats and two recently acquired horses who happily trim the grass. Two lovely guard dogs of an ancient Italian breed patrol for wild dogs and keep the animals in check. Solar panels atop one workshed operate the electric fence. Kids play atop another shed adjoining a roof that is patrolled by a 9 foot carpet python who, unsurprisingly stays out of sight. Other creepy critters include an assortment of snakes, land leeches, 3 variety of ticks- the standard shellback variety, if it bites on the face, swells like a 2nd day shiner, a white “paralyzing tick” will do exactly as it says, eventually killing (dogs, etc) if untreated, and poison frogs. There are also koala, which we also don’t see, platypus in the pond, and unbelievable birdsong and serenity.

The farm boasts a number of old & wild fruit - lemon, lime, grapefruit, grumichama (a smaller orange softflesh fruit), passionfruit (which grows on a gorgeous evergreen vine that flowers like an exotic clematis), pecan, peach (they do poorly in this climate), a delicious wild raspberry, considered a weed, which resembles a strawberry crossed with lychee....

Michael is building the house with some help from Callum & Liam, and it features all recycled and native materials, including recycled pier pilings, stunning ironwood, Australian teak, jarrow and more. All are incredibly dense & heavy woods in rich, warm red tones, some yellow. Michael & Callum have constructed a stunning chess table out of contrasting woods inset to a raw edge burl which had been naturally hollowed. A porch runs the length of the North (sunny) side and overlooks a seasonal creek in the jungle. The kitchen will look west at more beautiful, vine-laden trees. A littler green-fading-to-rust snake suns himself on a sunwarmed log. The kids plan on installing a system of “flying fox”/zip lines to be able to float from the porches to the clearing below.

No comments: