Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Odd Jobs

Autumn certainly isn't in the rush it was last year, by now it had been and gone and Winter was well underway. Whilst there are obvious advantages to a long drawn out balmy Autumn it does have me a bit concerned what with climate change and all. Maybe Winter will never come??

Roses and cotton are both still putting out flowers, though some of the fruit trees have finally started to shed their leaves, and the two ash trees and the pistachio out the front are turning bronze-blood-red and golden yellow respectively. Some of the plants have the right idea, though the temperatures certainly aren't encouraging. We've had low twenties for weeks now, with overnight temps always above the mystical 5 degrees that seems required to set frosts in motion.

We obtained four new chooks recently, freebies from a notice in the window of the local store. At last we have chooks that lay eggs! The existing ones, Silver Grey Dorkings and a single Barnevelder and Spangled Hamburgh go off the lay at the slightest provocation, so we do a lot of feeding for little return. The new birds look to be Isa Browns or some similar factory breed, and they're living up to their reputation. Most days see four eggs come in from them. The Hamburgh has a go every now and then, but I think she's getting on a bit.

On the blacksmithing front I searched the big town for a source of charcoal and came up empty-handed. It looks as though I'm going to have to build myself a charcoal factory. I did try the compressed charcoal briquettes but it seems they have some additives that turn into a gluey slag, definitely not the best.

I've also finished the new blower, a much better one this time around. It is noisy though, and uses electricity, so I'll be looking to replace it with a manual one at some stage. I won't rush into it until the kids are big enough to power it reliably for me.

I'm starting to get into Winter mode on the jobs front, I've begun one rock wall near the chook house, and hopefully by the end of Winter it will be finished, along with a couple of small terraces across the back yard. I've got the spots ready for a couple of new fruit trees, but with our desire to move in the next couple of years we won't be spending a fortune packing the place with trees now. Who knows, the next people who take it on may bulldoze the lot, subdivide and sell it all off.

I plan on taking cuttings of all our fruit tree varieties this Winter, and then next year raising the rootstocks to go with them. It seems a bit backwards, but I learnt the proper method of propagating rootstock recently, but it was too late in the season to do it. In order to ensure I've got the needed material I'll take the cuttings now, that way if we should happen to strike it lucky and move sooner rather than later I've got all I need to reproduce the varieties we've already collected.

1 comment:

rhonda jean said...

I ennvy that winter colour, geoff. It's good you're getting some eggs now. Is there anything better than a backyard egg? Don't answer that.