A bit of a round up …

So we haven’t snared a wild pig yet, which I’m actually quite relieved about. I’m not sure my self sufficiency skills are ready to extend to butchering a pig yet! On a positive note though, the snares that Rog set together with the new fencing seem to have done the trick in keeping them away – a good result.

Between May and October you can’t have bonfires here for obvious reasons. The problem that gives us is how do we get rid of all the weeds etc – yes we have a compost corner, but the volume of stuff we cut down is ridiculous. So thinking caps on – a wood chipper is the answer – this will allow us to make mulch to use around the trees and plants – a bit step forwards towards creating a permaculture. So it arrived yesterday – it was supposed to be delivered on a truck with a tail life as it weighs 125kg – no, ordinary transit van turns up in the village. He drives to within 100m of the house, and our plan was to wheel it the rest of the way. So Rog and the driver get this out of the side of the van, no easy task. The box is totally bashed in and the pallet it’s on is broken – not great. On closer inspection the chipper is broken – the actual engine has been snapped off, amongst other damage. We tried to refuse delivery but the driver wouldn’t take it back, so now we’re stuck in the middle of the road with a totalled wood chipper with no wheels fixed on … along comes Luis and his mechanical mule – saved! So now we have this back at the house and the emails are flying backwards and forwards trying to sort a replacement. Just a tad hacked off as this was a big investment …

Ants! I’m starting to really dislike them, crawling all over our orange trees and turning them into aphid farms. In order to conquer them I’ve been watching them and doing lots of research into organic ways to get rid of them. So this morning I have mixed up copious amounts of icing sugar and bicarbonate of soda and placed this around the base of all the trees. The theory is that the icing sugar attracts the little blighters and the bicarbonate makes them explode when they digest it. I’m still an advocate of kettles of boiling water on the nests, so hopefully by employing these methods we’ll get rid of them.

Lots of seeds have now arrived to grow around the trees to provide the nutrients the trees need in a natural way, and we’ve started rotivating where the veg will go, but we really need to get what we’ve already got under control before we throw more into the mix!

One thing is for sure, we experience a new sort of tired now – not that stressy brain hurting tired, proper physical tiredness gained through honest hard graft! And as the weather is hotting up we have started getting up early and cracking in with the jobs so that we can either rest or do the ‘pottering’ jobs in the afternoon.

Every day I look across what we own outright and I’m so grateful …

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