homestead news

Summer is on its way down under and the grass is growing at lightening speed (except for all the bald patches on our ‘lawn’ where I poisoned all the weeds). The vegetable patch is starting to produce stuff.

Strawberries actually. Only strawberries. This is my first bowl from the garden. They’re the sweetest tastiest strawberries I’ve ever had!

Last weekend I lay straw around the strawberry plants to stop them growing on the ground and keep them slightly above slug dining level. And Matthew and I made a frame and put up bird netting. We used scrap wood which we cut up as stakes, then tied some thin old moulding (which had been left in the yard by the previous owner) to create a cage. We used hay bale twine to tie it all together.

Very pretty. In a redneck kind of way.

Then we put flat head nails down the side of the garden box so we can hook the net down tight.

A good job I think. Today’s strawberry crop was less chewed on than the odd strawberry I’d been picking lately.

This morning while I groomed, Matthew came around again to do a bit more work on the tyre wall and I got him to move the poor abused pussy willows to a better spot. Here they are at the side of the casita, to the left of the vegetable garden. Five of the seven I’d originally had.

Those poor trees have had the roughest time in their short lives. Firstly, they were just sticks I cut off the trees I had in Fentonbury before I moved here. Pussy willows will grow from sticks. I’d originally put them in the ground just below the dam.

Our dam is spring fed and it leaks. I wanted something to take up some of that water.
We put some electric fence up around them to keep the horses out and they grew for a while.
Then we had to move the electricity to another fence (you know, we play games with it, some days this fence is on, some days that one’s on… it amuses us), the horses got in and gave them a haircut.
We put the fence back on and they grew again.
Then we needed to dam shored up so we dug them out and moved them to a spot on the far side of the back paddock, near the creek. Plenty of moisture there too.
We put up posts and tied electric fence wire around it to keep the horses out. They looked like they died for a while, but then they came back. The trees, not the horses.
The horses realised the fence wasn’t on and they gave them another haircut.
We gave up. They were just sticks with roughly chewed ends for a long time. Then this spring they got new growth.
The other day I was thinking how I want more trees in the yard but we don’t actually have anywhere to put them, and it dawned on me that I could plant trees outside the vegetable garden, outside our yard… and that I could still enjoy them there.
Best of both worlds. The trees won’t stop the sun on the vegie patch, only in the late afternoon. They’ll give us a bit of a screen from the road and the house opposite us way down there. And once they’re grown enough they’ll also provide a bit of a wind break and give the horses a bit more shelter.
So today Matthew dug them up and planted them for the third time.
Third time lucky don’t they say?
We put up another fake electric fence with lots of wire and stakes and even angled posts to keep it strong.
Fingers crossed this time.
z

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