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Development - Are we having fun yet?

January - June 2005

Making hay while the sun shines... or at least our neighbour is!

After a very wet summer, the grass on the eastern half of the property was finally taken for hay16 January 2005 - those bales are bigger than they look!, and will be feeding our neighbour's stock over winte16 January 2005r. The bales he made are quite large rounds, and he had a bi-i-i-i-g tractor to do it. No damage to any of our trees though, thank goodness.


2 January 2005By the start of 2005, we are looking in good shape. The summer has been wet and mild - none of the searing nor'westers you would expect in a normal Canterbury summer - so the grass has settled in nicely and the trees also seem to be thriving so far. We have had a contractor in to cut the grass twice, although we will be taking up that task ourselves later this year. The photo doesn't really convey the sheer beauty of it all, the lush green growth and the neat rows of shelter trees with healthy leaves, starting to give some structure to the expanse.

5 February 2005 Only a month after the previous photo (2 January to 5 February), but look at the difference - a little bit of summer has turned the grass brown, but the trees have really taken off and the poplars have gone from looking like naked little poles to bushy wee trees. It is marvellous to see the growth everything has put on, and with the grass short the shelter lines give a very good sense of structure.


13 February 2005Our little plot of land is going to take quite a lot of maintenance, and we are getting a tractor to deal with things like mowing and carting a 100 litre spray tank. Of course, with no real buildings to speak of, we had to arrange somewhere to park it... enter our shipping container. 40-foot and non-refrigerated, in a charming shade of railway red. Still, it should do the trick. We located it at the far end of the property, right at the back - it will be out of sight once the trees get a bit more height on them, but usefully located for gaining access to the working blocks.

19 March 2005 - new Jinma tractorWe took delivery of our new tractor today, a 28 hp Jinma. Rather than an ancient, heavy, second hand tractor (of a reliable brand such as John Deere or Massey Ferguson), we have elected to go with a lesser-known Chinese brand. We are hoping that it will stand up to the rigours of working in NZ, but it is a bit of a risk. On the other hand, a ride-on (even the largest model) wasn't really going to cut it, so we have to take a bit of a chance.





28 May 2005 - sprayed strips ready for planting.28 May 2005 - we are preparing for the next round of planting, due to happen in the next month. Stephen sprayed out the planting lines for the next six blocks of hazels (!) a couple of weeks ago, and they are browning off nicely now. Meanwhile, the trees along Tram Rd have stopped showing their autumn colours and are now quite bare.

7 May 2005 - autumn colours in the poplars on the boundary, and the leylands in the house block have shown nice growth.

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