Our primary objective in writing this blog is to share our experiences as we try to develop sustainable systems in a difficult environment. Our land is in the driest part of Southeast Queensland. It is steep sandstone country (the Helidon Hills are famous for the quality of their sandstone), with many rock outcrops and soil that is made up of decomposing sandstone, generally not more than 60-70 cm deep. Even that shallow layer of “soil” often has at least half its volume made up of gravel and small rocks.
The ruggedness of the landscape meant that putting in access roads to much of the property is out of the question, not least because of the erosion that would result from the necessary earthworks. This also meant that there is really only one place on our land suitable for a living site (good access, breezes for cooling in summer, and good views). That one place happens to be on a relatively narrow ridge top, so that even though we have 35 hectares in total, our living and productive space is restricted to not much more than two hectares.
This isn’t a major negative since it helps us to meet one of our key management goals which is to maintain the land in a natural state, and manage it for wildlife and maintenance of ecosystem services.
A secondary objective in keeping the blog is to investigate and share sustainability initiatives and issues in or affecting the Lockyer Valley Region. Not sure what this will include, but there is no shortage of sustainability issues in the Region.
And, if you want the overarching reasons for this blog, and for sharing information on how to live lightly and respectfully on the Earth and compassionately with our fellow humans, have a look at Gail Tverberg’s website, and in particular this post, and Guy McPherson’s video. If you find any of that a bit depressing, think about the words of a chronically depressive friend of mine who viewed being alive as a “life sentence”. She decided that the best way to deal with this situation was to have a plan for making the time productive, useful, and fulfilling, while at the same time making the lives of her fellow “inmates” as easy and happy as possible. As a result she was one of the most interesting, fulfilled and genuinely “nice” people I have ever met.