"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Monday, 24 September 2012

Hot sweaty and satisfying

As ever, the work goes on.
There is always plenty to do on the farm. When we took over the place it was pretty run down and there is a lot of work needed just to bring it up to working order. Then there is the work needed to build everything we need to be able to make it do what we want. So when we first moved in we spent six months planning the layout needed and facilities we would have to install. We revisit this list each year and make necessary adjustments. I would guess we are about halfway through the planned improvements and mostly through the renovations.

View from mid-orchard looking towards the creek.
These last few days we have been clearing unwanted regrowth in the orchard. I first cleared the orchard area about five years ago. It was rank with regrowth and weeds of all sorts. It is sited on a southerly slope towards the creek and gets good midday and afternoon sun. A poor area for grazing but would be ideal for an orchard. First though I needed clear the area and although I did most of the work I was unable to finish before the wet season came. Somehow I never really managed to get back to it until now. We had to cut out several big trees, something I never like doing I must admit, but there would be too much shade cast and root competition for fruit trees to grow otherwise. I did leave one bleeding heart for now as there is a Currawong nesting in it at the moment.
A Currawong nest really just looks like a pile of sticks.
You can just see the Mums head silhouetted.

The work was certainly hard but very satisfying. We removed the temporary fence between the orchard and the house yard allowing us to plant an even larger area out. I must admit I like the more open area.
View from mid-orchard back towards the house.

We will be planting a selection of citrus (lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit etc- which grow like weeds in this area), tropical variety stone fruit, apples, pears, figs and a variety of tropical fruit such as sapote, bananas and carambola.

A while back I found a turkey nest in a rather poorly chosen location near the road. So I pinched the eggs and placed them under a broody hen on the off chance they might still be fertile. The turkey hen apparently got the idea and started a new nest in a much better location. The duck, not to be left out also started a nest in the cows paddock. There were too many eggs laid for her to sit so I stole some of them too and put them under another broody hen. Yesterday both broodies managed to hatch out their clutches of stolen eggs. Good girls.
Unlikely siblings, one of the ducklings and one poult.

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