Mowing the grass, making jam and cleaning up beer.

After a bit of medical trouble we ended up at the block earlier than expected and I was given orders to take it easy.

This weekend was our last days that we could have fires before summer so we needed to do our last bit of clean up and had a mini bonfire with a few of our helpers.

I spent a fair few hours pulling out blackberries, I’m still determined not to poison them but am keeping them in a patch about 5m wide. I’ve cleared a path 1-2m wide around them and am pulling out any canes that try to make a run for it.

All the pruning over the last few months has lead to a lot of new growth and tons of healthy looking flowers, hopefully we will be getting a feed in a few months time.

A few weeks ago Kelvin got himself a lawn mower and has been slowly mowing our 2-3acres of grass.

The grass is growing way faster than expected and we have a few areas well over a meter high. I helped out along the fence line by blading a row with the tractor, although I feel like the lawn mower would do a better job of keeping it down for a few months. I may need to get a slasher, or work out a way 2 attach 3-4 lawn mowers to the tractor.

While I was doing that Shan worked on putting together the car port frame that mum picked up for free.

I needed to see of the tractor would fit and got a massive shock when I went back and saw that a swarm of bees were starting to set up home on the canopy, they provably would have left on their own but I sped things up a bit by putting a smoldering branch nearby to smoke them off. The pic I got didn’t do them justice but it’s a bit intimidating have 100’s of bees in your face.

The tractor fits perfectly but we still need to work out what to roof the carport with so that it can’t blow away but still keeps the majority of the rain out.

For the Friday night mum and kelvin had a few friends over so we had a fire up their end and managed to get through almost a bucket of wood.

The following day we had Tessa, Ryan and Lucus as well as Oscar and his shitbox rally team mate so the fire was at our end.

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Ryan was a great help loading up and driving a heap of tractor loads of wood down to camp while I worked the chainsaw.

I dropped a few trees that need to come down for the driveway and cut most of them into manageable sized pieces. Our cutting and clearing efforts came to an abrupt end when the chainsaw got stuck in a falling tree.

Looks like I’ll be needing a new bar and chain sooner than expected.

I managed to get 3 more mulberries and 3 grape vines planted. I think the mulberries will be my #PlantedForBill trees although our whole property is based on his work so it seems weird to say that just a couple of trees are for him.

My slightly older mulberries, avocados, figs and lemon grass as well as the parsley all seem to be taking off with the spring heat, assuming we can get them through the first summer we should start getting some fruit next year (at least from the mulberries). We’re also already getting tons of strawberries from around the caravan.

We had a good big fire to relax around Saturday night, the weather is getting better and it was a beautiful night.

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Sunday morning Ryan and I cleaned up a few shade trees around our camp, they were hanging way to low and needed a pretty up, they will be perfect for the warm summer nights that aren’t far away.

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Oscar had a play with the tractor and found a pedal that I had never noticed before. He deduced that it was a did lock but that it didn’t work. A little while after he went home I decided to see if I could get it working. I put the tractor against a stump and got 1 wheel spinning. Pressed the pedal and like magic the second wheel was spinning as well. It will come in very handy for the times that I just can’t quite get enough traction.

My spinning efforts did a bit of a number on the track so I used it as a chance to get better at working the bucket and blade. A few more days on it and I think I’ll be competent.

Got a bit of shooting in Saturday arvo and Sunday morning as well, always good to get less experienced people some trigger time to remove the stigma and mystery that firearms seem to have. Pretty sure Dan and Ryan both had some fun.

When we got home our neighbor mentioned that the spud shed had strawberries on special which lead to our next project (Tuesday night by the time we got to it). Making this years strawberry jam.
My biggest struggle is getting it to set right because I refuse to use pectin, but this batch seems to be pretty much perfect.

I also had to clean up a lot of glass, it’s a lesson to make sure your beer is finished fermenting before bottling. This was a brew that I bottled early so that it would be ready for the wedding. It was pretty average to drink. And now this.

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