Merry Christmas!

And so, Christmas 2015 came and pass. On Christmas Eve I decided to have Christmas pudding for dinner, turned out that I really don’t enjoy Christmas pudding, I would put them in the same class as the Christmas mince tart, etc. Christmas Day was spent assembling all the furniture that have arrived and still packed in boxes in the living room. It was a good day, at the end of it I had an actual bed to sleep in, and a table in the house, and proper chairs. And my luggage fully unpacked.

 

Imagine, if you have the discipline and willpower to save your entire year of non-essential shopping for Boxing Day. Some retailers even start the Boxing Day sale online on Christmas Eve! Hehe, I’m very naughty at this, going to be taking some stuff back to M10 to exchange for some other stuff. I’m probably on their naughty list.

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I’ve removed the peeler posts that were used to edge the raised beds. I’m going to reuse these for my raised bed Belgian Fence. All I need is a couple more new peeler posts and I will have enough timber to finish the job at half the cost. I did some digging on the area where I’m going to put in the raised edges and it appears that there would be a bit of a jimmy jam to get it to work.

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The first set of bamboo fence is now installed. I spent closed to 15 minutes to put a hole in the concrete pillar with a masonry bit on an impact driver. I was beaten halfway through the second hole, and my neighbor pulled up to have a yarn and I told him that I will need to go and buy a hammer drill to finish the job. I watched on Youtube, it took the guy 1 minute to put a hole into the concrete with an impact driver, and the same hole took only 3 seconds with a hammer drill. Good neighbor do what good neighbor do, he lend me his hammer drill and those holes were done in a jiffy!

I repaid his kindness with a bottle of my precious Guinness in return but ended up hanging out in his garage with his mate for some beer and yarn while Caesar make friends with two energetic staffy. Maybe an hour or two, before I went back to the house to continue the work.

Dynabolts with eyelets were inserted into the holes, a length of rope loop through them, and the bamboo stakes weaved in at 75mm spacing. Hammer in. Mark desired height, and cut to height.

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I’ve finally put the sweetcorn, pumpkin, and watermelon into the ground. They have got about 4 months to grow, we’ll see what happens then. I’ve also started trimming the hedge. One third of the way there. My to-do list is a mile long. I’ve sown the tree lucerne. Started hot water treatment on the tree lupin and acacias. I’ll need to cold stratify the alder soon, that’s a 4 weeks process. And probably start another batch of mesclun, spinach and brassica seedlings.

The odds may not be favorable, but it ain’t impossible, just improbable.

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No Hassle Returns

I’ve got a confession. I’m a serial returnee. I’ll buy stuff from M10, and then return them a few days later because I don’t need them.

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I bought and returned a metal drill bit, an eye bolt, a nut, and two gate hinge clamp. I had every intention to use them but somehow, the gate hinge clamp doesn’t fit the gate, and I managed to hang the gate with the existing hinge with some tips from the fencer. I bought the metal drill bit to put a hole in the corrugated iron fence to put the eye bolt through for the gate to latch on. But that didn’t work out either as there’s too big a gap between the gate and a fence that I will be patching up with a stake hammered in with the staple on it for the gate to latch on. Long story short, saved money on the gate.

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I spread more mulch around the side of the house where the peaches and nectarines will be going in in the future and that will be under sown with wildflowers. A good thick later of mulch went on over the existing grass lawn and that should put the grass to sleep.

Now, I just have to decide if I’m going to continue to let that pile of mulch compost down or continue to spread them. And the question is, where to spread them? I could technically let them compost down and use them to fill the raised bed Belgian Fence.

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I had my first feel of the local soil today transplanting the not so small seedling into the existing vegetable garden bed. I merely fork over a small area of the bed where the seedlings are going to go. I have a feeling the plants are going to love it here. Spinach, spring onions, brassica, mesclun mixes, and aerial seed potatoes.

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On my to-do list is to clear out the trellis on both side of the concrete patio. Some sort of climbers and native grass. I’ll keep the roses and lilies. Some previous owner must have love miniature roses as that’s the only type of roses planted around the house.

Come around Christmas time next week and you will see me fencing. Then the sweetcorn, pumpkin, and watermelon can be planted out and beans sown.

Hail Day

Welcome to Permaculture in Rakaia! As I sit here today on my makeshift workstation comprising of a camping chair and my laptop rested on the packaging box of my vacuum cleaner, its bucketing down hail out there, with accompanying sound of thunder and the occasional flash of lightning.

The move has taken me all day and more. 3 trips on a hatchback with a trailer. 4 trips on the ute. 1 trip on the sedan. My friend Mitch certainly didn’t sign up for this. The plants itself took us 2 trips each to move, and the stares we got as they zoom through towns and down the highway.

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The canvas prints came along, and they brightened up the living room immediately with a Malaysian Sunrise at Broga Hill. That would have been the name of the print in my honest opinion but the printers who converted it to a 3 piece canvas just called it “grass”. Mind you, 5 years ago I was working really hard to find the perfect patch of “grass” to crouch down on to get this sunrise shoot.

The books were unpacked onto Pinterest inspired DIY bookshelf. It suggested IKEA boxes, I have an abundance of banana boxes. Even though banana boxes are virtually indestructible, they are more rigid with the lids on the back as bookshelves.

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Most of the plants got a wee bit of wind burn after an hour of 100kph. I think they have forgiven me after I gave them a seaweed spray. If they have not, I’ll spray them again, and again, and again, and again.

I have a feeling they will love it here. The regular Nor’wester carries with it plenty of dust, and my guess is that the soil around here will be well mineralized.

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This unassuming quarter acre section is about to get an unexpected makeover. There’s a lot of mature trees around the property taking up too much space, shading, and the potential to fall on power lines, and blocking views. The lawns are perfectly manicured and edged, all it lacks from being a typical Kiwi lawn is the existence of broadleaf weeds which I guessed, the previous owner did not spray them off.

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In come the arborist, they removed all the trees that were too hard basket for me to remove by myself, stump grind, ring the wood, and chipped everything else for mulch. That was done on Thursday, and today, that pile of mulch is simmering in the rain, the composting process has begun.

Area Plan

This is pretty much how the property will look like eventually in its own Permaculture glory. Now, I just need to get a gate along with its accompanying hardware, and hang it. Then, I need a hacksaw to modify the front boundary fence. Some dynabolts, concrete drill bit, and 2 bundle of bamboos, some bungee cord, and the front boundary fence will be able to keep Caesar in. I shall then take the hedge trimmer and do my very best to push back the pine hedging on the East before I run a length of black windbreak down that boundary.

Once the boundaries are secured, I can get on with some plantings. Till then, those sunflowers and 3-sisters are dying to get into the ground.

Stay tuned, there’s a permie in this peaceful little rural town!