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30 acre property is a model of sustainability and was featured in the 2009 Queensland Landcare Conference held in Monto.
There are mature bearing fruit trees and a well established, producing permaculture garden. There is good native pasture for up to 4 horses or a mix of other livestock for self sustainability.
There is a permaculture garden which consists of a number of circles where the chook dome has been. The chook dome is moved every 2 weeks to a new position and the resulting area planted to a new garden.
The area has a huge variety of native frogs. There is a variety of small birds – redback wren, double bar finches, willie wagtail and small honeyeaters who consider the verandahs as much their home as mine. There is a great respect for the environment and native wildlife and it seems to respond in kind!
A stand alone 24V solar energy system with a design load of 4.7Kw/day. At present is producing in excess of needs for the majority of the year – even with all the recent wet weather.
The generator is a 5kva generator that was used to build the house and is rarely used as the present system is more than adequate. It is the back up system in case of need.
The house was built from hardwood timber that was cut on this and other local properties. The original and present owner, an older woman was actively involved in all stages of the building of the home on 1994. Very little outside materials were used in its construction.
The house is out of flood level and has all hardwood internal walls. It is anchored into rock and has not moved in 16 years. It has cyclone bolts tying down the roof. It was painted recently inside and outside.
It was architecturally designed to suit the climate and has cathedral ceilings, large glass doors on all sides of the house. This allows cross flow ventilation and brings the outside into the inside. It is possible to observe wildlife from most rooms in the home. It has 8 foot verandahs on the south and north side and a 20 foot deck on the east side overlooking the garden and the valley below. The house is built on the spur of a ridge about 40 feet from the valley floor.
The ridge provides protection from westerly winds and severe storm with hail. It also causes the air to roll at the deck so that there is always a good breeze in that area. It is where much of the daily living takes place!
There are 2 large tunnel houses that are presently unused. They were the home of The Retreat Pelargoniums – a Specialist Geranium Nursery until this business was sold. It was the largest specialist geranium nursery in the southern hemisphere and had a large internet business with plants and cuttings to all states of Australia. These tunnel housed could be used for horticulture or easily converted to stables and an undercover pool area.