20 April 2010

Catch Up

There's a pretty good reason for the very slow rate at which I've been blogging here lately: It gets dull and tedious repeating the same litany of woe. I mean, what more can I say?

"Still no rain." 

"It's not raining."

"Things are still very dry."

No. It's boring! And demotivating. It means that there's absolutely no point in busting my butt out in the garden trying to prepare the desert-condition beds for plantings that cannot possibly survive.

Actually, truth to tell, we have had a little rain over the past 10 days or so - enough that I might start to believe that the drought may actually be coming to a (slow) end. Enough to convince me to get off my duff and start clearing the jungle of weeds from pathways, and to stick a few peas and beans into the ground in the optimistic hope that more rain will eventuate.

The Summer past has been a total write-off. Not a single Tomato. Perhaps a grand-total of 6 chiles. If the Bushbuck will leave the plants alone for a bit. The Perennial Rye I was growing -- through the kind offices of Patrick -- eventually died. The dam I use for irrigating seed-trays is (still) so dry that the pump will have to be primed once again before I can use it. When, one day, there's sufficient water in the dam to bother. (Soon! says the optimist in me.) The F2 generation Tomato experiment will have to wait for a second attempt next year.

Even more difficult to deal with is that, by now, I should already have all my Winter crops in the ground, but, with insufficient water for seed-bed care, it looks like we're going to largely miss the Winter season, too. Some things I have plenty of seed -- Cabbage, Onions, Snow Peas, Broad Beans -- that I can take the chance with them and don't mind too much if I plant them and they fail. But there are some -- Kabuli Black Chickpeas, for example -- that I just cannot afford to take chances with. And that means that they have to wait another year before I can bulk up the seed supplies.

Which reminds me... I must plant some Lettuce. It's been very tedious having to buy such basics as Lettuce and Swiss Chard, especially since I've been on a (weight loss) diet where leafy veg features largely. (Lost about 8kg so far! and feeling much improved.)

Last weekend we joined a small neighbourhood gathering at the historic Bibbey's Hoek Hotel. No longer a hotel, it is the home of our new neighbour, Sue. She has recently completed a Permaculture Design course, and is determined to remodel the old hotel in a permaculture mould. Perhaps to even start some sort of permaculture centre.This is great news!

Despite the fact that quite a number of us in the Bibbey's Hoek neighbourhood are practising some form of permaculture design, up to now we seem to proceeded in blissful isolation. I do believe that Sue might serve as a catalyst for us working in closer cooperation. Certainly the gathering at her home last Saturday was characterised by an easy neighbourliness and friendliness. Nobody on a ego trip or an agenda. Yay! Maybe we stand some tiny chance of developing a more integrated and sustainable community?

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