"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Getting going, getting growing... part 1

Travelling to the farm a just over a week ago the scenery was completely different to that of a month ago.  It had turned the normal summer brownie colour, as the rains are fewer and further between.  The winter crops / animal fodder for next winter is steadily being harvested by the farmers too.  I just love the picture of all those straw bales lying in the fields :)

But, we had b-i-g plans for that particular weekend.

This is the "before" photo... before anything started happening.
Notice the two rows of clay in the centre of the photo
 - well, that's where the action is about to take place...

and we also moved the two sad-looking conifers on the
right hand side of the photo
A big hole (plans for that too), a patch of grass,
clay in between and my t-i-n-y part-time
shadecloth covered veggie patch
in the background - it looks different now...

As you know, we purchased a trailer.  Well, it was time that that trailer began to fulfill it's function.

I phoned ahead and pre-booked a digger loader for Saturday morning.  We all met at the place that we were purchasing the compost from, and the digger loader proceeded to "fill 'er up".  The trailer took two cu. mtrs and then the digger loader carried an extra mtr3 in it's 'loader' shovel.  3 cu. mtrs should help...
The compost was gorgeous, and steaming...
it took an hour for the digger loader to arrive on the farm with it's 1 cu. mtr load - which I got the driver to dump it next to the lemon tree orchard. Because the digger loader had another chore...
He scraped up the clay and put it to one side.  The he scraped up the wild grass and weeds and dumped that at the back of the property.  Then, ever so gently, he scraped the compost out of the trailer....  We only had to sweep out the balance with our brooms - yes, I had to use the house one.  But a good wash sorted that out :)
I am always amazed at how dexterous these digger / loader operators are with their machines.  It's as though the digger arm is an extension of their own arms - just a bucket load stronger LOL.

Using the loader bit, he scraped and mixed the compost into the ground.
Up and down, up and down - 2 cu. mtrs all mixed in easy-peasy LOL  He then proceeded to excavate some holes for posts...
But, oh, what a lot of stone there was lying in the newly churned up soil...


  1. You're native soil looks so dry from the pictures! Do you plan on doing a manure dump each year?

    I know what you mean with stones as well - I've got TONS. It's hard work getting them out but I've made stone pathways with mine so at least they have a purpose ;)

  2. Would the area your farm is in be considered desert area? I notice not to much grows on the horizon either. Much like the southwest area of the US. This is my South Africa education for the day :)

  3. Tanya - It is dry out of the rainy season - and rock hard too. And then when it's wet it's like quicksand - the clay can suction your shoes right off your feet LOL

    I have the same idea for all our stones - but will need to put some weedguard down first!

    Jane - Nope - not desert - just a winter rainfall area. Our "desert" is more on the western coast and in the Karroo area. But nothing like the Terlingua Ranch area of Texas.

    The land was used for crops, so all the trees etc were removed. We have planted roughly 40 on our plot, but they'll take a few years to make a difference. Except for the darned Black Wattle - that grows like stink!

  4. Looking good, I can't wait to see everything a couple years from now. With that compost and your obviously mineral rich soil everything should grow really well there.

  5. Nothing like a good load of compost - I can just smell that healthy aroma.

  6. Mr H - I need things to be visibly different in a year. Lots of hard work, but that's the fun of it :)

    Garden Girl - Lots more compost from where that came - thank goodness :)

  7. I spent a while in Western Australia, very similar surroundings and although its 10 times the work for a simple veg plot it can be 10 times the satisfaction when you see your little oasis flourishing :) xx

  8. It's always a good feeling to see a project get underway!

  9. Astra - Ten times the work - think you got it spot on there LOL. Ten times the satisfaction - I agree :)

    Frogdancer - Oh, and I've waited two years for this - the "house" (somewhere basic to shelter / keep warm / dry) came first. Now it's the veggie plot's turn... :)


Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day and removes the "loneliness' of sitting at my screen blogging supposedly to myself ;)