"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, 10 September 2012


Spring here is really beautiful. The weather is still a little chilly at night and the days are just right to do heavy jobs out in the sun without getting cooked. The pink cedars are blooming with huge sprays of creamy white flowers and are heavy with bees. The whole tree hums when you walk beneath it.

The cement water tank is complete. Thanks Jim for your very useful advice! Made the job a lot easier I can tell you. I still have to make a new top for the whole affair but it can wait for now. I managed to blow the motor on the cement mixer. I was busily mixing cement when great clouds of smoke came billowing out all in a rush. Bad language and disappointment. The electrician quoted me $400 for a new motor! How &^%*$#! much??? I could almost buy a whole new cement mixer for that. I used to use old washing machine motors for this sort of thing but as the Child bride would most likely get upset if I took it from the current machine I had to look elsewhere. My workshop yielded a motor of the correct specifications from a spare Chinese made planer and after I shelled out to have the switch wired in and a new pulley bored out to suit the drive shaft, I had a running mixer again. Nowhere near the $400 quoted. No job ever goes exactly to plan.

Having finished the tank I moved on to some of the many other jobs I have queued.

Planting out more trees in the orchard. A Lisbon lemon and a Kaffir lime. We already have several Macadamias, a grapefruit, two black sapote, one carambola, three apples and three tropical variety stonefruit which from memory are peaches and nectarines. I have a small bamboo at the bottom of the orchard to supply canes for trellises in the veggie garden and I did plant out a half dozen Arabica coffee bushes but I think the forest pademelons like them and they have mostly been eaten.

For a break I picked up a tonne of sawn timber from a farm near Mareeba down in the dry lands. Yellow stringybark, Ironbark and Bluegum mostly. Good timber for building with. Most of it will go into the wall frames in the new chook pens. While rainforest timbers can yield some lovely cabinet timber they are no good for use in building, so down to the dry lands I go.

I have also been cleaning up the veggie garden ready for the excavator to move in and terrace it out so I can erect the hot-house. I took the opportunity to pot up some of the plants I really don't want to lose. Comfrey which is finally coming good after sulking for a year, some horseradish and a dozen grape vine canes I heeled in last year. They were a kind present from the father in law. They are all unknown old heritage varieties still grown by some of the old Italian and Spanish families down Brisbane way. Apparently they make good wine. I planted them to see which would thrive in our climate and today I dug up the survivors. Getting them out was no mean feat, those roots went deep. One day they will cover the trellis over our pergola where the bread oven is to go.

Plenty more to do besides! Before the wet season I need to replace a stump under the house and possibly re-sheet the weather side roof on the house, put up the hot house and get the veggie garden going. Fun and hard work, which is also fun.


1 comment: