I haven't blogged since Marty started working in town full time. It's been a whole different routine, it takes me a while to adjust! (3 months?!)
Using the front end loader on the tractor, I was digging down and managed to get the backhoe stuck on the higher ground and the back wheels of the tractor spinning in the air. That was a little scary! Lifting the backhoe worked, although the pins that held it in place were tight due to the force. Oops.
I was really relieved to put it away and be done with it all. Any more adjustments can be made with a shovel! The Kubota is pretty awesome and powerful, and I couldn't have done the job without it, especially with the peppercorn tree roots all over the place.
This year I'll be covering the soil with cardboard and straw to help protect the ground from storing the sun's heat. Eventually it'll be an enclosed glass house, but in the meantime it's keeping the water and soil from building up around the house.
Poor old Little Roo was the first to spend time in there. I suspect she was egg bound, and this way we were able to easily administer caster oil and vitamins to her. She perked up for a while, but when it became clear that she wasn't able to pass the egg and she was getting worse again, we put her to sleep.
It's like I've heard, the favourites and named birds tend to live the shortest lives. Little Roo was a rare character, and she has place in our hearts and memories.
Then all of a sudden everything is blooming and bees are going crazy with all the flowers to choose from. The wattles and the almond trees are always first to bloom, and this year the chaenomeles went crazy too.
Wobble-Tee on a timer near-by, and the worms are loving it under there! There's just enough room to get my foot between the beds, but I can reach easily to the middle of the bed. Weeding has been easy so far, but I don't expect my luck to hold out! The running grasses are just waiting for warmer weather.
I've got 2 more beds to prepare like this, one for fruits and flowers like tomatoes and cucumber, the other for legumes like beans and maybe some peas too. They've been resting under straw since winter and should be pretty nice by now. The leafy bed has a couple of broccoli plants producing now, and a cabbage starting to get growing, and two silverbeet plants who were planted in slightly the wrong place for the system, and I would have removed them if they weren't so very tasty still. Next year I'll switch it up for crop rotation purposes. It's fairly small, but hopefully productive and manageable too.
I've moved the drip line down to the huglebed to see if being lower again might help - but if not, I didn't spend too much money finding out at least. (It will probably be on the Permie "Giving table" soon, I imagine!) I have to run the plumbing down there next, which shouldn't be too hard, then I can test it out.
The garden tap has been replaced with a ball-valve tap to maximise the pressure and to make it easier to turn on and off. I love how it's a 1/4 turn to open and close it, especially if I've gotten distracted and the watering can is almost full. That happens more than I care to admit!
It has been a pretty dry winter here, and I fear for the summer. I have a huge list of things to do that should help keep us all a little cooler. It's my main priority now, apart from trying to keep everything going, and making life as easy as I can for Marty, who's working hard to pay for it all. :)