Well I can't believe it has been almost exactly a year since my last post. So much and yet so little has happened.
Apart from 6 weeks overseas to Tajikistan etc, plus another couple of weeks on a spontaneous trip to Norway to celebrate an old friends birthday last November, plus 5 days a month out of town - I have also been teaching almost full time.
Then at the beginning of December I had a major medical crisis which had me in hospital for a month followed by 12 weeks recuperation with very little physical activity.
And then the teaching began again!!
So unfortunately very little has happened on the house front.
The summer veggie garden suffered badly from my absence in hospital etc, with no one to water it and almost no rainfall. I managed to rescue a dozen or so eggplants, a couple of buckets of capsicums, all of the 80-90 red onions survived, the rhubarb survived by the skin of its teeth.
The pumpkins were miraculously still alive but they threw out 20 or so small pumpkins early and then much later when I was back watering regularly again, many more new pumpkins formed but it was too late in the season for them all to ripen. Still - I've ended up with around 40 butternuts this year - though not as large as last years.
Rhubarb and pumpkin patch when I returned to the land:
My friend Jana watering them a few weeks later:
But a few small things, and one big one, have happened.
I framed up around the 4 large windows at the front of the house - and the windows themselves will be installed very soon.
I cut around the steel first leaving a few small tabs of steel to hold the container walls in place. This will make it easy to open the holes for the windows when the installers arrive.
I did the same with the exterior doors.
I used steel offcuts to skirt around the base of the house so that later I can back fill the land to the top of the concrete piers so the house will look as if it is sitting on the ground rather than perched on piers.
Another small job ticked off was bracing the roof trusses.
I also placed ply boards around the roof trusses so that when the roof tin goes on the strong winds that I get down this way will not blow around the insulation batts or risk lifting the tin (think occasional wind gusts over 90kmh)
Originally I had booked a roofer to put the tin down (I wasn't prepared to juggle 15M lengths of roofing iron on my own) and I was going to lay the insulation in tandem with him. Unfortunately my hospital stay threatened to derail this plan for 4 months or more so I asked him if he could do the insulation as well.
So in early February I got myself a roof! Huzzah!!
And more recently I have been spending countless hours traipsing around the acres collecting thistles. They were too far gone for spraying and the seed heads had already formed. So I went around with secateurs and deheaded hundreds of the rotten things and then uprooted the rest of the plant. There were also hundreds of mullein I needed to rip up as well.
Mullein - a noxious pest down this way!
The last couple of weeks I have begun planting some winter crops. Broccoli, spring onions, red onions, and bok choy. I am also going to try cauliflower this winter too and I've just put in about 20 plants.