By Maureen Cooper, Wooragee Landcare
As a refugee from the mining mad state of Queensland I am really enjoying life in Woolshed Valley. Even nature refuges are not exempt from coal mining in Queensland. I have downsized from a 7 bedroom, office and seminar room in Queensland to a 2 bedroom, no dining room, 80-year-old house which needs lots of TLC. My aim in life is to be as self-sufficient as I can possibly be and lessen my footprint on Mother Earth.
My organic vegetable garden is wonderful to behold. All I managed to grow successfully in the tropics was bananas and pumpkins.
My neighbours gave me 9 hens and 1 rooster, all crossbred silkies, Pekins and Polish Bantams and my grandsons just love the tiny eggs. They are collectively called “The Wafflebums” though they do all have names.
I am in the process of shifting all my superannuation to a community bank such as Bendigo Bank and changing all my investments to ethical investments.
As I can afford it I am renovating the house and have done one bedroom and the bathroom. The paint I am using is environmentally friendly and doesn’t upset my sinuses. Solar power and hot water are at the top of the list.
All cleaning products are environmentally friendly and I use a twin-tub washer so I can control how I use the water.
I have 2 concrete water tanks and hopefully I will have 2 more by next fire season.
My property is part of an eco-corridor along the creek and I am rehabilitating the banks and the paddocks where the spring is. I would like ultimately to have all native grasses on the property. I already have 110 bird species for the year.
I have a small television but no aerial and only use the set for DVD’s occasionally, usually documentaries or children’s films. I really enjoy listening to ABC radio and don’t miss television at all. When my grandsons stay for a weekend we are too busy outside doing interesting things.
The fuel for my wood fire is purchased from a sustainable wood farm. Our little creatures need all the fallen branches and leaf litter in the bush. I only collect twigs from near the house and sheds.
I am now making my own soy yogurt with a dairy free starter. It saves a lot of money.
I am not feeling deprived, I am just feeling so happy and privileged with my new life and wonderful neighbours.