Another season starts in a wobbley manner- 2013

After a particularly dry spring we are now having a very wet spell with some flooding last week.

our dam fills up overnight and is seen here over flowing. Fortunately the repairs carried out in the past have held up well.

our dam fills up overnight and is seen here over flowing. Fortunately the repairs carried out in the past have held up well.

The wet weather here last week is certainly a mixed blessing. Obviously you do need rainfall especially as the dam empties which happened last year. But once I get my

We were going to use new ground for tomatoes but it wasn't prepared in time. So made three rows with garlic in between.

We were going to use new ground for tomatoes but it wasn’t prepared in time. So made three rows with garlic in between.

irrigation going in many ways I can do a better job supplying water than coping with such heavy downfalls. The sandy soil we have here is so erodible particularly when ploughed.

But there is so much happening in spring and most things at that time of year depend on steady weather conditions. A major set back this year is the lack of pollination and hence poor fruit set due to trees blossoming in wet or cold conditions. These sort of circumstances keep the bees away.

Another thing is there will be so much grass to mow once I can get my tractor out on the paddocks once they dry off. And all our tomatoes were damaged with weeds taking over especially oxalis which must be the worse weed around. The leave look much like clover but it puts out millions of bulbs all of which sprout the following year. The more you try to move them the more they spread. And the worse thing is there is no herbicide other than maybe fumigation which will get rid of it. Just have to let it lie fallow I guess for a few years.

Wallabies seem more determined than ever to get into out paddocks and eat the things we don’t want eating. They don’t seem to eat the grasses but concentrate on the young trees which after continual denudation give up. Not so long ago I decided that my fences need another update as the wallabies were ignoring the electric and getting in. It was obvious that they were not jumping in but going through the fence as the trails went right up to both sides of the fence. So in the end I contacted the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) and was fortunate to have discussions with Mr. Robbie Gaftney. I had envisaged Baiting as a last resort but he supplied many tips some of which I will explain to you now.

As I said they were getting through the net. Apparently they can open the wires up with their paws and use their tail to propel them through between pulses. He recommended that the hot wire system be replaced with wallaby wire. That is both an expensive and time consuming operation. What I have done seems to be working. The idea came to me when I was repairing the cherry netting which these same varmints had punched holes in. So I am now in the process of attaching birdnetting over the hot wires. The theory is that this will impede the roos pushing through the wires as they are still active behind the netting. As they are polyester they are not conductive and in dry weather the fence behave as normal.

here is a tree not destroyed by the wallabies

here is a tree not destroyed by the wallabies

the wallabies have stripped this tree bare

the wallabies have stripped this tree bare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have had some great help come to us this year. Last week we had 5 helpers come to us via Helpx. The picture below shows Michel (Holland) and his girlfriend Ludi(France) who came for a week. Also shown is Mizuki from Japan. Mizuki is here for a while and seems to like most things on the farm and might I even say it is getting used to weeding.

It’s Raspberry Time

Hi everyone. We have just launched out shopping trolley. It has been a long winded task but just like a boat it now is out there for all of you to look at and it will sink or swim on its own merits. We are very pleased with the results so far and I think our customers are pleased to know that they can stock up whenever and it really doesn’t matter where you live. Postage isn’t cheap but then again you are buying direct and there are no middle man charges.

The Raspberry season has just started. The growing season has seemed a little slow this year because of the colder weather and frequent showers. But the upside  is that the farm has never looked better.

Our new water pump has been installed. We have always had a water limitation in the lower paddocks. This new pump practically double our flow rate and didn’t take all that long to install and started up straight away.  We really needed it for the new paddock across our so-called creek( normally dry except after heavy rains).  This paddock was established from land cleared after the bushfire.  This area was our least developed direction for bushfire protection.

We have also started harvesting honey. Jason Johnson used to do it for us but has since moved on to greener pastures and now works at White Sands which will be one of the iconic places to visit and stay in the future. 

All of our hives were destroyed in the bushfire. I am actually enjoying it more now that i have a decent bee suit. The little varmints always seem to know when I was around and would find holes in my suit and then attack me. I might add not just the one but all of his mates would know exactly how to get to me too.

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