Friday, March 23, 2012

All from nothing... (part 7)

Our efforts to transform an unused piece of land into a productive vegetable garden.   

Yesterday (Wednesday), Clare's brother Peter came over from England to visit us. Peter is a strong believer in the "grow your own" philosophy, so I knew he'd been keen to see my progress on the allotment. He's also very handy when it comes to DIY, certainly far more so than myself, so his visit was a blessing. 

After I got up in the afternoon (still on my night shift), we drove out to show Peter the allotment, which he seemed duly impressed with. We then span out to a local farm suppliers, run by two old brothers. There we bought fifty yards of chicken wire for a little under fifty euro, which was a bargain by all accounts. 

I'd arranged to meet a gent who helps out on the farm to assist me in removing the piles of sod from the allotment. He was due to meet me that evening, so after a really decent dinner, myself and Peter headed over to meet him. We loaded his trailer up with well rotted manure (a rather noxious job), procured from the farm, and then transported it over to the allotment. 

This manure will be spread over the soil in the  plot and hopefully enrich the soil. Apparently there's an old saying "pound on the soil, penny on the plant", basically telling us that if you look after your soil, then your soil should look after you. 
I'll still need to collect far more manure to spread over the allotment, but that's another job for another day. I'm lucky to have as much of it as I could possibly want, right at hand.

After unloading the manure, we set about loading the pile of sod (closest to the "entrance" of the allotment) into the trailer. By this stage of the evening it was getting dark, and despite our best efforts, we weren't able to load the entire amount onto the trailer before it got too dark. 

Our new friend then attempted to drive his vehicle (trailer attached) to the place where we'd be disposing of the sod. However, the ground was a little soft, and as a result, the vehicle wouldn't move. We then unhitched the trailer, and move the vehicle, but still no joy. Eventually, with the assistance of a plank of wood under the front wheels, and myself and Peter pushing from the back, we got it unstuck, and off it drove. We decided to leave the trailer there till today, and then get a tractor or 4x4 to move it. 

Not much more we could do at that stage, so we went home for the night. 

After I arose this afternoon, we headed back to the farm, just in time to see a 4x4 effortlessly pull the trailer behind it to its destination. We headed over and helped unload the trailer of sod and earth, and thanked our friend for his help. 

I got the lend of a large wheelbarrow belonging to the farm, and transported what was left of the first pile of sod to the site we were dumping it. Peter got to work on building us a gate, first by digging a hold about two foot deep in which to place the stake that the gate would be attached to. 

Diggin' "houles"!

He then began modifying the side of a pallet, fashioning it into a usable gate. It's not finished yet, but he's made a great start. At this stage, we called "time" on the evening. I wanted to spend some time with the kids before going into work. In any case, it was time for dinner!

The beginnings of what will become the gate into the allotment. 

 At the moment, the allotment looks rather like a construction site. That said, it'll look a lot more organised when I've spread the manure, and made use of the pallets. Looking forward to putting the fencing up too!

No comments: