Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Fruit & Nut Picking, Pig Wrestling, & Lamb Burying Weekend.

Say what? Pig wrestling?!!

First things first though - one of the wether lambs died in the weekend. He'd been looking a bit unhappy for a few days & on Good Friday I caught & had a good old look at him. No marks, just generally unwell. I did my research & decided that even though he was drenched not so long ago, he looked like he had worms, and so I planned to get down to Farmlands first thing on Saturday & get some drench & if we were lucky, he'd pull through.

He didn't though. He was dead on Saturday morning.

Asided from that, the weekend was spent learning how to drive & wield a ride-on mower. I need some ear protectors. The teens were charged with harvesting all the macadamias on a tree at the back of the orchard, which for one reason and another has never been harvested. We decided that this would be our experimental tree.

It's not actually harvest time for this tree, that would be around June. But since it hasn't been harvested in years, we decided to give it a good clear out.

We left the kids to it, with huge plastic drop cloths under the tree, and we went somewhere else - possibly to check on a sick lamb & to wrestle a pig. I can't remember.

When we got back, we inspected the newly harvested tree. And then we spent another hour ourselves, picking about 4 times as much as the kids had all day.

Out of all that, we ended with one large wheelbarrow full of unhusked nuts.

And so onto the dehusker, which looks like somes spare parts & things that an engineer threw up into the air, and they landed that way.

But aside from an initial snarl-up, the contraption works rather well. It needs two people on it, one feeding in the nuts, the other separating the nuts from the husks. And you need gloves. And ear protectors.

I didn't put these into the drying room, I decided that they should be kept separate from any commercial crop & I have them in 3 large buckets in the "Tack" room, which currently has a portable spa in it. This is how they used to dry nuts before all the new fangled technology came on the scene.

And the pig? Well it's not something you encounter every day for sure. On Good Friday, Wilma & I headed out into the forest to check the fences & the sheep. All the sheep present & correct (aside from the sick lamb). Then at around the gate to the forest, something unnoticed & sunning itself on the ground in front of us... suddenly stood up! Wilma got a fright. I just couldn't believe it!

Tripitaka!! I yelled. And Mrs Llew came running.

"A fecking pig!" I bellowed. "Somone has left us a PIG!"

I'll post a picture I took the next day, but this was a pretty largish, black & tan, fully grown pig.

There were no fences down, and so we determined that someone had abandoned a pig on our property.

I called the SPCA & left them a message, I called the Kapiti Coast District Council & was unable to leave a message. I called More FM Kapiti & told their lost pets person that I had found someone's pig. They were amused.

The next day we arose to find that a neighbour has built a pen in his garden & has a pet pig called Zeus. It's not a very secure pen.

At one stage, later in the day, I came across the pig happily lolling in the sun in the middle of my sheep paddock & incensed, I leapt over the fence & tackled the bloody thing.

It took me 30 minutes, and there was a lot of squealing & oinking, and cursing, but I finally pushed the tub of lard back under the fence that he was able to push through from his side. Then I attacked my side of his pen with hammer nails & a couple of pieces of corrugated iron. Then, when the neighbout turned up I impressed upon him the need to keep his pig contained.

Monday was spent less energetically. Except for Mrs Llew, who picked 4 trees worth of apples. At least half of them were bird eaten & ended up in the compost, but we still have enough to last us a wee while & at least one more tree to pick.

Brothels cleared to open during Easter trade ban - Stuff.co.nz

What a relief! Now, all they need to do is start selling gardening supplies & plants, and they might be onto something.