Eco-Enterprises

Wallaby visitorIn addition to operating a Guest House, Shepherds Gully have and are continuing to develop a number of enterprises that both help the environment and support measures to combat climate change.  It’s very early days for these ventures, but the goal is to get them running successfully to allow visitors to be able to see working models and possibly develop ideas to apply these in their own situations.

As we have been wholly focussed on completing the renovations on the Guest House so we can welcome guests, the Worm Farm Tours, Garden Rambles and Bio Char Chats (a simple carbon capture method) are not completely ready for unwrapping yet to the public.  However, below is a brief explanation of what we are planning to deliver.

Worm Farm Tours

For more than 30 years, Shepherds Gully has been farming compost and fishing worms.  At some stages commercial production of worms saw the venture grow to much larger proportions than its current size.

The Worm Farm Tours will provide visitors with information and an audio visual presentation about worms, their benefits, what they can do for you, how they can consume waste and produce an wonderful garden fertilizer known as vermicast.  The tour will allow you to see the large worm beds to understand the life of these amazing little creatures .

Vermicast, Compost Worms, Fishing Worms, Activated Bio Char will all be available for sale.  In the future a compact Worm Farm will also be available for purchase.

King ParrotGarden Rambles

We would like to offer opportunities to stroll through the gardens and hear of the struggles and victories experienced in growing fruiting trees in a bush setting.  With examples of more than 80 fruiting trees and various annual and perennial vege’s, herbs and fruits, you are sure to find something of interest.

Learn about the Phascogale war and the Possum retreat and what we had to develop in order for anything to be able to survive in this setting.

Shepherds Gully are not expert gardeners by any standard.  We have never had enough time to be able to pander to things, so if they haven’t survived we could never “nurse” them and magically get them to grow like some people seem to be able to do.  Plants in our garden are survivors – they’ve had to be.

Bio Char Chats

One of the developing ventures is Bio Char production.

Lots of people don’t know what Bio Char is or its amazing potential to assist with garden and agriculture and support measures to reduce climate change.  We are hoping to develop “Bio Char Chats” where we can discuss the benefits of this amazing substance, how it is made, what it can do and how it can be used.

So what is bio char?  In its simplest terms it is charcoal produced for mixing into the soil.  By doing so, the bio char, which is rich in carbon allows the soil to hold nutrients.  It improves crop yields and captures and stores carbon in the soil for the long term.

How is bio char made?  At Shepherds Gully, we will be constructing a bio char furnace to produce bio char (aka char). Additionally a pyrolysis machine is under construction which will allow demonstration of how an alternative fuel can be made (gas) with a by-product of bio char ash.  Essentially, by heating wood or any other plant material in the furnace which allows combustion in an oxygen deprived environment, bio char is produced.
Our Bio Char Chats will provide visitors with basic information about char in a discussion like format.  Our plan is to have a short, informative audio visual presentation followed by actually viewing the furnace (and the GEK) and see it in action and also view the benefits in the garden.  We will discuss how Char mixed with vermicast is an amazing product which takes the benefits of char and vermicast to a new level.

So – where is this project up to at the moment?  The bio char making machine, known as a pyrolysis machine (or GEK), is under construction.  So the Bio Char Chats will be brief at this stage.  As soon as the project is fully developed, we will post the information here