These trees have been really neglected and have colonies of ants farming aphids. There is a ton of sooty mould on the leaves from this. The downside of farming without chemicals is that things like this may take a little longer to sort out. I am using all the left over bottles of muti from the previous owners. So far they have had Nitrosol and Biottrossol from Biogrow. I have also fed them worm wee tea and sprayed with an anti-bug concoctions of my own (a garlic chilli comfrey mix). Today will be the Tansy wild garlic mix too. Hopefully this will help the trees get stronger and fight off some bugs. I will keep going with more composting, feeding and spraying until the end of August and then re-assess what I must do if these measures have not worked.
I am raking up all the leaf litter from under the beefwoods to put on our paths. These trees are both a problem and a potential long-term crop. They make very good wind breaks and grow in marginal soil but they consume so much from that soil and travel far to find nutrients. The wood is a very useful one and boy can those leaves start a fire! They have some sort of "component" which suppresses growth of competitive plants and in their case that is any other plant including their own kind. Hence them being good on paths. As path material, it drains well and is soft for granny to walk on too. We are still deabting if we'll plant more.
Our hens have finally begun laying eggs. So far, we have had 7 from our biggest, fattest hen- Hope- and yesterday Pearl laid her first too. I am not a protein person and eggs are a push for me to eat. These eggs are delicious and the color of a sunflower! How is this dinner we had last night? 90% from the farm. We are getting closer to being self-sufficient but still have a long way to go.
Our next challenge will be to remove the colony of bats who moved into our ceiling recently without getting bitten by the boomslang sleeping below them who thinks they are his larder !