Archive for November, 2009

Home Produce

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Living as I do on a two acre section, and given the obscene increases in the cost of food, my neighbour/landlord Frog and I decided to put in a vege garden. We worked out where to put it, but it involved building around 50m of fencing to keep the livestock and rabbits out. We had milled, Frog has a portable mill, a number of macrocarpa (cypress) logs that have been lying in the paddock next to the cottage since before I moved in six years ago. A lot of them were rotten where they had been sat on the earth and even through to the heart. So, we had a lot of firewood, but we also had a whole load of 200 x 200 x 4m+ slabs we would use for the raised beds and 150 x 40 x 4m+ boards for the fence. The fence was constructed the same as the other fences on the property. The process started at the end of last summer when we tried to bore the 600 deep holes for the posts. The first two went fine but most of the others defeated us. The two man post hole borer gave us a workout and a bit of a beating as we tried to persuade it through the hard pan at 200mm after the long hot summer. After a couple of holes where we had smoke coming off the auger, we eased off. We filled the holes with water and kept topping them up for the next day or so before trying again. With the holes bored, we concreted 50mm galvanised steel waterpipe into the holes. It stayed like this for most of the winter as we were busy with other things like felling, ringing and splitting firewood. Anyway, we eventually laid out the beds and shuttered and poured the concrete nib to tie the fenceposts together. This was an afternoon of shovelling a couple or three tons of builders mix and cement into a mixer for me, worked up a bit of a sweat! The next weekend we put up the boarding and the next again weekend we stapled chicken wire to the outside of the fence to make it rabbit-proof. Fitting the gate and plumbing in a couple of taps finished it off. Frog got a few cubic metres of mushroom compost from the local mushroom grower for the beds and planting began.

New fence down the left and across the back, lots of veges after a couple of months.

Outside the fence is another source of cheap home produce. A ready supply of abandoned lambs for free which would otherwise be dispatched. This year there are 15 running around the paddock. Some will be fattened up and sold on, a few will fill the freezers.

Aren’t they cute. From the left we have Chops, Shanks, Rump…. you get the picture.

RR’s New Boots

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

I never did post a picture of the Range Rover with the new suspension, wheels and tyres, so here it is outside work the other weekend when I dropped in to grab something from my desk. It certainly sits higher than the 27-odd year old saggy springs that were on there and may sit higher than standard, but the stronger springs and stiffer damping transform the handling. Might still fit the sway bars (anti-roll bars) as it still rolls, just way, way less than standard.

Newly shod old girl. Note the typical Hawkes Bay sky, I doubt you would see a cloud anywhere.

The 235 section tyres give great grip for road use and fill out the wheel arches looking pretty sharp. The fronts rub slightly on the radius arms when reversing on full lock – no big deal. Not sure how they will fare with off-road articulation? May find out one day…