"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 17 November 2011

It works!

You all remember that RMan bought a second hand ride on lawnmower a couple of weeks ago?

Well, after getting a new 12 volt battery, changing the oil, giving it a major clean, changing the belt and sharpening the blades, and then firing it up, he decided to give it a whirl at our town house before schlepping it to the farm.
Cutting, cutting, cutting...
It worked a treat - it even has a reverse gear LOL

So, naturally, we put it in the trailer and took it to the farm with us.

Bless him.  RMan was itching to try it out, but we had to finish the veggie shade cloth structure first - well, a happy wife is a happy husband - or so I'm told.  And a happy wife doesn't nag the happy husband, who is then naturally free to do what he wants - and thus the happy husband ends up even happier LOL

But eventually RMan got to play on his toy...
It worked really well.  Really, really well.
Elytropappus rhinocerotis

Image source:
Even the renosterbos closest to the house was no match for it.  Not that that is a long term solution.  This renosterbos actually needs to be ripped out of the soil.  (I'm not talking about the threatened renosterveld plants, rather I'm talking about one particular bush Elytropappus rhinocerotis, which is perfect for a snake to slither under to obtain shade in the heat of the day.)  Slashing the top will probably make that more difficult in future as the roots are just going to get bigger, deeper and more tenacious I fear.  And this member of the renosterveld family is very common and not threatened.  It is widespread (and spreads like crazy) and is a drab, uninteresting plant.  And, due to it's resin content, a definite fire hazard on a farm.

But, bear in mind that MKid is joining us for Christmas - and we want him to be able to play freely without fear that a snake could be lurking in the undergrowth.  So the renoster bush has to go - at least that which is growing closest to the house!

But, RMan discovered that the belt that drives the blades kept slipping off.  So he is going to move the jockey wheel to keep it away from the drive slip-ring. Hopefully this will sort out the problem.

So - the fun had to stop until RMan had time to consider and plan / prepare for some modifications.

Which are now arranged :)

So - this weekend, where they are predicting temperatures in the mid-30's (centigrade), we are once again travelling up to the farm.

For apart from the fact that we still have to get the veld grass down to a safe (grandchild) level, there are still so many auction goodies which we have to clear out of the garden and garage of our town "house-which-is-(still)-for-sale". The balance of the wooden battens / planks.  a couple of basic cupboards. More tyres.

And seedlings. More seedlings.  And even more seedlings.  I think I have about 160 in all.  If not more.  Which means that I have to dig up / pick axe some more of the veggie hut soil, and rake, rake and rake the stones out / away, add plenty of compost / bonemeal and Talborne Organics nutrients, complete the installation of the porous pipe and then get busy planting....  But at last I will be doing it in the relatively shaded veggie hut :)  And I will have my broad brimmed hat on!
Lemon tree saplings
And, talking about seedlings, we also plan to plant another 15 lemon trees too.  That will give me a total of 30 lemon trees planted thus far.

So, a busy time all round.  Hopefully we can fit it all in - but I think that will depend on how hot it actually gets.  Working in the garden at 34 - 35oC (93 - 95oF) is very hard work and not ideal.  Stressing the plants with that kind of (planting) heat is also what we hoped to avoid.  But we will link them up to the irrigation system (with the porous pipe) as soon as possible after planting.  I have a feeling that we will be up just before first light, work until the heat becomes unbearable, have an early lunch and a siesta, and then continue in the cooler late afternoon until sunset.  Which is, naturally, the perfect time to sit on the patio, glass (or bottle of beer in RMan's case) in hand and end off a day with a braai (barbecue).  I have a overwhelming desire for some barbecued baked potatoes with crisp skin, and corn on the cob, both slathered in cholesterol reducing butter and a sprinkling of freshly ground salt and pepper...

We're leaving at, or before, sparrow fart tomorrow (Friday) morning - so I'll see you next week :)


  1. What is it with men and lawnmowers. Then just love driving them anywhere they can. If your Husband is anything like mine, clearly mark all plants. Not a summer goes by that my Husband doesnt mow over something and kill it. Last year was 2 new blueberry bushes. Sigh.

  2. Good deal on the mower and that problem should be an easy fix. Now you'll need to get a small tow behind dump trailer and it can surely help out a lot around there.

  3. Jane- It's simply boys and their toys - which just change according to the age of our men :)

    Tffn - Hopefully it is easy to fix. The dump trailer sounds a bloody good idea :)

  4. A siesta is always a good way to end a hard mornings work...it always feels so well deserved and satisfying ...enjoy the plaas.

  5. the lawn mower looks like the business! can't wait to hear and see what you got up to on your farm this weekend :) I keep checking here forgetting you don't have internet out there!

  6. Um Dani, what are you going to do with all those lemons?!?!?!?!? I'm impressed with the number of seedlings you have going.

    Great buy on the lawnmower. I had to laugh at Jane's comment because it's true. Even my DH admits it, on a riding lawnmower, a man can be anything he wants in his mind: a race car driver, a big rig driver, a 4-wheel drive jeepist exploring ancient mountain trailways. And heed her advice on marking plants you want to keep, LOL. (Another voice of experience).

  7. African Bliss - Oh yes - a siesta is a reward for hard work :)

    Astra - For the latest info, please check my blog later today (hopefully) - need to catch up work first :)

    Leigh - Why, earn some income by selling them of course. I already have a buyer, and they won't be available for another two-odd years... ;)

    Boys and toys! I can trust RMan though. After having planted every lemon tree we have, he KNOWS the hard work involved, and I doubt he would harm them LOL But, yes, he does get lost on the track / jungle / mountain pass when he leaps on the mower. He says he can't hear me because of the noise of the engine - but judging from the look in his eye's when he comes "back to earth", I know better LOL

  8. Hey there. Good score on the mower! And wow to all your seedlings! We lost our lemon tree... twice... to the goat... It is also not really warm enough here but I am hoping to try grow one in our tunnel house next year.
    Love what you are doing over there. It is such a funny concept to me that you need to shade some of your plants!! We do not have that problem! :)

  9. Rachael - Shade - don't think I could grow my tender things without it, especially things like lettuces.

    Once your lemon tree starts producing, you'll be hooked LOL


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