9 comments on “Collecting firewood. 1926.

  1. lmao – this is so coals to Newcastle! But I guess heat or no heat they’d have to fire up the bbq at least. And I feel your pain re the vegies. After days of backbreaking work I had a patch out the back, ready to replant with a special seed mix that’s good for alpacas. I sowed, I gently covered with a dusting of soil, I watered it it… and the very next day we had a deluge. Half the soil and most of the seeds are now slowly making their way downhill to my neighbour’s block. -sigh-

    • Aargh! I feel for you. 😦 Since we have such a steep hill my latest veg plot is a sleeper framed terrace with one of those metal beds. It will take a seismic episode to send it down the hill but it also means that the front ground level is thigh height and the back is level with the ground, perfect for Jack access! She was smart enough to stay away from the garlic that I planted there though but I am interested to see what seeds pop up where since she disturbed it all so much….
      I wonder if your seeds will grow where they have landed now?

      • I’ve had to put in small terraces as well. My special garden areas are fenced to keep the alpacas out but Mogi does what Jack does. My best growing spot at the moment is up on the deck. If I had the money I’d buy those galvanised iron tubs and grow stuff in there. Oh well. Like you my garlic is growing well, as are my artichokes. I planted 3 seedlings 2 years ago and they now self seed. 🙂

        • Building those beds certainly isn’t cheap.. 😦 Unfortunately we have no choice, it is either build some kind of bed or nothing will grow. The Man hasn’t even mowed the back hill for months, it won’t grow in the heat and even though it is raining now the water only goes in the first few mm and then runs off. When we dug the terrace last week it was just hard dry clay as soon as we took off the top. I would be happy with a frame of sleepers on the ground with a few short star pickets holding it upright but the Man has very definite ideas on how a garden should look. If it was up to me we would already have dozens of beds but he is right, it would look a mess…. Bugger, I hate it when he’s right… 😉

          I am looking forward to growing the garlic, I have never grown it before. I use heaps in cooking so I will need to plant quite a few more to be self-sufficient, but even a few is a help.

          • Once you harvest your garlic, don’t use them all. Save a few heads for next year. I know the temptation is to leave the smallest ones but I try to replant the biggest, juiciest ones. 🙂

            And I kind of share Your Man’s views on aesthetics. Every terrace I put in has to look good too. 🙂 Damn alpacas kind of ruin that but still I try.

            Just a possible tip for the future. To stop run-off and erosion channels, I’ve put in a lot of low earth berms. The one I’m building at the moment is made up of soil taken from another part of the garden. It’s clay and full of rocks but perfect for a berm. Then, on the inside of the berm I put all sorts of composting material so eventually I’ll end up with like a shallow gully of good soil that holds onto the water. You might be able to do the same thing on the lower parts of the hill. I’ll try and take some pics [if this rain ever stops].

          • I will try to keep the best garlics, this year is all about getting the garden going well and next year will be about making it better, after that we might actually start getting some really good stuff out of it.
            I share the view of the Man on nice gardens, I am more impatient though and just want them NOW, not when I have saved up the money and spent a week digging… 🙂
            I would like to use the ‘soil’ we already have to make garden beds but nothing will grow properly in it. We have patches we have turned over or piled some dirt up on after digging a hole and it will be years before anything will take root in it, even weeds avoid those spots… We don’t even have erosion, even on an extremely steep section we have recently been digging that has no plants and nothing holding it together it has not changed shape at all in the 15+ years we have been living here!

            When we moved in part of the backyard had been used as a driveway for a house a few doors down. Everything grows so slowly and the ground is so unchangeable that you can still stand on the hill and see the two shallow tyre ruts all these years later!

            I have a few compost heaps now though and am collecting all the leaves etc and trying to create something mulchy I can sprinkle in the low spots and restore a bit of life to the garden… I will probably get it just right by my hundredth birthday. 😉

          • LMAO – I figure I’ll be about 100 before I get a bumper crop too. Impatient as well. Have spent far too much money on bringing in good soil. Now I’m starting to try my neighbour’s trick of building compost heaps all over the place. Doesn’t work like a regular compost heap but I am noticing improvements. Just so damn slow. 😦

  2. I’m guessing in the 1920’s even in Marble bar wood was needed for cooking stoves, hot water but it would be bloody hot work getting it in… something akin to what you’ve been doing except the weather is cooler.
    I heard of a product that supposedly improves clay or hard soils… I can’t remember the name exactly but I think it is something like this http://www.terra4m.com/clay_soil_a/160.html

    • I looked at that terra4m stuff, it sounds frighteningly effective! I wonder what it is really made of? Our block drains directly into a gully that feeds into the nearby creek where platypus live. I would be scared to add something to the soil that might harm them, perhaps it is a platypus softener too!
      Each time I break up some clay I add gypsum to the mix to help improve it, I am not sure it is really helping but it is supposed to…

      I don’t envy those hot weather firewood gatherers at all, can you imagine what a furnace the kitchen would have been though? And we complain about having to do a xmas day roast once a year!

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