You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2015.

Just a week of hiatus. I’ve been busy. Pre-ordered fruit trees are starting to arrive from around the country. I just needed a few to add to the ancient collection, and some crab apple trees to fill up the gaps in the Belgian Fence. I’ve design and made a simple and effective means of getting the grey water from the laundry into the Three Sisters patch. Common laundry grey water system puts some strain on the washing machine pump as it has to pump the water through the whole line. What I have done is to allow excess pressure to still exit into the septic tank, essentially putting no extra strain on the pump at all.

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The weather last week, 12mm of rainfall. A high of 15.7dC and a low of -2.5dC.

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And this week, dry, 1.5mm of rainfall. A high of 17.7dC and a low of -0.8dC.

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The warmth, has cause the almonds to bloom. That’s the Almond All-in-One. It’s the only almond in bloom out of three.

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I spotted the daffodils are coming up last week.

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And see how much they have grown in a week! I spot 4 bulbs in there, I only planted one bulb last season.

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The overgrown strawberry bed has been cleaned up. I started with 28 plants. They multiplied exponentially. And I thinned them down drastically, to just 18 plants.

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I didn’t throw the others away. Planted 72 of them in the raised beds, and another 6 in a pot, 3 in a rotten down tree stump. What I normally do with transplanting strawberries are quite brutal. The tops will be chopped off leaving nothing but pre-emerging shoots behind, and a good clump of roots. The ones in the raised beds are planted 12 to a square foot. The ones that show promise will be transplanted into the forest garden.

I did end the season with 3.5 times more strawberry plants.

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It took two truck loads of carting 50:50 compost and eco mulch to fill the Giant Cloche. It’s done now, I’ve hung up another bird feeder for the birds to eat and shit and get some biology going in the soil there.

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I’ve removed the weed mats on the Three Sisters patch today to put in the dripper line for the grey water system. Next week I will get some 50:50 compost and eco mulch on. I’ve lime and gypsum it today while I was at it. And I’ve gypsum all the raised beds too, including the greenhouse and the Giant Cloche, and the potted raspberries. All white and fluffy. And thought to myself, be nice to rain this week. And within hours, its raining, its raining now. Wash it all in!

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The Honeynut Squash have been a great success. Done this up River Cottage style, with blue cheese filling and a sprinkling of parmesan.

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I bought a really cheap bicycle. I’ve never had a bicycle with suspension before, and this one have dual suspension. Growing up, bicycles appear to be big, I felt like a dwarf standing next to my bicycle. Now, it felt like a BMX. I would have gotten a cruiser bike if they don’t come in pink with flower shape decals all over them.

Reason I got a bike, is so that I can “walk” Caesar over a longer distance, in a much shorter period of time. Effectiveness and efficiency. We got all the way to the Kaituna Valley Walkway car park today. And ride back with the tailwind.

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The Orchard Cottage this week. Lots of privet hedge pruning in the coming week.

Quote of the week, “the difference between knowing and doing is a world apart”.

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Yep, it snowed, but nothing down to sea level here. The surrounding hills are white again, and it got really cold!

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From the frozen rain gauge, we can tell there’s 28mm of rainfall accumulation. A low of -4dC and a high of 9dC. It’s quite wet, and frosty, and cold. I have started uploading my weather data onto Weather Underground again, just the temperature and humidity of the Subtropical station.

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The frozen forest garden. Had a walk around Sunday morning to find out what are the areas that don’t get frost bitten.

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The subtropical area, clearly, didn’t made it this season, the tree lucerne will grow more dense and they will be able to do a better job next season, hopefully. Will see what made it into Spring.

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Frosted pattern. Pittosporum?

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Frosted hazelnut catkins.

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Frosted almond buds, will be interesting to see if those buds will be alright?

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The sign of a really harsh frost.

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Caesar’s paw, frosted.

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The rainwater catchment tank is frozen, the ice about 1cm thick.

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The raised beds are all frosted, the saffrons are enjoying the cold.

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Luckily I had the lemon and lime covered. And the waxeyes are enjoying a feast on the bird feeder.

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Without further ado, I have built the new door for the greenhouse, and put the old mikroclima frost cloth back on. Should last for another year or two.

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If you have too many old newspapers and magazines and boxes that you want to get rid of. Build a raised bed.

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The Orchard Cottage this week. Totally frozen. I’m running out of space on this site too, am considering if I should pay for an upgrade or start another chapter on a new site?

The weather has been mild this week. Mother Nature is considerate in allowing things to dry up a wee bit before she pours again.

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Only 0.75mm of rain this week. We have a high of 16dC and a low of 1dC. The weatherman says there’s a chance of snow this week. That will be nice if the snow settles.

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Be cool if we get something like this again. That was 16 August 2011.

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The roses are blooming in Winter over here. And the bumble bees have a cozy spot to rest. And get drunk on pollen and nectar.

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I’ve done some upgrading on the rainwater catchment tank. This little thing here is an automatic siphoning thingy. Similiar to how you siphon water out of an aquarium, except this works on its own. When water goes above the top of the pipe, it will start the siphoning process until the water drops below the green thing.

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This is an old float valve which I have reversed the float ball position. When the water fills up and lifts the float ball up above a certain point, water will start to exist through the float valve.

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The saffrons are making good progress. This week of drying out is good for the raised beds. I’ve aerate the soil a wee bit as well to fluff it up.

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Giant Cloche is now structurally complete. The hinges have all been installed. Now, I just need to fill it up, and add the greenhouse film. I’m planning to grow watermelon, okra, eggplant, and chillies in it.

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The greenhouse too, just need a door, and mikroclima frost cloth. I’ve filled the beds with equal mix mulch and compost. Transplanted the lemon and lime in the center. Hung a bird feeder on the rafters so that the birds will eat and drop some shit, get some good old biology going. I’ll do the same with the Giant Cloche too.

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Nothing much happening in the forest garden, just the lime doing its job. Come spring, will be spreading NH4. NH4 also has the benefits of stabilizing soil temperature. Stops it from going too hot nor cold.

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The first four leaf clover was discovered at the Orchard Cottage today!

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The Orchard Cottage this week. The day is getting longer, the sun is rising higher.

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