Garden harvest on our permaculture property on the Sunshine Coast

Poop scoopin’, harvesting and hatching

Poop scoopin’, harvesting and hatching

Tom and Zaia shovel cow manure from the biodigester pit
Tom shovelling the last of the manure out of the biodigester pit

Yesterday (Sunday) Tom and I had to empty the biodigester. After the manure produces the methane gas it continues on through the biodigester and comes out the other end. People put this on their garden neat as fertiliser, but we feel it is too high in nitrogen, so here it goes through another process first. We need to empty the pit into wheelbarrows and move the manure, this entails at this stage 15 wheelbarrow loads once a week… I filled the wheelbarrows whilst Tom pushed them to where they had to go. Tom ended up doing the last wheelbarrow load as you see in the picture, as my muscles still have to get used to lots of shovelling!

Garden harvest on our permaculture property on the Sunshine Coast
Our garden harvest

Today I continued my training to run everything when Tom is away. I am up to 1.8 Litres of milk from Anna now, she is actually starting to like me. She is starting to let her milk down for me which is great. After we did all the animal routines together (brekky is now around 9.30am), Tom re-organised the temporary duck yard to relocate our ducks into. We still have one duck who prefers our dam, but as they are domesticated they cannot find their own food and are going hungry when not enclosed. So we have to get that one back into the enclosure as well, so they all can be fed. We could not catch our rogue duck today, hopefully tomorrow. I planted some jaboticaba seeds and went into the garden to harvest. I got some lettuce, beans, lots of tomatoes and limes. I made a tomato sauce with the tomatoes and lime juice, and Tom cooked up some bamboo he dug out yesterday, which is now in brine in the fridge. I peeled some more macadamias, relocated the hatched chickens (they started hatching yesterday, we have four at the moment), put the olives in brine in jars, made a firm frying cheese and kept spraying the eggs to keep the humidity up. We had some yummy casava today, which Tom had dug up on Friday. It went really well with the tomato sauce I made!

Chicken eggs hatching, little chicks at Tom and Zaia's permaculture property
3 chicks from our eggs have hatched here… More to come I hope!

The days here are simple, looking after animals, working to improve the property and preparing and making food. I am getting stronger and healthier every day. The food is simple, from the garden. I am constantly active which keeps the blood pumping and outside which keeps the vitamin D up. I had a great day today, which of course balances out the bad days that pop up on occasion. And the best thing is that the stress is minimal!

Β©2016 Zaia;, incorporating Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast, simplicity, permaculture, self reliance, self sufficiency, sustainability, food, health and homesteading, Emptying the biodigester, eggs are hatching and a nice harvest!


  1. Clearing out the bio-digester certainly looks a messy, smelly job!

    Anyway, best wishes for your recovery πŸ™‚

    1. The bio-digester is surprisingly not smelly! It is messy though… πŸ˜‰

      1. Ah, good that it is not smelly πŸ™‚

  2. Lovely work Zaia, you are doing great. Love reading your stories!

    Pauline Chant


    1. Thanks so much Pauline, I am glad you enjoy reading about our adventures!

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