Day62-65 French Island.2

Continual post about the stay at French Island.

It had been great 5 days In this wonderful place with such a wonderful host.

When I was asked about my age on the arrival day, he said, “you guys are about the same age as my children. While you stay here, I treat you like my children.”

In addition, they always told us, “you are not a labor, don’t work too hard”.

Thanks to them, we always be able to spend a relaxing time.

Here are the things we did during the stay!


【Weeding, Digging, Mulching】

We worked at the garden, which haven’t done weeding for about a year.

1. Pull weeds

2. Stab the soil with a fork and pull it upside down and crush the lump of large soil lightly
* To put air in the soil.

3. Cover it with lime
* In order to neutralize the acidic soil.

4.Put about 1 cm of compost

5. Mulch it with straw.



after weeding



He tried various methods to make garden on this land and found out this way suits the best for the land so far.


【Milking cows】

Four of us all had a chance to try milking!

1. Lead a cow into narrow space

2. Feed some food
* In order to distract their attention.

3. Tie the right back leg with the rope for prevent the cow from kicking

4. Brush the cow
* To prevent dust and hair into the milk.

5. Wash the nipple with hot water

6. Milking
* When a slip is bad, put some olive oil.

7. Filter the milk with a net of fine meshes

8. Drink!

Fresh milk. Frothy!

I asked the main reason for having cows and his answer was to collect cow poo, not to collect milk!

The soil here contains a lot of clay and it means that it tends to be very hard like a concrete.

Therefore, he needs to improve the soil for cultivation.

Ruminant animals such as cows, goats and sheep have four stomachs to digest the grass.

They are professionals for breaking down grass.

A large amount of microorganisms live in the stomach, and they are helping the decomposition.

Therefore, when making compost with food scraps, grass and dead leaves, if you mix cow poo in an appropriate amount, the microorganisms in it helps to make a good compost.

Also, unlike poultry poo, the amount of nutrition as nitrogen is not too high.

I am not sure whether this is true or not, but there are such stories and experimental results as below.

 ・Apply chemical fertilizers to a garden


 ・Nutritional value of the soil become extremely high


 ・The crops become a metabolic syndrome like condition


 ・Bugs eat the excess nutrients of the crop


 ・Apply pesticide to a garden 


If this is true, very disappointing story.

Consuming time, effort and money for the unnecessary fertilizers and pesticides.

Actually, I’ve visited several gardens which do not use chemicals during this trip, but I haven’t hear a lot about the problem with bugs.

Of course, some vegetables are likely to be eaten by bugs and sometimes hard to harvest in a good condition.

However, they are accepting the fact and taking countermeasures in a natural way.
*As for the animals, many people have a hard time keeping them out. Lol

Also, eating vegetables containing excess nitrate nitrogen may cause methemoglobinemia (abbreviated as blue baby disease), which in the worst case can cause death.


I truly wish reliable food is more easily available in the market.

【Feeding chicken and collecting eggs】

Daily job for our kids!



Eat fresh vegetables just picked up from the garden.

How luxurious!

Although it was a bit scary, the 2 year old girl harvests asparagus using a knife. Lol



There were trees with tin plates around in his garden.

Do you know why?


The reason is…

Koalas!! There are many wild koalas in his backyard!!!

Not only in his backyard, there are many koalas in French Island.

We heard that when the number of koalas in mainland of Australia decreased due to bushfires etc., koalas in French Island were relocated. (Actually, most of the koala in Melbourne now is from French Island!)

So, the reason of wrapping the tin plates around the trees is to prevent koalas to climb up and eat all the leaves.

Koala eats only particular kinds of leaves among 600 kinds of eucalyptus.

He planted eucalyptus trees in his garden for koalas, but they eat all the leaves and damage them badly.

I never dreamed that the lovely looking koala is treated as hazards. Lol

Sometimes, koala poo is dropping over our head. Lol

Our kids were looking for koalas everyday everyday.


Besides, our kids having a lot of fun making cookies, pizzas etc., drawing, crafting and reading picture books with host.

How wonderful it is to be able to be so kind to others! !


One episode I want to share.

My younger daughter tried to climb up a chair and she was straggling.

Seeing the situation, host’s wife about to bring her a kid’s chair but the host stopped it and said,

“I think it is not a good idea to adjust everything to kids. They learn by try and error.”


And also he added, “In fact, MI and KO did not break any glasses or plates during the stay, this is because they experienced in the past and the body remembers!”

That’s so cool!!

At that time, I hear something crashed.. MI was carrying a dish and she broke it…

The atmosphere suddenly became awkward.. Lol


Anyways, we had a lot of fun this time too!!

Thank you for reading!!