Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Hun

We have a new worker to help us, this is The Hun (so named because he is a tiller.... ha ha ha ha ha).  Oh my goodness, what he can do in a small portion of the time it used to take us!  Our soil here is very compacted and as we are on a slope, rain tends to run off instead of soak in.  We contemplated hiring someone with a tractor to come and churn it all up, but instead invested in a good tool that will be a big help in the vegie patch and home garden too.
I had spent half a day with a hoe digging up this area to test the effects of rain run-off, and planting various seeds.  It was really really hard work, loads of matted roots and hard hard soil.  Once I got through that surface it was pretty good underneath, we are on a sandy soil here and we'll need to bulk it up with organic material such as compost.
Then along came The Hun, who zipped through another row in about 2 minutes!  It does still require muscles, manoeuvring him back and forth, but much less backbreaking that with a hand hoe.  We have about 2 acres of open ground and eventually we would like to till all of it, adding manure and sowing beneficial seeds such as clovers to improve the soil.  Not to mention how useful he will be tilling the vegie beds for new planting, and making adding compost and manure easy.... just plonk it on top and The Hun churns it in.  :-)
How is that for lovely fluffed up soil eh.  :-)  We figure The Hun is a good investment for our advancing years, as we get more decrepit, so the more useful tools such as these will be.
The vegies are coming along nicely.  This is the brussels sprouts bed, although a large number of rogue potatoes have popped up too - hey, the more the merrier I say.  Steve has been cursing the dastardly white fly that seems to adore the brassicas.  We are trying to be as organic as possible here so instead of spraying I tried some of these sticky yellow things.  They are meant to be used in a greenhouse but they seem to be doing the trick and have caught heaps of white fly. 
And on another topic entirely, I have joined an embroidery group down here.  I'm really enjoying it, it's giving me the chance to meet people with like-minded interests and everyone is very nice.  I ummed and ahed for quite some time as to what I'd like to sew, and not being one for being sensible, I have decided upon The Grand Plan.  I love free embroidery, thread painting if you will.  Scenic embroidery, pictures.  So I had a big think about what I am passionate about.

One of my favourite paintings is Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night.  I love the movement in the sky and I thought his brush stroke style would something that embroidery could maybe follow.  So I'd like to have a go at, not necessarily recreating, but stitching a sky in the style of this painting.  I'd like to alter the position of the stars in the top left so they recreate the shape of The Southern Cross.
The bottom half of the painting I am going to change.  Instead of the big, dark, imposing cypress, I am going to stitch a representation of an old, gnarled jarrah we have.  I love it, it's the daggiest of all the trees we have here but there is something about it that I really love.  And instead of the small village I think I'm going to interpret the tiny distant lovely view we have through the trees.  Did you know that Van Gogh was a patient in an asylum when he painted this, and it is supposed to represent the view out of his window.

So that is The Grand Plan!  I am really excited about it, not having had a stitching mission for some years, it is nice to feel the stirrings of anticipation within.  I am going to spend quite some time reacquainting myself with different embroidery stitches in a sampler first, as I haven't picked up an embroidery needle for about 4 years.  Any maybe in about 5 years time it might be finished... ha ha ha.

1 comment:

  1. Sticky yellow things
    aka sticky traps:)
    We use them to see what bugs we have around.