Firstly, happy new year! May it be a good one.
This time of the year, if we don’t irrigate, everything dies, it’s as simple as that. At Dreamland, two of the four tanks are empty already, and we’ve still got to get through January to March, so we’re supplementing royally with town water. At Homeland, we started on our January tank more than a week before the end of December, and that one is also dropping very fast. What was all green a month ago, is now all a dull brown. Homeland’s nice compost fodder producing lawn is turning into a big brown burr weed patch.
Fortunately, we’ve only had two days of over 42°, but they were really harsh with hot winds. Everything took strain – most of the vegetables are burnt, the bees took a heavy knock – in fact, we lost one hive – and the chooks just managed to survive on their ice water and frozen watermelon. Egg production dropped to almost zero and then slowly started picking up again.
Some of the vegetables and fruits have been burnt by the dry hot days
Summer is not a good time to put stuff in the ground, but the two Concorde grapes we ordered arrived very late, so we just had to plant them. At the same time, we also started with the “French screen” for the front yard – those cypresses have been waiting in pots for much too long already. Although they are all irrigated – anything without a dripper just dies, fullstop – they still get the odd manual top-up too.
On the more positive side, we have harvested 11 kg of honey from the strong hive, we get the odd beetroot, patty pan and courgette from the vegetable garden. The lemons and limes have been quite consistent too – they’ve been good in the mojitos and gin cocktails over the festive days.
On the most positive side, my sister and my niece visited us from the UK over Christmas and New Year. Good festive family fun, lots of driving around and doing things. You Yangs, Serendip sanctuary, Rickett’s sanctuary, Ballarat wildlife park, Great Ocean Road, and a handful of beach days, coupled with dinners, drinks, games, laughs and good times. It feels like we were away on holiday ourselves!
You just can’t ignore the devastation going on around Australia at the moment. Thank God we have been spared from any action and only experience the odd hazey smokey day. We’re praying for all those affected. Hope a few politicians wake up.