We have been busy little bees here. While the weather has been cracking we’ve been cracking on with The Great Vege Garden Expansion Plan. It’s alive! We have all been at it, The Husband, The Little Fulla and I. The Husband has been measuring and cutting the timber for the new vege beds and assembling it according to my spreadsheet plan. Pretty much. My measurements weren’t precise as it was hard to figure out with the angles so I told him he had some room to move. He kept checking with me to make sure things were ok and I kept checking to make sure the important measurements were up to snuff, like the width between the new and existing vege beds and the size of the gap left for a gate. Wheelbarrow access is important. And you always need a bigger space than you might at first think.

The Little Fulla has been contributing entertainment and health and safety considerations. Fortunately he has turned out to be easily amused by a mere grapefruit or lemon. He lets out a big “Ahhhhh!” every time we get near the citrus trees and having one of their fruits to hold, bite, poke and roll is like Christmas. Meanwhile, aside from overseeing all the things, I have continued preparing the orchard for the chickens. Next time I say, “I just need to…” someone please bop me on the head, will you? I dug out ALL the crocosmia that I could, although I know more is bound to pop up, plus a bunch of ivy. And rubbish. Just when you think there can hardly be any more bits of rubbish buried or hiding around here, more pops up. Honestly, the amount of rubbish that has been left around here astounds me. In digging up the crocosmia I also dug up some scrunched wads of weedmat from around the feijoa tree, a broken plastic plant pot, a length of tinsel, some twine and some clumps of string and netting stuff. When I was pulling up some ivy growing between the garage rain tank and the weird concrete pad, which is crumbling, I discovered that a pair of rubber gloves and a plastic jug had been half concreted in. How does that even happen? I know what happened, there must have been a troll living out there. A troll who collected rubbish in great piles, rolled in and lounged upon his mountains of ‘treasure’ and threw it around whilst chortling “I’m rich! I’m rich!” Yes. That is the only plausible answer. I am doing my best to get rid of all the rubbish for the chickens.

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The crocosmia (Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora) did look nice when the sun shone through it, but it is bad!

Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora

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Crocosmia can spread by its brown corms or white rhizomes.
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Now you see the crocosmia…
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Now you don’t!

I have also continued chicken-wiring the paddock fences around the orchard. The fence on our sheep neighbours’ side was very straightforward, but then I got to the fence perpendicular to it, which adjoins paddocks belonging to a different property, one which is currently for sale. If only we could afford to buy those paddocks! Needless to say, the grass and weeds in there are running rampant. Well, they have been for a while… So instead of just rolling out the chicken wire and stapling it onto the strainer posts there is a different process:

  1. Push long sprawling grass and weeds back through fence from where they’re rambling wildly.
  2. Dig out blackberry that has escaped from paddock and taken root on our side of fence. Try not to get poked. Ouch!
  3. Dig up creeping buttercup from along fenceline that has escaped from paddock. Come to realisation that this is where buttercup problem in orchard is stemming from. Ha ha ‘stemming’.
  4. Remove pile of rotting branches and more little pieces of rubbish from along fenceline.
  5. Roll out and staple chicken wire to fence.
  6. Buy more chicken wire.

And so the chicken-wiring has sucked up more time than expected. I still have a bit to do, running from the plastic netting that I used to fence off some grass for the chickens and past the large pile of branches towards the woodshed. Oh no. Now that pile of branches is coming back to haunt me. They were part of the first feijoa pruning mountain, which I moved from the orchard to the fenceline by the woodshed and pear tree, thinking that we would use them in the fire soon. Ha. The pile is far too big. It must be moved, not just so I can chicken-wire the fence but so I can finish pruning the pear tree. I think I could finish that while the chickens are in the orchard. Now the main thing that needs to be done before the chickens can move in is finishing the vege beds and chicken-wiring the orchard side of them. The Husband isn’t on-call this week so hopefully we can get it done soon. Soon!

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Chicken-wiring the fence is straightforward, right? Only on the tidy sheep neighbours’ side (at back). Before this, comes…
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… this. A way has been cleared for the wire. And before this, comes…
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… this. Eek! This is what it has been like all along this fence. But wait, there’s more! The pile of branches behind that netting is rather long. That part’s my bad, but I have a sudden understanding of where a lot of my weed problems have come from.

We also piled up the trailer with a load to take to the dump. I didn’t get to go, as I had to run a few errands, including getting some things from Bunnings: chicken wire (which I had to get from elsewhere), seed potatoes (yes, I’m running late) and staples for the staple gun (The Husband had misplaced the staples in the transition between garage clean-up and workbench mess-up). It was hugely satisfying to get rid of that rubbish though. Things are getting more tidy and organised, bit by bit. Although there is still more stuff to deal with, every bit helps and every bit lifts the spirits.

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There is still some stuff to deal with, but the crap shack has gone, as has the old garage carpet, the rubbish I dug out of the orchard, an old aerial that was leaning against the garage, some old, water-damaged cupboards from the garage and various other things. I also cleaned and disinfected the Hospital Cage and put it in the garage. The chickens are going to move from one side of the garage to the other.
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A pretty, large moon also lifts the spirits.
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