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Sunday, 24 February 2008

Sod the horse'n'plough, give us a pig and goat!

Say what you will, using a petrol driven strimmer maybe quicker and more thorough than scything, it isn’t half noisy though. I feel like I’ve just come out of a rock concert. The ideal method of cultivation would of course be sending a few goats and pigs on there. Goats eat absolutely anything and are not put off by brambles. Pigs don’t only eat anything above ground, they’ll also dig up any stubborn roots and plough your land at the same time. Not only is your work done for you without you having to lift a finger, but also all that herbage is turned into the best manure and lovely bacon and goats milk and so on. George’s plot at Villa would be ideal to keep some livestock. It has enough flat bits which could easily be fenced in. But, alas, this is not our own land and we’re not there 24/7 to look after any animals, so for the time being it remains wishful thinking.

We cleared one of the larger terraces on a gloriously sunny and warm day. Now it needs to be dug over or ploughed. We’re talking about some 150 m2, so I may have to either hire a plough or ask one of the neighbours if they’ll lend me one. The plan is to plant a row of sunflowers, a row of potatoes and a couple of rows of sweet corn (maize) plus a scattering of marigolds for colour and as a companion plant. We’re busy with other things tomorrow and Tuesday the rain is supposed to arrive. Thursday I’ll be off to Germany again for a few days for my brother’s 50th birthday, so things are not likely to progress for a bit.


magicmoney said...

Nice blog. I don't know if you've looked into permaculture? You can avoid digging and ploughing by building raised beds. Cover all the weeds with a thick layer of cardboard and stack compost/manure on top.

Heiko said...

Thanks for the comment. I have tried permaculture in the past on a small scale both back in England as well as on a couple of beds on our land in Arcola. The trouble is it's quite manure intensive, i.e. you need a lot of it. As we don't have any livestock ourselves at the moment we'd have to beg and then cart a lot of manure to the place. We have been offered horse and donkey manure, but moving sufficient quantities in the back of a hatchback car is a problem.