Sunday, 2 March 2008

End of Summer Update

This is part of my monthly ramble on my main blog site.

We have planted every single tree! All the trees we’d bought and had in the greenhouse are now in the ground. It started with the area behind the house. Then we finally planted out the noise/privacy barrier of natives and bushtucker trees along the driveway. Then the final 18 fruit trees went into Stage 2 of the orchard. That brings us to over eighty new food producing trees and about as many natives in the ground in our first year here. I’d hoped for one hundred trees in the orchard, but we just don’t have the time or money to meet that goal in the next 2.5 weeks. I’m sure we’ll get there soon, though, and perhaps we will aim for another eighty in our second year here?

We have done a lot of maintenance work on the orchard areas too - trimming, slashing, fixing up tree guards, applying dolomite to the trees and so on. A few are bearing their first fruit (a total of a dozen or so citrus fruits, for example), and many have at least doubled in size already.

The tree seeds I planted I’ve had mixed success with. I don’t really know what I’m doing, but we have Pigeon Pea, Albizia and Jakfruit taking off. Perhaps the rest of the seeds were not fresh, or will still germinate yet. If not, I will keep trying! Despite the mice, weather and other obstacles!

We now have over thirty chickens, including four mature roosters. Not really sure how to deal with them, as at least three have names and are considered ‘pets’. Last week we had 4 chicks hatch out of 11 eggs under 2 hens. Another hen was stealing and eating the eggs, 2 new chicks were walked upon or otherwise damaged and the other eggs were rejected or didn’t hatch.

Sweet Pea the pony has settled in well. She quite happily tolerates ‘Pony Rides’ and is easy to care for overall.

I’ve had to clear out the greenhouse a little with some tomato, squash, rosella and gooseberry plants being past their prime. Everything is growing prolifically and it’s like a jungle in there. Very difficult to get enough light and space for more delicate plants like lettuce and the asian green seedlings. It’s probably time to finish of the second greenhouse now and use that as my tidy garden. The best producing plants right now are the various beans - butter beans, dwarf French beans, winged beans and another type I don’t recall planting. Hmmmm. I presume it was one of my little helpers and think that when the pods come on I’ll find that they’re Purple King Beans - meant to climb but planted with nowhere to go…

We’re still enjoying loads of fresh macadamias, a few raspberries and plenty of cherry guavas. I love wild foods!

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