Spring has arrived at El Pocito. This means several things. First, it’s a lot warmer outside, stripping back from three layers of thermal vest + shirt + fleece, to just a t-shirt (though it’s still cold enough inside to need the stove on). And with everything coming back to life we’ve stopped the planting of trees (resume again in November). Coppicing has finished too, but there’s still a lot of sawing up, to get it down to stove size, then the herculean task of moving it all up from the depths below. Has anyone had any experience with pulleys and rope, to help me haul it singlehandedly?
The pergola/ shading, desperately needed for our seed trays and pots of saplings, has finally been constructed (from box metal) and cemented into place, just awaiting Maureen to lay the floor in stone. Will add a photo once the plants green up a bit.
I move on now to terracing the other half of the old vegetable area, which will be planted up in November to become part of the overall wildwood as we don’t have enough compost to use it for growing traditional annual veg. And that should take about two months, then it’s back up the forestry track to try and sort out the mess all the local 4x4s have created, plus dig out a run-off canal down either side for when it rains.
Indoors I’m working on a new mount design for the solar panels that power our borehole pump. The one we have at the moment is a botch from when I didn’t know better and now needs replacing. The drawing will go on the Alternative Energy page when it’s done. This year has been our best solar-wise. I finally worked out which trees were causing shade (at different times of the year) and coppiced them, now we have a fully charged battery and can use appliances direct from the panels as early as 9.30am. Before it could be any time between 11am and 1pm.
I would normally be tempted right now to sow the remainder of my seeds, the ones that are not hardy, however experience has taught me that the weather can turn back to cold just as quickly, so will wait until May for that. Meanwhile though I have still have a substantial amount of compost that could be used to pot up trees that we didn’t manage to get in this winter. Problem is the mincer I use for grinding it with really isn’t up to such a large job. Does anyone know of a hand-operated machine that could deal with peanut and walnut shells plus has a bit more torque/ capacity than a meat mincer? I reckon not so long ago they were readily available to grind meal and scraps for pigs and livestock, but can’t find anyone here who remembers such a thing. An old one from the UK would be worth paying the carriage for.
Finally, am really getting interested in the night sky. We’ve already seen a meteorite (landed near here), and of course plenty of shooting stars. Plus a UFO, as in unidentified (military) flying object. Currently there’s a new and very bright star (the brightest of all) that’s just appeared in the SW sky, near the horizon. Anyone know what this is?
postscript: check out this link if you still think all is well with the world