Farm Life: Clearing the Weeds

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Clearing down to the creek behind the chookpen.

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Looking back at where I was standing in previous photo.

This year Roy and I have decided it’s all about trees this year on the farm. As last year it was important for us to get more water and to start our market garden. Having extra water, we will be able to look after all our new trees that we hope to plant. After learning that the rain stops about July – August each year here and doesn’t start again until December – January. We will be ready for a long dry spell this year.

We have two projects this year that we are going to take on with trees. One which is a huge project we started two years ago and hope to get it completely planted by next year with the help of a grant. The other is a smaller project which is around our chook pen. Two weeks ago we had 2 chickens go missing and we decided it was time to clear out around their house as well as plant trees to hold the soil in place. The project also will be great for blocking the view from the neighbour’s place. At the  moment we tower over them and can see into their place. Our goal is to not be able to see any of our neighbours once our trees are established.

With the help of our neighbours Joan & John we have identified some of the primary species that are on our property. With this knowledge we can plant more of them along with our other natives and rainforest plants. We have chosen many varieties of plants that are fast growing, strong and sturdy and don’t grow ridiculously tall (30 m+). In saying that we do plan on growing some bunya pines, we have our Christmas tree ready to plant out this year. We can plant them on our lower parts of the property.

The best time for us to plant out any sort of trees (native, rainforest or fruit) is between March and May. This allows the weather to water them in naturally and gets them established (a little) before the dry comes again. With our small project we decided to get in some professionals to do the clearing.

Clearing lantana, cock’s spur and elephant grass is not one of our favourite things to do. These guys came in for a day and cleared more than I would possibly imagine Roy and I doing in two weeks. They did most of it by hand using cane knifes, then wippersnippers and chainsaws. There are neat piles of lantana constructed on the hill-side for composting. Native trees left standing some as small as a 1 1/2 ft from the ground. If it were Roy and I they would be gone.

Surprisingly there are a lot of native trees coming up were the overgrowth once was. Which means we don’t need to plant out as many of the trees we bought. Saving some to replace the others that did not make it in the huge project we started two years ago.

Looks neat and tidy – doesn’t it?
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The next half of the project – what the hill side did look before the clearing.

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Its a long way to the bottom and the creek.

strayedtable-0273Clearing so we can plant trees to block the neighbours place and create more privacy.

 

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