There’s a line in a Paul Kelly song which goes “all the king’s horses, all the king’s men, wouldn’t drag me back again, to Adelaide…..”. But here I find myself, back in Adelaide. And it feels good. Which is weird. But nice too.
The current plan is for Chris and I to buy a fabulous farm property somewhere not quite in Adelaide but near enough to be able to sell produce into the city. We’ve been looking in the Adelaide Hills (out to where things get dry), the Clare Valley and the Fleurieu Peninsula mostly.
We’re learning about how water licensing works down south – unlike the NT, water is actually allocated and traded here and it seems it can be difficult to get a license to actually use ground or dam water from your property (depending on where you are). I can totally understand why there might need to be controls on the use of water (which is a pretty scarce resource in dry South Australia) but it makes it a bit of a punt for us to buy a property unless it has an existing water license! Or maybe it just means that we have to be a bit more creative about how we use water.
We’ve also had the chance to meet up with the folks at Savannah Farm (who are doing seriously inspirational things on their 1500 acre property in Clare, SA) and to visit some date growers (Steve Brauer and co) out at Berri, who have some very healthy looking date palms about to give their first serious commercial yield.
P.S. We managed to squeeze in another batch of earthbag building before we left Alice too and there’s another gallery of photos on the earthbag page if you want to see some more detail of how you actually do it! This time round it was an earthbag retaining wall, encircling a 12 metre geodesic dome which will cover an ambitious aquaponics set up. Rodney Angelo and Anna Fairbain have a 5 acre block in Alice Springs and are in the process of setting up a market garden there (https://www.facebook.com/happyfarmernt). Yay!