Drip Irrigation, YAYYYYYYYYY!

Spaced at 300mm and releasing 3lph, this is stuff is a water and time saver!

Up to now, I have managed to get by without irrigating our market garden (just). Now that summer has arrived (finally), things are starting to dry up, so I bit the bullet and have purchased and installed drip irrigation. What a difference it has made! No longer am I hand watering for 1-2 hours at a time! The drip irrigation makes so much better use of the water, delivering it straight to the root zone. I am still hand watering areas I have direct seeded, mainly because I have not finished laying out the lines, but also to allow me to monitor seedling progress. The irrigation will have gone in just before the start of the working year for me, which will save precious time in the evenings when I get back from work work…. ahhhhh the break has been good, but back to reality….and working 2 jobs…..

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Our first sale!

The title says it all! Today we made our first sale of produce from the farm! Potatoes, pak choi and rhubarb. Things in the market garden are slowly setting fruit (the weather hasn’t exactly been warm, I have been wearing a beanie for the last few days!) and soon we will have produce coming out of our ears, just in time for me going back to work work, where I will be able to drum up some more business.

Thanks to Wayne, Helen, Niamh and Zara for being customers number 000001!

A basket of goodies for our first happy customers! Hopefully many more to come!

Mr Fox update.

No photos in today’s post, just the story.

We were having dinner and were just about done when Hayley took Ava-Li into the lounge room and said, “The fox is eating our strawberries!” Sure enough, at 6:30pm the fox was helping itself to our strawberries. We all ran into the lounge but it didn’t flinch at all, just sniffed around and looked for strawbs. I got my compound bow and 2 broadheads and slowly and quietly opened the window, the fox then went to our top strawberry patch, where I took aim, steadied and released. It was a perfect shot through the fly wire and through the fox! It ran off but did not get very far, dying very quickly. After conferring with Hayley, we took the whole family out to see it. Kobe-Li (bless his soul), said “The fox was so beautiful”. He got upset not so much by seeing the fox dead, but by the fact that the fox was dead. The whole thing gave us the opportunity to have a discussion with him about such things and although he was still a little teary, he eventually was ok with it. We said our goodbyes to the fox and gave it our family blessing (a Quach household thing) and I have now buried her (it was a vixen) under our Christmas tree, a Norfolk Island pine that need to escape the pot.

So was it Mr Fox??? I am pretty sure it wasn’t as it was not as big as Mr Fox (and not as cunning). Was it Moonlight??? Well… no, firstly, there was no moon (Moonlight only shows herself at night when the moon is out) and secondly, the muzzle was not grey like Moonlight’s.

We will keep locking everything up early and fox proof all new enclosures and retro-proof everything else.

One fox down, many thousand to go….

Heading in the right direction!

Below is a bit of a photo update of where we are at. With me having time off from work, it has given me plenty of time to… well… work! I have my man bag of gardening goodies packed to take to “work” with all the most used hand tools in there. Hayley called me a “metro-farmer”, very cheeky indeed! It is very cute actually as I am taking to the habit of saying bye to the family when I go to work and then say “see you all at morning tea”. Tano-Li decided he wanted to go to work with me today, so my little apprentice helped wire up the tomatoes 🙂 Anyway enjoy the photos.

This is an old 'Crumpler' work bag I had that we no longer use. I have now turned it back into my "work bag".

My little padawan learner helping plant beetroot seeds.

We have 9 zucchini plants in and 8 button squash seedlings powering away to the right (not in picture sorry). Hayley seems to think this is enough for us and small sales.... I'm thinking we need double this.... time will tell.

Although they are looking really sorry for themselves, the potatoes I put in months ago have been giving us a steady supply of beautiful potatoes for some time now! It is a bit weedy and the leaves are all dying back but the potatoes taste magnificent!

These guys are literally everywhere! They are on the sunflowers, corn, the strawberries, lettuce, pak choy, zucchini, tomatoes, capsicums etc.... Absolutely sensational to see!

These corn plants were not to most successful I have ever grown, somewhat embarrassing actually. They are “Golden Bantams” and were the second batch I tried. These seeds germinated fine, but have grown slowly, my first batch of “Balanese” corn had a rate of 4 out of 100 seeds germinating… I have direct sown another area which will not cross pollinate and they are already showing themselves after 4 days! Much better!

We have a whole bunch of baling twine laying around and I have wondered what to do with them, so I used them to make a growing vine for the beans as they come up. A little late, but should still get a good harvest by autumn.

This is the whole row of the baling twine growing vines.

Here you can see Hayley's chamomile plants that help attract the bees and also the dried flowers make great chamomile tea. You can also see the tomato trellising inspired by Milkwood OMG. Not as ellaborate as Milkwood, but it will definitely do the job.

So much still to do, as you can see from the last photo, there is a large empty patch of dirt that I still need to prepare and plant up. As the potatoes are being harvested that also leaves an area that requires turning over, manuring with cow and alpaca goodness and then planted with a green manure, ready for winter crops. Call me mad, but this is living!