The 94.7 cycle race was scheduled for this weekend. A visit to the CradleArk would have to be on Saturday. My skip ordered for last weekend arrived on Friday, a week late. My gardener let me know he could not make it on Saturday. The only solution was for me to load the skip. The visit thus became a quick afternoon visit. Would I have time to add additional drip irrigation?
The journey was much more pleasant because my sons joined me. They were just as keen to see how the farming was progressing.
I was a little apprehensive arriving at the field. We had 10mm of rain on Thursday followed by 10mm on Friday but that was accompanied by hail. Had the leafy vegetables survived?
The “field tap”
Proverbs 12:11 He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgement
The farming team had asked for a tap on the edge of the field , fed by the irrigation dam. This will allow them to manually water the avocado trees and also allow for the cleaning of tools after a hard days work. We had fitted everything the week before but did not have time to mix concrete before sunset. The tap was taken out again to prevent theft. We selected a plastic tap rather than a brass fitting because it was far cheaper and less tempting to steal. It was lovely to arrive and see that the team had fitted the tap and thrown the concrete base during the week. They had even buried the pipe all the way back to the irrigation manifold.
We brought eight tomato plants. I selected one for John, a member of the community that always volunteers to help. He is fortunate to have full time employment but he does try to assist us with most tasks. He had asked for tomato seed , so I was glad to bring him an established plant. Matthew took one to plant near where he stays and the rest were planted in the irrigated vegetable garden.
Minimal hail damage
The hail fortunately had not done too much damage and the spinach looked a bit bedraggled. The Pumpkin and butternut had taken some hits but should be ok. It was super to see beans on both the bush beans and the runner bean plants.
Once again the team had staked the beans as requested. It is really super to work with an enthusiastic team. Thank you Lord for these men.
Talborne organic fertiliser
The drip irrigation has been running almost on a daily basis. We have also had some rain and so I could not resist , we spread a small bag of Talborne Organic Fertiliser over the vegetable patch. The junior assistant farmers loved using the handheld spreader and turning the handle so fast that it was a blur! https://www.talborne.co.za
Good team work
The junior assistants then went off on a quest to capture grasshoppers whilst we tackled a new section of vegetable garden. The requirements for the drip irrigation are now pretty well known. We added the fifth line to the manifold and then set about running the tape and staking it in place. Working together allowed us to set up the additional drip irrigation really quickly. Within an hour we had a new section covering at least 250 square metres. I had a packet of peppadew seeds which I collected at home and I left these with Samson. Both Matthew and Samson have requested Ocra seed and I will source that this week.
Concerns regarding the harvest
Proverbs 13:4 The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
When we started with the farming this year, we planned a test facility on a very limited scale. So much has happened so quickly from the choosing of the position of the land, to finding the well the Lord provided, to digging the irrigation dam and then concreting it, fencing the fist section of the vegetable garden, running the drip irrigation, planting potatoes, spinach, beans, radishes, butternut, pumpkins, white dry maize and yellow dry maize, constantly weeding the vegetable garden and the maize, cutting back the black wattle so we could reach the abandoned borehole, covering the well with pallets as a safety feature, putting a net over the irrigation dam, installing the manifold, planting the avocado trees and now planting tomato plants. We have constantly offered the community the chance to be part of the the work force but only Samson and Matthew have turned up and been completely dedicated. Thank you Lord for providing this team at exactly the right time. Please Lord, guide us. Please protect our workers and protect the crops from theft so that these hard working individuals can enjoy the fruits of their labour.
Matthew 9:37-39 Then He said to His diciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
(I realise that the verse above was not a literal verse but it did seem very appropriate to me and at least I remembered another verse- something that I battle with! ) Please pray for this project , for Matthew and Samson and for the rest of the community at the CradleArk.