Mischiefs' Folly

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by mischief, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Yeah, when I do something new and different, I usually take a long time to get it done. Some of it is just cold feet, but I have learnt that if I am not sure about it, its best to wait,question people who should know something about it, have a look around to see what others have done and how it went.

    My neighbour came over to see me after work on Saturday because Amy got out again. Well they both got out of their pen through a dirty big hole they managed to dig under the gate.She then jumps the fence and goes visiting the neigbour who wasnt at all fussed about it til she started wandering down the front of his section by the road, so....he tied her up in his back yard where he could keep an eye on her and that where I found her when I got home.

    Jack was still in My backyard being the good boy he is but still he scampered over to the dog box even though he couldnt get in due to all the glass I have stashed in there. He, at least lets me know that He knows he has been naughty.
    She on the other hand squints her eyes wags her entire body and Smiles. I kid you not! She smiles like she is saying "I've been naughty but you arent going to be angry with lil' ol' me, are you?" It Is hard to be stern when the damn bitch smiles so lovingly at you!

    We had a good chat about the glasshouse and the base of it in particular, which is the main part that has been worrying me. He now works for a concreting company and we discussed the merits of a concrete skirting wall versus a post and bearer system and decided that it would be better to go with the posts and original bearers....I just couldnt figure out how deep the posts should go to be stable.
    They will be round 500 above ground so he suggested I put them at around 300 deep with concrete footings, so I will be going with that.

    When I got the last slab for the kitchen benches, my friend threw in a freebee bit of slab that I didnt really want, my neighbour wanted to have this so we hauled it out from in front of the garage to where he could cut it up for what he wanted-to go around his letterbox.
    This had been bowled over by some visitor when they were celebrating his wifes' birthday. Apparently this is the third time somebody has knocked it over so he has set it back alittle more away from the driveway and up on a concrete platform. So far he hasnt put the bits of slab up so I'm not sure what he is going to do with it yet.(I just went out to see if he had finished this little project but he hasnt).

    I might be able to get some of the left over bits of concrete they often get after doing a delivery, so will have to get a key for the gate cut for him. I am putting this off til after winter too so I can try to be there when they do have surpluses. Apparently, these usually just get dumped in their yard and...not too sure what they do with it after that.
    I definitely have a need for concrete in any quantity.....after winter.

    I did manage to finish the back steps up to the garden this week and the curved wall on the other side of the water tank path, using bought bags of concrete.They arent perfect, ( neither am I) but look bloody good all the same.
    And yes I will put some pics of them on my blog at some point in the not too distant future.

    Tomorrow is induction day at the nursery so my year is now officially over. I dont have a life over winter, all I do is work...and plan my next load of excitement.
     
  2. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    how is the glass house going? :)
     
  3. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Hi Songbird,
    Its winter here and a rainy one for a change.

    I dont get much done at all over winter cos all I do is work. I have been staying with a friend during the week and only coming home on the weekend so absolutely nothing is getting done here at the moment.
    Thanks to my puppies, I dont have any chooks.....they ate them over a couple of weeks and consequently spent the next week locked up in the woodshed,each in a separate bay with a stinky dead chook tied around their neck.
    I have to say that, yes I seriously considered murder!
    Added to my next season list is get new chooks and make sure their wings are clipped so they can not get out of their yards.
    I will be doing to the puppies, what I did to my old dog to make sure that he knew the chooks were NOT prey, put their specifically for his amusement.....and hopefully, they will be old enough by then to get the point.

    The glasshouse is still sitting in the back yard in pieces, waiting for me to actually have time to do something with them.
    I have worked out exactly how all the bits are going to be used, but when I'm either not here, or I am getting home when its dark and leaving again before its light, doing anything other than thinking about it is not an option.

    Having said that, I did manage to do some work on the espaliered pear trees one sunday when I got home early.
    So their branches have all been tied down.
    I have come to the conclusion that it is best to untie the ends of the branches when they are growing so there are no unsightly bends to deal with and will do so in spring. Should make it easier to get straighter branches. What I found was that when the branches grow in spring and over summer; if they are still tied down horizontally, they start to grow at a more acute angle. This made it difficult to tie them down so they are nice and straight in autumn.

    The other thing I managed to get done was order some more trees from my favorite nursery-Southern Woods. I was alittle late in putting my order in, so missed out on some of the things I wanted. oh well...next year.
     
  4. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I won my court case against the garage that refused to repair my work truck last week.
    My winter season work is now all finished and I have started getting to work on my back yard again.

    I sent my weed eater (line trimmer?) in for a service and when I got it back, went over the back third of the section with it. I didnt want to mow it straight away as the grass was alittle too high and I didnt know what toys my dogs had left there.
    Once that was all knocked down and dried off abit, it got its first mowing.It might be a third the size it used to be and abit patchy, but looks and feels quite nice to be in.There is a definite running track where the dogs have been running around the old chooks dome. Not too sure what to do about that if anything.
    The old chooks dome has been dismantled and disposed of. I had thought to reuse it but it had become quite brittle.
    The clothes line has once again been dismantled. I'm still going to use it, but for now need the space.It hadnt been wired up properly and wasnt square, meaning it needed to be re wired.

    Right now, I'm not too sure what of my little projects I'm going to get done, if any this year because my brother has just been diagnosed with Motor Neuron disease. I really only have to work on the weekends so I will be going up to Auckland to look after him and come home for the weekends. Still a bit shell shocked by this.

    A friend is having to find somewhere else to live and has been having difficulty finding some where that will let them have their dog, so they may been moving in. While it will be great to have them there looking after the place, they are mobility impaired as well and cant be expected to keep the gardens up, as much as they might want to....hmm note to self, plant ground covers-pumpkins, blocks of sweet corn and hull-less sunflowers.

    I treated myself to some locally made seats. These were made using the old timber out of one of the buildings of the now defunct timber mill.
    One really long one is going in the parking area where I made a space between the Pear tree beds for it. Unfortunately, they made it 4cm to long. I cant be bothered hauling it back to get them to fix it or replace it. Instead I borrowed my mums jig saw and will trim the wide arm rests so it can slide in between the posts.
    This little spot is a great place to sit late afternoon, in summer because the fence gives just the right amount of shade and since the neighbour filled in all the gaps in the fence, its quite private. Their pizza oven also acts as good sound proofing as well.

    Another seat is in the courtyard for now. This will be going out the back to the lawn area at some stage, but with my friend possibly moving in, I'll leave it there for now so they will be able to enjoy it.
    The last one is up on the terrace where its in all day sun in winter.

    I've got a whole heap of baby basil plants needing to be transplanted today. These were started off in a friend's home made propagator-ply sides and bottom with a fluro light over the top. I was dubious about how well this would work, but am now looking at making one of my own.
    The basil is actually for a friend who wants to make enough pesto for the whole year. Hopefully there will be enough for us both to make it up and store it in the freezer.
    I think this sort of propagator will improve my chances of getting the banana, licorice and stevia seeds to grow.
    The banana seed is supposed to be a lady finger type that is hardy once established. As bananas are my most favourite fruit, I will be over the moon if I get these growing. I have let friends know that if I do get them to grow, there will be Surpluses to share and to let me know if they want one or two, depending on how many I get going.

    If the stevia takes off as I hope, this will be my sugar substitute, at least til I get the bee hives up and running.
    And the licorice...well, I have always loved licorice-my favourite sweetie. Nice in herbal teas as well.
    I still have an old compost bin my daughter in law gave me when they moved to Brisbane. One of the 4 foot tall ones, round , with a removeable lid. This has been loaded up with composting material now so that when the plants are needing to be planted out the have something tall to grow in. That way, come harvest time, I only need to pull the bin off and push the whole lot over, rather than dig 4 feet to get those lovely roots out.

    On my way back from Auckland, I popped in to the Waimea nursery in Matamata, to see what goodies they had. This is where I found the black raspberry. I had mentioned a while ago about the American Pawpaw, I had tried to grow from seed with no success.
    This trip I found they had 4 plants so snagged two of them.
    These apparently need two trees of different parentage to set fruit, if memory serves. So I am hoping these are just that and not clones from one plant.
    They grow 3m by 3m. One is in the small garden up behind the water tank and the other in front of the chooks forage yards by the back lawn.
    Bit by bit, I am getting my favourite foods to hand.
    Looking for the Tea Camellia now.

    My lemon tree has been growing well so I dont think I need worry about replacing it and I noticed that the Almond I planted last year has baby fruit. I'll wait and see how many it holds onto before I nip most of them off. I should really take all of them off, but will let it bear a few and make sure its well fed.
    Southernwoods nursery obviously missed my order somehow, which is disappointing, but I have been told about another on the way to AK that I will check out.

    I feel like I am slowly getting my little woodland clearings effect with the fruit trees and cant wait for them to hurry up and grow.
     
  5. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    welcome back! :)
     
  6. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Thanks, I've missed you guys. Its been hard staying somewhere with no internet for so long.
    Luckily my brother does, so I can keep up with what you all get up to.
     
  7. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    Cheers for the update and really sorry to hear about your brother mischief and hope that you and your brother are doing ok.
     
  8. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Thanks Chookie,
    I havent been posting much recently,initially because I couldnt log in and then just when things get going well;the Universe drops a bomb shell.
    My brother informed me that I was not going to babysit him thank you very much. ...Does he not realise its my big sis right to do so??? no, we need to talk alittle more about this when he has got over the shock of it all.
    Mum goes up every week to see him and I will go up every now and then.

    Last week, I smoked a Kahawai-bought one unfortunately.I have had a smoker for some years now but never actually used it.
    When my mate learnt this, I was sent off to buy a fish and shavings so I could take up a treat for my brother.
    We did a practise run on a couple of fillets from fish my son in law caught for me. One fillet was done witht brown sugar and the other with golden syrup. I preferred the golden syrup one. There has to be a way to do this with out using sugar though. I had almost weaned myself off the stuff.
    I think I've caught the smoking bug, that fish was fantastic.I keep wondering how my cheese would taste and more importantly, store if it was smoked.

    My mate did wind up moving in while they sort out their next flat.Up until today, I was going to say that this has gone really well,lol.
    My two dogs decided to have a scrap right down the back of the section,consequently we all have bites to contend with and I may have to take Jack to the vets to deal with a tear on one shoulder.
    I stupidly did not have Jack muzzled...nuff said.

    I finally got the courage up to make a start on the glasshouse. So far I have all four corners concreted in place and the posts and bearers in place on one of the long sides.
    The far end wall has the bearer sitting in place, waiting for me to put the other three posts in.
    As good luck would have it, my mate had a proper "square", so I didnt have to muck around so much making sure everything Was square.
    I'm going to do the front wall that will have the door last.

    My neighbour came over to see if he could have the 3x2's from my old fence. He's decided to build a chook house and run and get chooks. He did ask what happened to my chooks and when I told him and said I wasnt going to get any more until I was positive that their run was fool proof, he said that he would let me have some of their eggs.

    He did check out the progress on the glasshouse and was hinting about maybe there would be some framings etc, left over. I told him that there probably would be, but until I actually get to check out each section, I couldnt be sure as to how much.

    The seed sowing has got started and the first bed s ready to get planted out.
    I still grow the mustard, mustard lettuce and turnips so they are flowering from late winter.The first lot are starting to run out of flowers and the seed pods filling up well. When that happens I have been strategically tossing the lot where I want them to grow next.
    Its been a real buzz seeing how many bees are all over the place. I just hope that their 'manager' is treating them well.
     
  9. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Forgot a few things.
    I had some black sesame seed that I bought some time ago from a bulk foods place. This year I realised that it was unhulled seed so I did a small sowing of it not really expecting anything to happen. Yay! they grew. At this stage they are only at the two leaf stage.
    I have some white unhulled seed somewhere and need to dig them out to see if they will sprout too.
    Somehow I doubt that I will ever be able to grow enough to satisfy all my needs for this but....who knows, the nursery may relent and let me have a small(ish) fallow section to practise on.

    I got some sorghum seed from the Koanga nursery and this time it actually grew. Last time I tried none of it came up.
    This one is supposed to have nice white pop-able seeds and the stalks are supposed to be the type you can crush for a sugary syrup.
    I'd say maybe 75% of them have come up so far.

    Another new thing I'm hoping to add to my little eco system, is fenugreek. This is supposed to be one of the spices in curry powders, so I decided to see if I could get this to grow as well. So far so good.

    Only one grain of the French Red Rice looks like it is sprouting and so far none of the wild rice has come up. This maybe because it is not moist enough. I havent actually done my research on these, just bunged them in.

    The hull-less sunflowers have just about all sprouted. I was proudly showing these to a friend when they asked......."why do these have seed coatings if they are supposed to be hull-less?".....errmm, good point.
    Going to have to wait and see what happens. They are an F1 hybrid, soooo maybe they will still pleasantly surprise me.

    I'm off to Auckland tommorrow. I am taking my camara and my laptop with me so me more computer savy family members can work out why I havent been able to find and post my photos on my photoblog.
    Mum dug out some old photo albums with pics of how things looked when we first moved here so I am hoping to some how show how it has evolved.
    It took me hours to get the camara and the laptop to talk to each other. I'm sure it was sheer accident, but then I couldnt find the pics, yet they were no longer on the camara...arhhh!!

    My NZ cabbage trees are all in flower and the one that now has five mature trunks also has five lovely beg heads of flowers coming on.
    The one that isnt flowering this year sort of got smothered by a nearby branch and was looking a little sad and brown up top. I cut away the branch and cleaned it up as much as I could. So far it looks like it is going to live. If it does, this too will have a multi trunk forming.
     
  10. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    My neighbour finished his chook house And got 6 hens, now he is working out how to fence off the back yard so they can roam like they did at my place. So far he's fenced his vegie garden....nice to see somebody gained from my pain.
    He took obvious delight in asking me if I would like some eggs, unfortunately I had some in the fridge and had to decline but was given a 6pack to take over when I run out.
    Since then I have started on a paleo diet in support of a friend and dont eat eggs,dairy or gluten. Well trying hard not to. Using the Terry Wahls protocol lets us still eat some of the things that are not normally allowed on Paleo diets like non gluten grains, soaked seeds and nuts and the nightshade family, so I havent been over to ask for eggs. I think I'll ask for some and give them to my daughter in law, that should keep everyone happy..

    I'm still working on sanding, rust converting, priming and painting the framing. Once this last piece is painted I can then put the end walls up and the adjacent side walls and roof bits.
    Once thats done I just need to measure the gap and cut the middle sections to fit.
    It went alot faster when my neighbour took pity on me and introduced me to circular wire brushes that fit on electric drills. Have to say I was starting to tear my hair out with the really slow progress.
    I measured the 'foundations' again but this time corner to corner and was gutted to see that they were 3cm out....sooo, not square. I have managed to get that down to 1 cm and still have the right lengths for everything. Next week I get to see just how clever I am when we put the walls up.
     
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  11. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    oh yeah, when Ma was making stepping stones and having to clean them off she was doing it by hand with wire brushes and then we got her set up with a wire brush drill fitting - much better! a while later she figured out how to make them so that she didn't have to clean them so much.. really helped.

    you kept your drawings and measurements right? :)
     
  12. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Drawings and measurements? You mean the ones from the original glasshouse or the in progress one?
    The in progress one got eaten by annoyed (I assume) puppies when my back was turned, but......

    As it turns out so far, my measurements appear to be absolutely spot on!!.
    Last week a friend helped me put up the two end walls and their adjacent side walls and one of the roof brackets.
    That took five hours and by the end of it I was 'totalled'.
    The next day I grabbed up the roof frames that went with those wall frames and lined them up on the parking area, using the garden edge as a straight line, then measured the gap in the new walls and using another wider frame to check everything was in line.
    When the two chosen roof frames were put in place..Voila! all the gaps and ribs that the cladding sit on, lined up.
    What I found was it may have been easier to have used side wall frames that had 4 'ribs' each rather than the bits that went with the end walls. That would have meant that only two wall pieces would have been needed instead of three.
    Having said that, it might not have gone according to plan if I had.

    The two middle sections of wall have been chosen and lined up with the roof frames.
    Now all I have to do is measure and cut the feet and the tops at one end of each, rivet a couple of bits on the foot of the walls that are already up to make sure that the middle wall stays in line...(starting to sound complicated but it isnt, just hard to explain).
    The bottoms of the wall frames all have 'U' shaped bottoms that sit snug over the bearers they sit on. On the right side of a frame is a piece that is attached and juts out for the next wall frame to fit over. Because I am trying to fit a middle section between two already put up and cut off the surplus from the end that has a guide on it, I need to rivet a guide to the bottom of the wall frame to the right of the middle so the middle piece will just sit on top and then get riveted in place. whew.

    Instead of working on the middle sections I have had to run around and empty the parking area of 'Stuff' that I have accumulated and hoe out offending weeds that had made themselves at home.
    My neighbour let me know that he has started back at work and that they had again just dumped 3 cubes of concrete.
    We went over what I needed to do so if they had another load to find a home for, he could just call me and turn up to pour and scree my whole parking area with heavy duty concrete. Not saying where or why they are having to dump the occasional load.
    They have a contract til September, so there may in fact be more to use, if they dont think I am being greedy in asking for more. OH!! I could get the courtyard 'paved',the porch leveled with the house, all my garden paths paved....

    Today I went to get back into the sanding of wall frames only to find that my trusty ol' drill will not hang on to the bit and keeps spitting it out. (It is rather old and rattly sounding),I'm waiting for my neighbour to come home just in case he can fix it, but I have a nasty feeling that I will have to go buy another drill. This time of year is Not a good time for me to buy anything because I have just had a two week month and the next pay day is only alittle bit better. I dont like Xmas because I have 2-4weeks worth of no money coming in. It didnt help that mum cooked my new old double cab ute I recently bought,(it was a major step down from my little mazda eunos) or that I just used up all my emergency buffer to buy another much more modern one to replace it with-got a 2012 Great wall. Hopefully that will see me through the rest of my driving days.

    Anyway. all the wall/roof bracings have been sanded, primed and painted. So to have the roof flashings and half the window vents that go along the top of the roof line. There is just the middle sections to do and the roof/roof bracings, oh and the door.

    Thats the framework almost out of the way. When I'm done with that, I'll trot two doors down to visit my friendly conservatory builder to see if I can buy the cladding though him.

    I may have found two more sources of 'stuff' to build up the base of the glasshouse floor. I'm raising the level with tree trunks, wood chip, leaf mulch etc...
    My Yoga instructor, long suffering friend, is still waiting for me to get back to his hazelwood grove and has said that I can have all the thinnings and as much firewood as I want. He has alot of downed trees that have been sitting around for some years, so we will be going through these to find all the ones that are no good for firewood due to being alittle 'punky'.
    Another friend has access to calf shed litter every year, so there is a yearly supply of top up.
    I have just organised for a tree man to come over and cut out the two black wattles that are leaning towards the road in a most unbecoming manner. The thinning will go inside the glasshouse and the trunk will keep me warm this winter.
    I will let him know that he is quite welcome to dump as much wood chip as he likes in my turning bay.....you never know til you ask.

    I think my neighbour is interesting in having some of the framing to put a roof over a deck he is going to build off his garage. One whole side of his garage is a Bar. Seriously, it has a bar, fridge to keep the booze cold, bar table and stools, lounge chairs, sound system and TV.and a pot belly stove for those cold winter nights. Definitely needs a deck for these sultry summer days.
    We'll have to measure it up and see how much he needs. I do have to keep some back to do the roof of the dining room and bump out kitchen window And enough so my other friend can do the conservatory off the side of her house.hmm, should go see her about that this week. That will be less 'Stuff' lying around that I would feel the need to sand and at least prime before winter.

    Bro' got a new speedy wheelchair just before Xmas and his mate concreted a ramp out from the front door so he can now get outside. He and his dog go for long 'walks', has been able to go up the road to do his shopping and is much happier now that he can get out and about again.
     
  13. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    This last week, I have finally managed to get the middle walls trimmed with the angle grinder and put in place. I was alittle worried about one of them cos it didnt seem to be fitting properly. A bit of a jiggle and it popped into place.
    I had to prise off a couple of wall joiners from other frames that were too far gone to be useful and have these bolted on so that the middle wall frames are now nicely secure.
    I was hoping to get all the roof frames up but only managed 3 of them. The first one took way too long cos I tried to put it up with the window vent and glass in place. Once this was taken off it went much better
    If it doesnt rain tomorrow, I will get the last three up. I still need to trim the middle sections same as I did with the wall frames,but really do need all the others in place and all bolted to be sure they get cut to the right size.

    The trees I had planted for firewood have been cut down. These cost me more than it would have cost if I had just bought a load cos I had to get a specialist in due to them being right on the roadside and one was leaning too much for even my mate to deal with.
    The others that were further along the driveway, werent such a problem and I probably could have done them myself. Hopefully these will regrow. I'm not too sure that they will as the first lot I got cut out didnt. I think this may be because they were cut in summer, not winter when they would be sort of dormant. We shall just have to wait 'n see.

    All the smaller branches got put through their chipper and piled up nice and neat for me to move to their new home. 20 wheelbarrows (large) later, I had my first layer inside the glasshouse.
    All the old bits of trunk that couldnt be split for firewood from earlier loads got put around the edge under the bearers and the wood chip got piled inside of that.I have left a corner bare of chip so this will be at ground level. Just big enough to fit the potting bench and walk inside.
    The last 3 barrow loads got used to mulch the to-be garden bed between the parking area and the courtyard.
    If I hadnt been offered the glasshouse, I would have been working on the courtyard this year. It was supposed to be the next thing on the To-Do list.

    I did let it be known that I would welcomeas much woodchip as they would like to leave me. I should have said something when they first came around to check it out cos they had just done a big job afew days before my little one and I would have got that lot too. They were very happy to accommodate saying that they quite often had trouble finding homes for it. So far they havent left anything for me. They have dropped some off at the friend who put me onto them and she did remind them not to forget me.
    Hopefully when they do turn up, I will be here and will ask if it would be possible to get some lengths of any hard wood,like oak to make some mushroom stumps with.

    I did grab up three thicker diametre bits of trunk that looked too hard to split, strategically drilled holes and hammered in the Oyster mushroom dowels that have been sitting patiently in the fridge. I dont know if they will actually grow anything, but I was told that Black wattle is a hard wood and not resinous, so I decided to give it a go.
    These are now sitting nestled into the ground with leafmold raked up around them and a compost and leaf hat each, in a shady spot.
    Now I wait patiently for 9-12 months to see if anything will happen.

    The smaller bits of trunk have been split and hauled up to the wood shed by yours truly, well not quite all of it. I still have maybe a third left to do.
    The woodshed is filling up nicely and I still need to go finish thinning the hazelwood grove

    We have been pigging out on Hawera plums and Oranges. I occasionally get to have a raspberry when the pups arent looking. I was going to cut out the lower branches of the plum tree cos they are really annoyingly hanging over the way to the back steps but I like that the dogs can help themselves to the fruit from these, so they have just been cut so they no longer get tangled in my hair.

    The baby Luisa plum has 6 fruit on it. I hadnt noticed most of them and thought it had only 2 til mum pointed them out. These are not quite ripe yet but not far off and the Peach tree down by the road is so loaded that the branch on the driveway side is bowed down but luckily not broken. These I think are still a week or two away.

    I have had an interesting visitor to nana's apple tree. A very colourful parrot, not the huge white one, has been feeding off the fruit at the top of the tree. I tried to get a photo of it but the sun was in just the wrong spot.
    For some reason, the fruit at the top of the tree are mid to large sized but the ones lower down are quite tiny.and unfortunately, they have signs of codlin moth so I am going to have to do something about that.Looks like a friends mum is going to have apples for her pigs soon.
    Maybe I could ask her for some pig dung for the glasshouse.

    One of the Pear tree beds didnt seem to have any more bits of convovulus trying to break through, so this has been planted out with vegies and its edging of Winter Savory. Apart from the rocket bolting because it was way too hot for it, this seems to have gone quite well. Chinese cabbage,rocket, kohl rabi,a ton of loose leaf lettuce, which I did have to harvest pretty much within two weeks cos It was starting to bolt. I've put my Stevia cuttings in more to the back which are doing well. I hope this is a good spot for it over winter, but to be on the safe side will again take some cuttings and have them side....or in the glasshouse if I get the cladding on in time.

    The birds got all the mulberries but the chestnuts are still green.
    I need to do abit of research on how to prune them so they stay a reasonable size without setting them back so much that they dont set fruit for a year or two like the last time I pruned it.
     
  14. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Finally got the roof frames all up. Had to take the last bit off and cut off a cm of the top so it would fit properly.
    I've put four roof vents up instead of the eight I was going to do.
    Everything is square and straight which is fantastic. Getting the roof/roof bracings up has been a head ache. I have been trying to not cut pieces which in hindsight is silly. Unfortunately, today is drizzly so I can cut but I dont think I'll be able to put them up. We'll just have to see how it goes.

    I popped over to visit my new neighbour and spent a good hour or so chatting with him. He's going to be putting up a huge shed up along the boundary and I wanted to see how and where it was going to go. I had already told him before he bought the place, that I didnt have a problem with it going up. (Nowadays, you have to get neighbours agreement for such things).
    He's going to be doing alot of earthworks and may need a home for some which of course I will be only too willing to help with. That should help raise the level of the 'floor' and out of house beds to where I want them.
    I asked him if he had a problem with the hedge to be allowed to grow alot taller and for me to arrange for one of the local companies to come in twice a year to trim his side of it. It really needs to be only another two feet.........before he has the council over because I messed up and have built the glasshouse twice the allowed size without a permit.
    He laughed at this and told me all the things he and others had done and pointed out that the area he is putting the shed on is going to be leveled which would drop the ground by almost a metre where you can se the glasshouse from his side of the fence.
    If I do get snapped, I've already figured out how to re arrange things.

    The peach tree I planted right down on the roadside is so loaded with fruit!!! So far, I've had the odd one or two that have been lovely and ripe and alot more juicy than they were last year.
    Just in time to replace the oranges which are just about all gone.
    I havent had to buy fruit at all this year (except for bananas which I just cannot live without)
    The apple tree is still loaded and as I have just found my fruit plucker( a long pole with a claw like thing on the end and small bag directly under that), I can now get to the larger apples higher in the tree.

    The mature Avocado has a number of small fruit where I can reach them with and without the ladder. I am going to make frost clothe bags to tie over these so the ones I can reach, dont get frost burnt over winter.

    The sunflowers have all proved to not be hull-less so these will be going to mum and neighbours chooks for treats.

    Ages ago, I found a handful of rather shrivelled up tumeric tubers at a fruit and vege shop out of town. I bought them, took them home and popped them in a pot of compost and just left them on my potting up bench. This week one of these has sprouted. If I can keep it going, then I have another favourite herb/spice to hand.

    The Nigella have almost finished flowering and are producing seed pods so soon I will be able to do the taste test on those to see how these will work in my diet.
    I just sprinkled these all over the place and it looks like most of them have come up and done well is alot of different types of places from morning sun only,afternoon sun only and partial shade.

    I checked on the mushroom stumps and found again that their little cap of compost and leaves had come off. Around the holes where the dowels were inserted I can see a small amount of mycelium forming up already. It looks like the black wattle trunks may be okay for mushrooms after all.
     
  15. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I got my first load of wood chip from my friendly tree fella.
    Instead of hauling it all up to the glasshouse, which is half full already, I decided to use it to mulch alongside the driveway up to the gate on the boundary side.
    I have alot of natives I planted along here AND some self sown Kowhai seedlings. That means I dont have to worry about weeding along here for a while and should make my neighbours happy too.
    I have been taking note of shady spots with the idea of trying to innoculate the chip with mushrooms after it has cooled down. Dont know if it will work but I'm going to give it a go and will have to remember exactly which sort I try out where.
    I did find a couple of mushrooms under the grapefruit tree when I was harvest walnuts. I was pretty sure they were from bought mushrooms that had spores. I had a nibble only cos I wasnt sure and had no after effects from them. Kicking myself for not noting down where I had put the old mushies.

    I found some polygal cladding for sale on trademe and bought what I thought was enough to do both the side walls. When these arrived I discovered that they were slices off sheets and so the channels run side to side instead of top to bottom. Not too sure what difference that makes.
    So far have all of one wall up and most of the second. I thought I had prepped enough of the timber framing for the lower vents but after still have two to take off the original bits of framing, sand back and paint.
    My measurements were out and I wound up having enough cladding to do the lower section of one end wall and half of the lowered section of the far end wall.
    Have to wait for a bit more money to come my way before I can get some more.
    I just emailed the seller to see if they can supply the full 2.4m sheets and if so I can then get the roof cladding up and finish the end walls.

    I went down to the local bottling plant and asked for a whole heap of cardboard boxes. Took a while to get the tape all off but there was enough to go around the base of the glasshouse and to mulch one of the paths as well.
    After talking to my new neighbour,I might be able to get a couple of tons of soil dropped over the fence when he excavates the area on the other side of the fence for his shed.
    I'm thinking seriously about cutting down the Feijoa closest to the fence so I have a clear dumping space. The hedge is alot lower at that point as well.....thats the reason why I mulched the path.
    I was looking at it and thought that if all this soil gets dumped over here,there will probably be enough to have the outer beds around the glasshouse wider than I was going to do.

    Actually, I am getting quite excited about the prospect.

    I think I will go back and get as much as they will let me have to cover a few more strategic areas. It wont stop the convovulus from coming up, but will help with the other unwanteds
    I have given up worrying about having convovulus. I just go around just before things get too thick or start to flower and chop it off at the knees,pulling as much as I can,then leave it to drape over something tall so it is off the ground and dries out.Once its all brown and brittle chuck back on the ground to break down.It seeems to be working with what is still growing looking more and more spindly.

    Had a lovely day harvesting Hazelnuts and walnuts from my long suffering friend. I have 3 weeks left to make a start on his hazel wood grove before my winter season starts. I do wish they hadnt gone away when I had set the time aside for it cos up until now, every time I've thought to head over, something has come up or it has rained. I now have all my chainsaw gear in the back of the ute all ready.

    I popped over to see a friend who wants some framing to build their own little glasshouse. They are still trying to get their trailer back from a friend so they can come pick it up.
    Meanwhile I have stashed spare parts in my store room so they are out of the weather over winter and so we dont get all the bits mixed up.

    Slowly, I'm getting my courtyard back and its looking less and less like 'steptoes' junk yard.
    I have jammed the two spare end walls pointy bit first into the leanto to keep the rain off that end, had to use one of the doors to help block the internal fence to stop Amy from jumping out.Looks quite rough, but with the aluminium ranchslider that was going to be the door of the original (smaller) glasshouse bolted in place in front of the gate, I can now get into this area behind the garage more easily.

    I'm sort of working my way round the yard getting alittle more tidier with each passing.One day I'll get to this properly too. Next year it will become my new recycling centre when I finally get all my "interesting and useful bits" put in one place, out of the way.
     
  16. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    hi, good to see you write a note here again. :)

    there are few mushrooms i would eat if they were coming up in a wood chip garden.
    around here we do have morels and they are good eating. when rinsing them off
    in cold water take the water and spread it around. if you have fruit tree roots
    that will help, or even burying fruit tree wood will help to encourage them.

    i was going to do some innoculating of green wood with known spores, that and
    and having a good picture of what is expected. i just don't know enough otherwise
    to risk my health on some possibly unknown mushroom.

    otherwise sounds like you are doing great there! :) we are just starting our
    gardening season this week. had snow last week still. can't plant much until
    the middle or end of May...
     
  17. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I did place mature mushrooms around the place but have forgotten exactly where they went, so I was alittle hesitant about eating the whole thing in case I poisoned myself. I am not confident that I can correctly spot the difference between good and bad. The one I tasted looked like a good one except that the gills were not brown, smelt right and tasted right, enough for me to nibble a little piece only.

    Apparently there is a native mushroom that would grow really well here based on what I have read from the gourmet mushroom co (nz), but I havent heard back from them about it yet.
    The heat should be out of the mulch by now and that anti fungicide trees produce should be all gone, so this week I will put the cultures in strategic places, this time I will be documenting where the hell they are.

    Sometimes I think I am doing great too, but then I see things I just didnt get to or something got away on me again, or I change my mind about where something is going to go and changing it makes a bloody mess in the process. It takes me ages to do things when I just arent sure of myself, which annoys me.
    I guess the only thing to do, is to look at how far things have improved compared to before I even started. It seems that while you are in progress, it is hard to see how much things Have improved with all the in progress projects sitting in your face.
    It would, of course, be beneficial if I actually finished one thing fully before starting on something else.Something I highly recommend to others.

    My mate finally got their trailer back but have to get the warrant of fitness done on it, then they can come and pick up their glasshouse framing and maybe some of the aluminium conservatory framing as well.AH! more junk gone
    Some things I have learnt with fruit trees.
    Apples can ripen over a long period of time and you can leave them on the tree til you need or want them- within reason.
    I have been munching on these for months now. Some do fall off but most have stayed put. They probably should be harvested soon and shared out though cos it is starting to get cold and I have a feeling they will probably all drop when their leaves do.

    Peaches on the other hand seem to ripen pretty much all at once, or in a much shorter time. When they drop, they start to rot almost straight away. Which reminds me that I need to get out there and trim back all those broken branches and maybe trim down the longer ones while I am at it.

    I put some of those lovely Great white northern beans that pippimac sent me around the baby Almond tree. While it looked like they were doing well together, harvesting the dried beans from out of the canopy was a trial.
    Next time I think I will use the dwarf beans instead. I have damaged some of the branches trying to untangle the beans' vine.
    The great white might be okay to grow up through the plum tree as it is bigger and the canopy is not so at risk, And I can climb that one to a degree to get the beans out if I have to.

    The Persimmon did not like the kumara vine climbing up into it. Its branches got pulled down and looked a little sad till I unraveled them.
    The fruit on this is starting to change colour so it wont be long before we are eating these.
    -- - - -
    I also found that carpeting thyme does not like sharing space with taller plants or like them hanging over them.
    The one under the pear tree was doing well til I planted the peppers next to them, with the result that the thyme went brown and stopped growing. Luckily, there is still enough green for it to make a come back.

    The lemon thyme I have growing next to the steps up around the water tank had the beans and yellow pear tomatoes hang over them with the same result- nasty bare brown stems.

    I have changed my mind about having a narrow bed running around the outside of the glasshouse with a small bit next to the door. Instead there is going to be No bed next to the door which means I can run the central path right next to the glasshouse and use the extra space for the vegie beds opposite the glasshouse.....but that means moving the beds where I have the apple trees growing. Something I will be doing in the depth of winter.
    The beds to the north and to the east are going to be a bit wider,800mm instead of 600 and the one to the west'ish, I am doing away with the path that is there. By not building the sleepout on the original site I had earmarked for a smaller glasshouse, I can make the glasshouse bed extra wide and maybe put in a couple of keyhole paths for access and have a narrower bed along the rosemary hedge. The path along here will now be running further around so I can get to the Feijoa trees too.

    On the photo up date....in desperation I asked a friend if they could load my pictures onto my computer. They came back with them loaded onto a USB stick and were a bit rushed for time, so didnt tell me how to move them over quickly.....so....I am still loading pics from one place to the other so I can go through them all and put them in their proper sequences.
    Eventually I will get there!!
     
  18. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I just finished eating the last of the 24 persimmons from my very own tree.Yum! These are now my most favourite fruit! I wasnt too sure about leaving them on the tree when I knew there would be frosts so I cut them all off. Apart from one, they all stayed nice just sitting on the bench til I ate them all.

    I bought afew more natives to plant around the side and front of the section. I was expecting these to arrive in early spring, but no, they came almost straight away. I have replaced the NZ wineberry (makomako) that died out a year or so ago. Hopefully, the two I planted in the same area will be a male and female so I get berries. Underneath are now a raft of Rengarenga lillies. These spread about a metre so they should fill the whole of the area under these trees.

    Under the lemon tree are some more NZ native grasses that have flowers that bees love. cant remember which one of the three types I got that got put there now....cos I didnt do my blog as frequently as I should have done.oh well. When they flower I will be able to tell.

    All the Elephant and normal garlic have been planted out as have the few shallots that I didnt eat, not nearly enough to make a big feed. I let more be eaten than I should have when my friend stayed so now I will have to restrain myself next year. The whle idea was to have enough to grow a years supply.

    The parking area wont be concreted now cos my neighbour put their house on the market and sold it inside a month and are now gone for parts unknown. That left me quite sad as we had been neighbours for 18 years and they never said a word about it or goodbye.
    I really do want to do something here so I am not constantly spraying (organic pine based) weedkiller. My next option I guess is to get a cold seal put down, but I dont know what is worse- having to spray weeds or have a tarseal parking area. I'll think about it til spring comes along and I do need to decide.

    The card board mulch around the glasshouse is standing up well to the constant rain we are having And the rampaging dogs. They just love racing round the backyard, mostly on the paths.

    There is another load of woodchip waiting patiently for me to move. I did tell my tree man to just keep on coming with it, even though its not moving anywhere over winter and that I just needed enough room to get up the driveway, so there is probably enough space for one more large load,maybe two.

    Another 6 weeks and I can have a rest before getting stuck in to it again.

    On the to do list is building an office where my old wood lean-to is,(permit not required as it is an existing building).
    Sealing the parking area, finishing filling up the glasshouse and getting the rest of the cladding for it.
    Dog proofing the chook yard so I can get some chooks again,building the garden up around the glasshouse-I'm going to do the same thing as I did inside it by using chunks of tree trunks covered with woodchip and topped up with top soil.
    I want to start incorporating more perennial vegie plants under the trees and innoculating with a couple of interesting mushrooms.
     
  19. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    i'm sorry about the neighbor leaving so suddenly and without even a goodbye.
    sad...
    for the parking area, it is always a challenge to keep weeds out, but i thought
    that once you have a gravel base down that drains well you could put creeping
    thyme and let it go. just keep it weeded...
     
  20. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    hmm. Have to think about that one. I can just see me needing to mow it to keep it under control eventually. The whole idea was to not have to constantly do that. It would be a good idea if only other Stuff didnt move in too.

    The baby lemon tree has produced fruit again. This time I cut off most of the fruit when they were tiny so the tree did not stress out again.
    The Avocado also has fruit on it and event though we did have a hard frost, they have stayed firmly attached to the tree.

    The glasshouse did not blow over when we had some seriously strong winds and only one small piece of cladding fell off. I was expecting to come home to find all of it had been torn loose due to it not being fully clad.
    My new neighbour is a nice old lady with two fluffball dogs, so I cannot take my two down to the letterbox without any more in case they take exception to these mouthy mutts.

    The only other thing I have to keep an eye on is the garlic and shallots which are doing really well.
    The miso I made might not be doing too well. there appears to be culture growing on the outside of the pot.It looks okay on the inside but the outside of the pot is covered in a fine brown coating. Doesnt smell noxious though.
     

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