I finally understand what pay yourself first means after mum showed me the simple formula last night. It sounded easy, but it wasn’t. I was sort of trying to do that, but I wasn’t very disciplined about it either. I am trying to put away 50% of my take home pay every week, and that means that I really have to be careful about controlling my spending on non-essentials, like my garden.

I’m getting there, holding myself off from buying more seeds than truly needed, to keep reminding myself to check my seed bank before ordering any new seeds. I can’t help it, one of my favorite part times is reading seed and plant catalogs. I wanted to spend $360 on a Quad Thermo Heat N Grow propagator. But I already have a set.

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This thing of mine holds from 96 cells to 144 cells at one go. I’ve also make a mikroclima cover for it, everything works like clockwork. Then, a bit more contemplating, I thought of spending $156 on 4 Vented Large Propagator instead. I could use that to finish off the seedlings outdoor. And more thinking later, I decided on the most utilitarian form. I have plenty of wooden 100cm x 50cm seedling trays that I salvage from the orchard, I can incorporate them into a simple shelf unit 2m high, and with mikroclima covers for minimal cost, and there, I have my own outdoor seedlings nursery. It’s really time to rein in my expenditures, and bring in some side income.

The heated propagator are all ready to go, I’ll start the Pepper Jingle Belles and an assortment of tomatoes next week. The plan with the tomatoes is for grafting onto some interesting selection of rootstocks. I had in mind for rootstocks, a wild tomato where the seeds were saved from MegaTom, Tomato MonteCarlo F1 which is a vigorous plant resistant to wilt, fusarium and nematodes, and finally, Tomaccio, though mine will be of seeds saved from the F1, Tomaccio is the result of a breeding program using a wild Peruvian tomato species. Thing about the nightshade family is that the rootstock is able to transfer its properties to the scion, therefore, grafting a tomato onto a poison nightshade might give us a poisonous tomato.

There’s 3 rootstock selection, but I only want 2 of each scion variety in my greenhouse at the end of the day. How do I go about it? My feeling about it is to pair the cherry tomatoes scion with MonteCarlo F1 and Tomaccio F2, and the regular size tomatoes with MegaTom and MonteCarlo F1. Hopefully, MegaTom will prove itself the least favorable of them all and I can easily continue the trend in the future without the MegaTom, which I am not sure if it is really a wild tomato because we accidentally consume it last season and couldn’t really tell it apart from a mainstream tomato. I had a feeling it is just a more vigorous and disease resistant mainstream variety, hence why I decided to try MonteCarlo F1 and Tomaccio F2 to discover my own favorites.

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I’m all set for grafting, budding, slicing, or whatever. I am yet unable to explain this thing about boys and knifes. Throw in a sharpening stone and it gets worse. In my honest opinion, the Bahco grafting knife is my least favorite, though it has the meanest look. The Victorinox grafting knife looks like a shaving blade. And there, my trusty Victorinox Swiss Army knife which I have had for ages. I’ll be using the Victorinox grafting knife for all my propagation work as it comes highly recommended during a plant propagation workshop last season. Mainly due to the design of the shape of the blade, which makes top working easy, and that the blade is single sided, which makes shaping the scionwood easy too!

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That’s the display for my old weather station which sits in the greenhouse. 31.4dCelcius in the greenhouse! It is only half that temperature outdoors. On a sunny day, the greenhouse can be 10dCelcius warmer than outdoors. Very interesting.

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That’s the peas growing in the greenhouse. They are absolutely roaring away. Good news too, I’m measuring the ground temperature. Its about 10dCelcius in the greenhouse. 8dC in the tucker patch, 9dC in the forest garden, 7dC behind the house, 8dC where the Citrus will be doing. I’ll try to take a measure every week in the late afternoon. So far, the temperature has not gone below 0dC this week, though I noticed there’s a light frost in certain parts of the garden.

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I think I am finally going to have a flowering plum display this season. The buds are swelling up, just almost ready to go! Same to the blueberries and sour cherry! One can truly feel Winter is coming to an end and Spring is just around the corner. The hills are painted yellow by gorse flowers, and of course, the farmers got the chopper in to spray them off.

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The wildflowers are coming through. The seedlings are now at a distinguishable size. I can see phacelia, allysum, poppies, so on and so fort! There’s also plenty of thistles and nettles, which I am going around weekly to spot spray the thistles, which badly infest the ex-paddock.

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Dawson cherry on edabriz interstem getting espaliered. I’ll have to do some notching to get it to push out some shoots at some intended spots. Hopefully, it will know what to do and I don’t have to do it. Lapins cherry on edabriz interstem coming soon too, from Diacks Nurseries.

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I like brussels sprouts, or I thought I like brussels sprouts. But I don’t have much luck growing them, in photos I see them standing up on their own, so I didn’t bother to stake them. And they just flop over for the whole season and gave me dirty sprouts, slugs seconds, and so on. I’m not throwing in the towel yet. They got staked, and all the ugly sprouts stripped. Hopefully, they will give me a good crop in Spring. they do look better standing up.

There are so many things on my mind. So many things I want to do. I better start generating some income on this very capital intensive obsession of mine. And the best way would be plant propagation, and high value plants would be the way to go. Will the Almost Organic Orchard Cottage turn into a homegrown Almost Organic Nursery? Time will tell.

I have taken my life off Facebook for almost a month now. Maybe more. I did not keep track on that. It feels good. Not to be an addicted slave to a virtual world, virtually empty. Not to lay in bed before I go to sleep, and when I wake up in the morning, smartphone in hand viewing Facebook. Not to jump onto Facebook during every break. A recent research shows that Instagram can be depressing, and I would like to add, so can Facebook. If I roll over and die every time I get exposed to nonsense, Facebook would be like exposure on steroids. Anyway, if you are reading this, and you are on my friends list on Facebook, just know that I have disabled all forms of interaction and sharing, I only used the messenger to chat with my mum and friends now.

Now for some mind boggling stuff which I came up with when my mind is boggling. I’m not sure if they are original, I am sure someone with perhaps equal or more wackiness in their brain cells would come up with these…

What tractor climbs tree?

Caterpilar.

Why can’t the John Deere get into the farm?

The farm was deer fenced.

Why was the blue tractor deported?

It didn’t have a valid visa (New Holland).

Seriously lame aye~ Good night!

 

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