"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

Friday, 4 November 2011

Getting going, getting growing... part 2

After the digger / loader had finished mixing 2 cu. mtrs of compost into the soil, we sent it off to dig whole bunch more holes for our lemon orchard whilst RMan and I got busy.

Well, RMan got more busy than I did...
We forgot to get the digger loader to dig
two holes, so we tried coring them.  Ended
up being quicker using a "stamper" to loosen

the compacted soil and an empty tuna tin to
remove the loosened soil.
... me, I spent most of my time holding poles in place (and letting them clonk on my head now and then) whilst he drilled and fixed them into position with thread bar, washers and nuts.  And, at pole securing time, I walled up the  little reservoirs (using some of the bigger stones) for the concrete to be poured into - can't have it leaking into my veggie area ;)

So, whilst RMan was busy doing man-things I climbed into removing all the loose stones that the digger loader had churned up.  Boy, was that a thankless task.  Every time I raked, I exposed more stones which had to be removed... Reckon it'll be a while before it's totally stone free.  I'll just have to focus on one area for the carrots, can't see lettuce / beans / peas / tomatoes being too badly affected by a bit of stony ground.
All those stones / pebbles.
Took me 20 wheelbarrow loads to remove them
Our neighbour, CGuy had borrowed our scaffolding, so we had to make do with the odd pieces which were left.  RMan need to climb high, and then higher still...
After a sweltering hot day, the late afternoon was perfect working weather, so we continued working until sundown.
The next morning, what greeted us was the sight of what we had accomplished the previous 3 days - standing there in all it's glory...
So many stones already raked up that I've
created a ruddy great berm in front
.... my future 8 X 4 mtr (26 X 13-odd foot) shadecloth vegetable patch!  Hopefully, it will be locust proof, not too sure about slug proof, and it will definitely be sheep and cow proof, should they gain access to our smallholding.  And, it will offer some extra protection for my vegetables from the harsh conditions which can be experienced there - 38 - 40oC (100 - 104oF) heat in summer, plus the south easter which can blow a gale, is no joke for vegetables.
Just a tad of the compost showing. Reckon another 3 cu. mtrs won't go amiss.  And at ZAR160.00 (US$ 20.00 / €14.40) cu. mtr it's not too bad.
I plan to use this area for growing mealies (corn),
potato, sweet potato and pumpkin.  No doubt it'll
grow as I require more space LOL (but please

don't tell RMan about that plan yet...)
I just love it.  It's not too far from the house, and not too close that it will be in the shade due to the shadow cast by the house because of the sun's northern position in winter, either.  All year round sun - brilliant!
The big hole...
And it's right next to the "big hole".  What's the hole for?  Ah, well you'll have to wait to find out...
I've replanted some potatoes in the little berm
in the foreground of this photo
And this is my plan for the vegetable patch.  And it will, hopefully, be irrigated by Porous Pipe - that way I'll ensure that not a drop of precious water goes to waste... :)  And the porous pipe should also be able to work with the water from the new rain water storage tanks - it only requires 1 to 1.5 bar water pressure to work :)
And, for all our trouble, and after 3 days of solid work in the garden, I woke in the middle of the night feeling something crawling down my arm.  I sleepily rubbed my arm, and felt something.  Panic!  I KNEW what it was.  I immediately broke out the torch and, lo, and behold, there was a nice large nasty tick!
Well, he / she got squashed quick as a flash!  No mercy, not as far as ticks are concerned.  NEVER!

Thank goodness neither RMan nor myself appeared to have been bitten!  All that got squashed out was the tick's own bodily fluids - no blood.  Close though.

Now - to put the shadecloth cover on, build and hang the door, lay the irrigation pipe, connect it to another solenoid on the irrigation system (until my rain water tanks are full) and plant the veggie seedlings I have been nurturing (impatiently) at our town house for the last few weeks...

... that's exactly what we are going to begin today.  Off to the farm we go.  So, see you next week...


tami said...

Wonderful, Dani! I stopped SM and had him look at what you two are doing. We've had issues with the intense sun here in the SE US but nothing like what you have to deal with. Do what works. It looks great!

Astra said...

wow that structure looks like you could live in it! I'll never take for granted the easy growing conditions we have here. Exciting stuff for you guys though, I cant wait to see the first little plant go in :) x

Mr. H. said...

Really nice, you are going to have quite the garden. I can't wait to see it full of green growing plants.

garden girl said...

Back breaking work. Well done to both of you!

Dani said...

tami - Thanks :) I'll let you know how it works...

Astra - Yup - we we're saying the same. Could certainly make a carport out of it too :)

Pics on Monday - hopefully...

Mr H - I'll post a couple of pics on the progress we've made this weekend when we're home again on Monday... :)

garden girl - Oooooooooooooh, tell me about it - my back is finished, Thanks :)