July August September
Notes on 2020:
It's been a strange year.... In the spring we cut down a whole load of trees -which devastated a large area of the garden -but gave us more sun and lots of compost from leaves and branches.
The leaves and branches have now mostly rotted down -and some of the areas have been replanted. In some places the 'regeneration" has been excessive and already required trimming.
In fact, the garden has now moved into a phase where trimming and removal is just as important as planting. If the garden is not yet providing an abundance of edible crops for us -it is certainly providing a lot of fodder for the pigs.
It has also been a very rainy year -so some things have grown very well, but others less so.
An excess of crops is not a problem -but we do have several areas that are turning into "rain forest jungle" very easily. The birds spread native trees and bushes -but also some that we have planted. All can get easily out of hand -so it can be hard work beating back the jungle....
On the other hand, it seems the more plants one has the better the plants grow collectively -because they provide shade for each other -and also preserve the moisture better, for when it is not raining (which can also happen for fairly long periods).
However, it can be quite a struggle to get the balance right.... also to develop an understanding of the processes involved and develop appropriate techniques to deal with the situation. However, I guess it is perhaps easier to let things get a bit out of control and then go in and have a major clean up -when one can find the time and energy.
Ducks and Chickens:
Fatima has managed the pigs well -and we have nearly recovered from last years disaster.
At the beging of the year we had one boar and two piglets -"Pork" and "Beans".
At the end of the year we still have two new piglets (from Beans) -and we were expecting Beans to farrow in January. However, we are beginning to suspect that iether she is not pregnant -or the litter will be very small.
Pork has been eaten and beans is our new sow.
The Ducks and chickens are indeed quite cute (with cuddly little babies) -but also the biggest pain in the arse in the garden. They are very unruly, and greedy as hell, often fighting, sometimes injuring young chicks, -and they poo all over the place. A constant battle....
Neverthe less they seem to thrive with very little maintenance from us -except feeeding. The eggs and meat are, of course, a welcome addition to our diet.
The tilapia also continue to more or less maintain themsleves. A small handful of feed now and again -and a harvest when needed to keep the numbers down.
Cats and Dogs:
Indeed, our cats are a horrible threat to the local wildlife -but we still seem to have geckos in and around the house. Perhaps the cats do keep the local population in check.
At least one of our cats also likes chasing cockroaches -so that is a more positive skill. Sometimes they even kill a rat.... Luckily we have managed to stop the cats breeding -by getting all the females neutered.
We also have periodic invasions from dogs that are rioaming around in the area. Luckily, until now, they are fairly easy to chase away -and there have been no seruious incidents. However, they remain unwelcome guests.
Due to Covid restrictions, it took a long time before I was able to get a new camera -so less photos in some months.
To Do -in 2021:
Not much xcame of this in 202 0, I'm afraid -however, a workrythmn does sem to be developing -so, maybe once that is properly established -we can turn to realaxation more....
Maintenance seems to be the main theme for the coming year: The garden is fairly well established by now.
Removing unwanted plants and growth (creating either fodder or compost -and sometimes usable plant cuttings) then becomes the central strategy. New plants can be introduced where there are "holes" -either natural gaps or where these have been created by removing other things.
A reservoir by one of the pig pens cracked after subsidence some time ago -and still needs repairing.
Gates and Hedges:
Hedges are becoming thicker naturally.
However, our largest (southern) Gate needs repairing