|Mother and baby doing well!|
Well last week I left the blog on a cliff hanger, and I am glad to say that we do indeed have an announcement to make, we had a new baby tractor delivered on Friday and mother and baby are doing well despite the difficult birth courtesy of the lack of instructions. The instructions for putting it together were not quite so comprehensive as we would have liked, having opened the box to find the dear little thing in pieces to be assembled. The little tractor also happens to be a natty blue colour the same as the bigger tractor even though they are not the same make.We decided on a new two wheeled tractor primarily to cut hay on the really steep slopes of our land and in the awkward places between trees which are too vast to cut with the strimmer (bushwhacker) and not safe for our regular tractor. It also means we have a lightweight machine to manage small areas that won't damage the land in quite the same way as the other tractor, something we have found over the last year during the wet seasons when our regular tractor churns up the ground and makes a mess of it. The two of them together are going to make a great team.
|Emma and Ben on adventures new!|
Talking of great teams, I actually have more than one announcement to make and this one of course is far more important; our daughter Emma, our eldest child, got engaged recently to Ben and so it now means that two of my three children are engaged. Our second child, Mark will be getting married in October but no date has been set yet for Emma's wedding. It has been exciting though hearing all the possible plans for the wedding, unfortunately I can't be there to help as she now lives in Australia. I am sure they will indeed make a great team and set off on adventures new and we look forward to hearing the tales they will tell.
|A neatly turned over potato plot|
I can also announce the result of our experimental plots of potatoes on our land and the result is............ that pigs like potatoes! Well we knew that and we were warned but they were potatoes that were heading for the compost heap anyway. It is quite amazing how neat the pigs have actually been by excavating a neat rectangle that the potatoes were in without disturbing the ground around. In fact we have decided we must have a better class of pigs this year as even the ground elder has been neatly cleared in several places with the ground elder roots piled neatly to one side instead of the usual big holes they dig. Pity they won't do that all the time instead of making random holes in the ground which a tractor can tip in. At least we did get the chance to use our two wheeled tractor to see how the potato lifter worked to see if the pigs had left us any potatoes and we found a grand total of about 5! Not sure though whether that is because there were no potatoes to find as they were a bad batch of potatoes or the pigs are very efficient. We have one more plot of potatoes on the land but they are right next to an electric fence, although not inside it, so it will be interesting to see if they find them.
|Oh it comes in bits!|
It has been very hot again this week meaning we are still working early in the morning and later at night but at least we have had the rain to water the plants, so no lugging buckets of water around on muggy days. The garden is starting to produce enough for us to eat beyond just salad leaves of various kinds and so it has been nice to have some extra help to pick beans and weed the plots. A young lass I have got to know through my work with an English online school mentioned she would love to try gardening and of course, as you do, I said she was welcome to come and help me in my garden especially as we happen to live in the same country (a rarity in my job). She has worked really hard and loved eating the fresh veg out of the garden, who couldn't when there are fresh tomatoes to eat which actually taste of tomatoes?
|Heh! These make rather snazzy cup holders!|
We are still constantly evaluating what we do and how we would do things differently to maximise our output. Our rampant melons next year will be grown upwards and not allowed to sprawl over the floor, we will then be able to grow them closer together but also keep them tamed and watered more easily. It seemed a nice idea at the time to grow cucumbers up the middle and let the melons grow on the floor between them and we thought it would save space, how little we knew about melons! Still there are quite a few little melons ripening nicely but no idea how much longer we will have to wait.
We did eventually get it put together, or rather Ian did with some encouragement and the occasional helping hand from me
|Practising using the potato lifter on our ex-potato plot|
The sum total of the first run through of plot number 1
|One teensy weensy little potato. Fortunately in the end|
we had just enough for one meal bulked out with some
carrots from the garden.