FYE Review

:: FYE Review

By: The Unknown Author

Easter Update 2021

Coinciding with FYE, this is a good time to review the past year:

  1. Lease
  2. Old Land Regeneration
  3. Welcomes (Jon & Shane, Graduates. Jersey cows)
  4. Starlink revisited

Lease

2021, it was long planned, is the year the livestock operation would change on Hanglip. That plan left us with the core area of the farm, straddling the Oorlogspoortrivier, to concentrate on. Naturally, back in the day, croplands were situated near the river, and this meant that most of what we have to ourselves is worked out old croplands. For them to be of much use, we have to look at returning them to productivity.

Old Land Regeneration: the Stud Camp

Since the first sod was turned (see earlier blog post) the Stud Camp was treated to a makeover. We started small, in the spirit of "Let’s begin something we can finish", partly because of the pandemic. Maybe related to that, a duo from Dawid’s family found themselves unemployed and gravitated back to their families on the farm. They planted out the Stud Camp in a couple of days. Luckily that helped to fill a gap until, surprisingly in a pandemic, they both found jobs. So, while it’s difficult to say “we had the labour”, it was false to say we didn’t.

On paper, we didn’t, nor did we have a budget. Looming in the near future was a complete change in the way Hanglip was to be operated, and there was no money to throw at anything. So, although we wanted leguminous carob, lucerne and tamarind trees, it became a matter of "invaders aside, any tree is a good tree". Horticulturist Nicholas’s nursery riches were plundered. A mix of fruit, nut and other trees was transplanted, the bonus being these trees had all already survived winter here, and we think they will again. They had been propogated and potted over time by Nicholas, because “that’s what he does”.

It would be posh to call it “alley cropping”, yet, but that is the model. Some rows of trees were planted, with the rows between those planted to cucurbits. The cucurbits did not need much attention: two weeks watering until the summer rains took over. Left alone from the onset of the rains, they flourished and we reaped a good harvest from the two rows planted:

Drawing

Drawing

Arrivals

Jon and Shane

Here’s welcoming IT specialist networkers Jon and Shane, who now occupy the Werfgebou. More than a century ago, this building was occupied by Boer War generals. But that is another story.

Graduates

Excitement, anticipation are about! Graduates should arrive mid-April. Maeder spent a long day in de Aar, interviewing, resulting in four expected new arrivals, two men and two women. They will gain practical everyday farming experience. One, a young lady, is believed to be passionate about sustainable agri- and permaculture. We are hoping her inputs will complement our regeneration projects.

Jersey Cows

Other new arrivals are Isabella and Lubyinka, two Jersey cows. They are in calf, expecting around July this year, doing well.

Starlink Revisited

Our STARLINK blog post on 19 July got most of it right. We signed up. That does not guarantee we will get it - the deposit (about R1500) is refundable if we don’t. We are rural enough to deserve it, but can’t be sure that is the only criterion Starlink applies.

YouTube videos are emerging of people who have put the Starlink Beta to the test. It appears to be living up to its promise, and then some. We like this one. In it, the reviewer even tries his dish on the roof of a car and connects to Starlink from the top of a high mountain (no obstructions). So, add a power supply for the dish, load it and a laptop in the jeep, take it anywhere on the farm, and connect!

winter is coming

Jasper has laid in a supply of wood for the winter, thanks to Jon’s father Phillip’s firewood business:

Firewood

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