It’s been a week of praying for rain – it is SO dry here – and at last we had some last night. Only 2mm but every little helps. My vegetables are coming along well and my corn/fish head experiment seems to have worked as the seedlings are coming up beautifully and look very strong. I fought a bit of a running battle between my Doberman, Jack and the mongoose initially as they seemed to think that I had buried the fish heads for them and kept digging them up for ‘snacks’. Jack had to be locked out of that area eventually but I can’t keep the mongoose out so I find evidence of his scavenging whenever I go to water the plants. At least he digs carefully! My spanspek are also coming along well and I know it’s illogical but I’m sort of hoping they attract some porcupines – I would love to see them on the property.
I have run out of place to plant at the moment and can’t wait until the end of November when the new beds I’ve developed will be ready for planting. Meanwhile I’m starting on developing new beds between the cottage and the shed. The area is very steep and rocky but I’m laying down a bed of pine chips and horse manure first and then planting potatoes in sacks on top of that. When the potatoes are ready I’ll tip the soil out on the base and then I can plant vegetables there. The man at the local garden refuse dump knows us well now and when we go on trips looking for soil and other interesting things he always points us in the direction of the best soil that’s been dumped.
I found a big wooden crate on Monday as well as thin planks that had been dumped by the wood yard so I am busy converting that all into a mobile chicken coop that I can move from pasture to pasture with the chickens. I would like to use the system of rotating my goats and chickens to prevent the build up of parasites in the soil and to stop overgrazing. I suppose some people would find the thought of retrieving stuff from a dump a little weird but I’m very into recycling and derive a great deal of pleasure from creating something useful from nothing. My handiwork also supplies my husband with a great deal of amusement – he was joking about putting the Audi logo on my home made chicken shed – Vorsprung durg Technik, I think it is.
The chickens will be moving up to their new enclosure this weekend, I just hope I’ll be able to get them to bed at night as they are a rather wild bunch. They do come when I call them but chickens don’t take very well to change initially. On the sparrow front we have one pair who have decided that my house is their house, I’ve almost given up on trying to remove them as they are so quick to nip inside. They actually sit on the verandah waiting for a door to open and then shoot inside. This morning I caught the little female sitting on the edge of the sugar bowl and helping herself – lovely. Besides being very hygienic that’s all I need –sparrows with a sugar rush.
We haven’t come across any new plants this week but we did find water scorpions in the big dam and the vervets have been here every day eating some berries in a group of bushes near the dam. We also came across a little padloper tortoise on our walk this morning. I have discovered that there is an organization in Groot Brak that works, in conjunction with Cape Nature, with local landowners and helps them to eradicate alien vegetation and to keep things as natural as possible on their ground. They also conduct Wild Bird counts down in the estuary once a month so I will be joining them on 16 October. We have spoken to Cape Nature about restoring as much of our land as possible to fynbos so it’s good to know that there is someone locally who can help us. The website of the organization is www.grootbrakbewarea.co.za – there are some lovely photos of the estuary and the different projects in the area.
Our textile art group met in George this past week and we unveiled our backgrounds that we’d made during the last month. We then exchanged ‘words’ and using them as a starting point have to create something. My word was ‘garden chair’; theoretically two words but anyway, and I was totally uninspired until I decided to go 3D. So - I have constructed a reed chair and using my textiles I will turn it all into a ‘garden’ – again I am supplying my husband with light entertainment. I had a lovely evening eating chocolates and using the papers to create flowers on my chair. I think I must have had a deprived childhood.
Finally on the biking front there is a whole weekend of biking related activities in Groot Brak this weekend. The Rocktober Festival has come to town so there’ll be a breakfast run, mass ride, stunt bikes, concourse, music and all the other stuff that bikers enjoy down at De Dekke which is just off the N2. We’ll definitely pop down and have a look around and maybe go on the breakfast run. Till next week.Ciao.