• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

9th November 2010

E-mail Print PDF

Howdy again,

As with all these things, at least for me, we haven't updated for a while. Apple trees are all going well although some are doing better than others. Jonagolds, Cox's Orange Pippen, Gravenstein and Pink Lady in particular seem to be loving it up there and adapting to the espalier.  We have finally finished putting in the espalier posts - hurray! Bloody hard work but will never have to do it again. The vineyard is going well. Plenty of rain so we have shoots going in all directions. We has dis-budded once (taken all the shoots off except where they are meant to be) but will probably have another couple goes at it.

Blackberries are going beserk - check this out.

We had problems with the tractor when we went up on Melbourne Cup day. Starter motor was not turning over. Tried jump starting it in case it was the battery and in the process fried my battery pack. Not happy. Took the battery out of the tractor and put it on the charger over night - still no go. Rang Elders and they had a mechanic there the next day - Thursday. Starter motor appears to have failed to disengage and was well and truly knackered. Mechanic returned the next day with a replacement starter motor and solinoid and all good. However, hydraulic fluid leaking from one of the rams - the shaft appears to have been scratched causing the seal to be broken. They will replace under warranty and for the moment it is just making a mess but still usable.

We arranged for Bill Gamble, an engineer, to come up on Melbourne Cup day to do a soil and slope stability assessment. Talking to him on the phone and after he had seen the site layout he had major concerns about the guest wing being cut back into the dam bank. However, after seeing the site he can see that it doesn't really go that far back. Soil is very stable. We dug a few holes using an auger - no tractor at this stage - down 1.2 meters. Soil is very interesting. Not very much clay at all. Mainly decomposed granite and loam. Lots of shiny stuff in the soil - gold I reckon! Was good news as we didn't want to have to move the guest wing of be stuck with a huge bill for the retaining wall.

The engineer also suggest a Biolytix Sewerage system. Check out http://www.biolytix.com.au/residential/why_biolytix/?gclid=COug4p75kqUCFQvObgodk19EMg

This is an aerobic system where the worms do all the work and it will enable us to use the water for irrigation through a drip system.

We have decided to go with this system - intial quote has come in at around $10,000 installed so probably around $4,000 more than a septic but we think it will be worth it.

The house design has progressed to the stage where we are now happy with it. We continue to be happy with what Alvyn is doing for us. When we were up the estate we pegged out the winery, the garage/workshop and the house. It really does help in regards to perspective. As a result we have got Alvyn to tweak the study a bit so that the living room is more visually connected to the vineyard. Will update the home page when I get a chance.

So, I reckon we can be off to council for planning permission within a couple of weeks. Apparently they will take there full 60 days to make a decision so early in the New Year we should be right to go.

Will get Debra to add a bit if she ever comes home - very busy at school.

Rickey

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 April 2016 01:32