Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tools for self sufficiency

It is an interesting situation to be buying more stuff to work the land to make your own food so you don't have to buy more stuff. Are we just changing what we are spending our money on?
We have bought a ride on mower - in place of our scooter. Animals that fertilise as they eat the grass are a better option but as we are starting out we thought we had better get used to the land before we embark on animal husbandry as well.
I am beginning to understand why getting good at composting early on will be important for not having to buy as many nutrients for our plants.
Tools - we need decent tools to work the land. Decent as in expensive.
If we go solar it is very expensive upfront but immediately we start saving money from the power bill.
There are so many items we could buy. We saw a thought out and well built trailer/wheel barrow but it was $1000 and while it would be useful - do we really need one like that? We decided no.
I thought the balancing finished when we found the property with just the right compromises to our wish list. But I think it keeps being a balancing act between being efficient enough at growing enough food without spending so much to reach a higher efficiency that we have to work more offsite to pay for the extra efficiency gains. It will take a little while until we find our balance point.
Apple trees the orchardists prune with different layers so the fruit gets the maximum amount of sunshine and all the fruit grows evenly. It takes time to get the apple tree like that and continues to require pruning. Will I do that or will I let it grow bushy like a natural apple tree - far less work but lesser quality apples too. As yet I am undecided on the apple tree pruning regime.
So far on the tool buying along with the ride on mower, we have bought a weed whacker/trimmer. We will definitely need an axe. Will the chainsaw be next?

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5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.