The vines are still asleep. I've been digging up docks daily - two buckets full of roots is my limit per day before my back is irreparably damaged. But I am making progress. The ground is very soft and my new shovel makes the work manageable. Alex gave me a beautifully crafted Harmony shovel for my birthday. Some may have thought he was crazy, but my favourite shovel had cracked and this one is a delight -- if digging docks can be delightful. It's actually a kind of zen experience. Maybe a bit of OCD -- I have to dig up every one in the vineyard so they don't compete with the grapes for nutrients. Their root systems are so massive. (I have to remember to order soil test kits.)
It's been the longest winter on record in distant memory. Farmers are desperate, importing feed from overseas to feed hungry cattle and sheep. The fields are too wet for the cattle to be let out and the temperature too low to enable grass to grow. It's been too cold for newborn lambs to be left outside. I feel for those farmers.
Yet, today, Ireland became the first European nation to be approved for export of beef to China. There is hope. Alex and his mother bought cattle for Ross House farm this week, so we too are hopeful that things will turn around fast.
|Buds still dormant.|
The grass did start growing this week and we managed to get the lawn mowed before the rains returned. But the fields are still low on grass and the donkeys can't return to the land just yet. The islanders have already inquired and we've agreed to take the donkeys in again. Love those beasties.
Everything is sluggish and we're about to get a lot of rain today, so we'll just have to wait and see. If our experiment doesn't work, it will have at least been an interesting learning experience. Something to keep the brain cells occupied. Then again, we can still hope for more.