During October Paul and Filippo have been working very hard on our fencing project. The reasons are twofold: Firstly to keep the hunters out, and secondly to keep the animals in.
Next year we hope to acquire some sheep or dwarf goats. We are advised that standard sized goats, being capable of eating anything, would help themselves to the smaller branches of the olive trees, and the olives themselves, given half a chance. Hopefully these animal “grass cutters” will help reduce the amount of time and effort that Paul has to spend strimming the grounds (freeing him up more time to concentrate on tending the olive trees), will cut down of the fuel required for the strimmer, and provide plenty of fertiliser to help nourish the olive trees.
Along the side of the road they are using plastic coated metal posts, and plastic coated diagonal mesh fencing, and on the internal borders wooden poles with galvanised steel, square mesh sheep fencing. The perimeter of our terrain measures just over 1 km, and they have fenced about half of this so far, so there’s a fair bit to do yet. Filippo is an incredibly hard worker, and having worked in the past as a jobbing builder is able to pass on new skills to Paul’s current DIY repertoire.
One day Paul also gave the rotavator an airing. It probably dates from the 1950’s and Paul refers to this contraption as “The Beast” because it tends to have a mind of its own, thrashing about like a raging bull. If you can master controlling it it’s a very effective machine, and enabled us, in a very short space of time to prepare two large sections of vegetable patch, which we have planted up with onions, lettuce, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli and “broccoletti”.