-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


We've just got back from 3 weeks in Australia during which we spent 5 days in Amherst planting trees! It was a marathon effort and we couldn't have done it without everyone's help, so thanks to everyone who came. (Especially since I
had the flu for several days so was not much use) Saturday and Sunday were the biggest days, and Saturday night we had a BBQ by the stove and gazebo that Dad had built. The evening was finished off with fireworks, but the photos from that didn't work out unfortunately.

Here are a couple of photos
008dad on the tractor 024finished tree with irrigation pipes
009dave with the first hole 020nelson filling up water tank for olives
012getting bbq ready

We planted around 120 trees in total - 70-plus lemon gums to line the
driveway, 30 olive trees up on the hill, and 15 fruit/nut trees as the
start of the orchard. We could only plant the most hardy kind of
trees this trip which could largely look after themselves, so we put
in 2 chesnuts, 5 persimmons, 2 apricot, 4 plums (two kinds)and 2
mulberries. I can't wait to seem them grow! It's brilliant also
because now it feels like we've started.

Despite how small the trees are at the moment, each one required a
huge effort to plant. After the hole was dug by the post hole
digger/tractor thing, the sides had to be chipped in so the roots
could spread out. Then we had to add compost, watering pipes, plant
the tree then lots of mulch. Then we hammered in the stakes (3 for
most, 4 for the bigger trees) and cut and tied wire around them to
protect from kangaroos, sheep, etc. Finally the finishing touch was
tying a square of shadecloth to the lid of each enclosure to provide
protection from frost (which usually hits by sinking down from above)
and also the sun this summer. Then the watering system... laying out
the pipes from the water tank, connecting the taps, digging the
trenches to bury the pipes for the parts cars might drive over.

We started on Thursday, marking out where each tree needed to go.
Friday and most of Saturday was drilling holes and driving stakes.
Planting started Saturday afternoon and continued until Monday
morning, as well as starting the wiring and irrigation system. Monday
afternoon and Tuesday morning were spent finishing the wiring and
attaching the shadecloth. So thanks again to everyone who helped, we
owe you bigtime.

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