The October long weekend (Labour Day Holiday) arrives, and the garden pressures are already rising along with the warming Spring temperatures. At the same time, my expectations of further soaking rains of 12mm or more are diminishing, so it’s time to get the covers on the garden so that I can save what winter moisture I have accumulated in the soil profile to offset future water bills.
All goes smoothly enough while I’m using simple tools such as the three-pronged hay fork. But the wheelbarrow has blown a tire after thirty years of loyal service, so I have to fix that before I can begin. [All I did to trigger this catastrophe was to stack 80 kg of premix concrete into the barrow for the new chicken shed]
When all my friable mulch – overwintered on the garden paths and broken down by the scratching of the chicken flock – has been placed around lettuce, onion and garlic crops, its time to shred my supplemental stockpiles of cuttings and trimmings from the orchard.
For the first time in twenty years, this wonderfully reliable machine refuses to start. Out come the tools, and I wire-brush the sparkplug, empty the fuel tank and clean the air filter. To no avail – I will have to send it off to the repair place.
The three day holiday is over, the mulching is done, but the shredding and chicken shed are in limbo. Now there’s nothing for it but to revert to the hand-tools; I clean out all the winter thistles and nettles around the old chicken shed so that I have something to show for the passage of time.