Well it’s been some weeks since I’ve written here. In that time a lot has happened, we’ve moved on from having a list of jobs, too long to contemplate, to feeling like we’re over half way. Spring is both a wondrous time &  alarming for gardeners. The jobs we glanced at fondly in the colder months, thinking ‘aah we have ages to get round to doing that’ suddenly turn into a number of expletives & panic as we realise the garden is burgeoning, weeds & all at a great speed.

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So what have we achieved…well we have about 20 ewes & 20 lambs all looking plump & healthy. Two lambs are off to the butchers next week to provide us & our neighbour with delicious christmas meat. Geoff & same neighbour cut down about 10 of our woodlot gums, these are now drying out, some are split & in the shed, the rest we’ll split with a log splitter in the New Year. So that’s next winter’s wood supply taken care of.

We’ve now got all our Summer veges planted, including spuds, tomatoes, eggplants, salad supplies, pumpkins, cucumbers, chillies, etc etc. The first of the early Summer herbs are getting processed, so lines of bottles filled with olive oil & flowers are appearing in the gardens. Elder, Arnica & Calendula, next will be St John’s Wort, Meadowsweet & Lavender.

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Most of the gardens around the house are pretty tidy & the plants are growing happily, lots of roses at the moment. The orchard is looking lush & we can see plenty of young fruit on the trees. We’ve been propagating a number of herb plants & selling them on Trade Me. This is very satisfying & we are happy to be keeping some of the more obscure plants in supply.

On the ‘to do’ list we have blackberries, Geoff is going to hire a digger & deal to them in the New Year. Yay!! Thistles are more hands on, alas. We have the paths to the house to concrete, to keep us out of the mud next winter, we’ve dug quite a bit up & laid brick edges, but got no further, so for now we walk around the paths. The pizza oven needs some TLC maybe a lime wash or another coat of clay. It looks like we didn’t put enough sand in the first layer to bind it together.We also have an enormous willow to deal to. It has dropped two huge branches right where we normally camp in the summer, & one we just can’t budge, it hangs by what look like mere threads & is very unsafe.

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We are aiming for a stress free Christmas, with simple gifts, if any & simple food, nothing complicated, fingers crossed it might even happen!

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