The Bush: An Off-the-Grid Farm Stay

We left Melbourne on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and spent 5 days in the bush on a small, off-the-grid hobby farm in Walmer — in the middle of nowhere, basically.  We were about 20 minutes by car to the closest town.

  Although it was only an hour and a half from Melbourne, it was a totally different landscape and feel!  (Including enough room for the owners to have an old train car on the property for storage!)

We got settled and then took a walk down the gravel road.  A few minutes into our walk, we saw our first kangaroo in the forest of eucalyptus trees!  A few minutes later, we saw a few hop across the road in front of us and into the woods on the other side.  We weren’t quick enough with our phones/cameras this time…

On the way back, we stopped at the paddock (grassy field used especially for keeping sheep or cattle), where we met Mari (our Airbnb host) and Kitty (horse trainer) and the 2 horses (Rosie and Hardy), 1 mule (Spinafax), and 1 donkey (Susanna).

Note how both Susanna the mule and L are grinning…Susanna was trying to nibble L’s belly! 🙂

The rest of the evening, we hung out enjoying the great verandah that looked out into the paddock and the forest beyond, listening to the birds (including the laughing kookaburra!), and G and L “whittled” sticks using rocks, as we didn’t have any knives. 🙂

For those of you interested in exactly how off-the-grid we were, here’s a summary.  We had a large silo-looking container outside filled with rainwater, which is where the water for showers, doing dishes, etc., came from, so we needed to be conscious of how much water we used.

The roof was covered with solar panels, so all the electricity we had was solely powered by the sun.  There was a device inside that would let us know how much power we had left and once it got to 40%, everything would turn off.  We never got that low, even while running the reverse cycle air conditioner, which we only used minimally on a couple of hot days.

We also had to be sure not to put anything other than water down the sink or the usual business down the toilet as it was a worm farm septic system! I don’t know which specific company they used, but here’s an example of one, in case you want to read more about it. 🙂  For all intents and purposes, the toilet/sinks were the same as any other. The difference was that we knew that throwing any extra items down either could result in being “single handedly responsible for murdering hundreds of innocent worms,” according to their Airbnb information!  Yikes!

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