Sunday, 12 May 2013

This week at Luyengo Fresh Produce

The TLB in action on the dam site

We planted 4000 cabbage seedlings and beetroot this week and harvested cabbage and green mealies.
Our soil report showed that the pH of the soil is very low and we need to apply a huge amount of lime to adjust this. On some areas we have to add as much as 6 tons of calcitic lime per Hectare.
Average max temp this week on the farm: 25°C
Average min temp this week on the farm: 10°C
Rainfall Averages 2013 to Date
January         169mm         270mm
February 140mm           180mm
March 100mm         167mm
April 70mm 140mm
May         24mm
June 10mm

Re-routing the pipeline to take the water to the crops.

Fun and games with the dam:
The TLB that is going to be essential in the construction of the dam arrived at the farm on Tuesday. (A TLB is a Tractor Loader Bucket.) These big yellow machines and their drivers are like Siamese twins. Tiekie says he and his foreman, Siswe, have worked with some very competent TLB drivers in other construction work that they have done and they know what these guys and their machines are capable of doing. “Perhaps we are just spoilt but our other TLB driver could scale a one meter trench without blinking”, says Tiekie. We started with re-routing of the pipeline as the current position of the pipes to the crops is right through the proposed dam, so Siswe, knowing what a TLB driver can do pushed this one to work in a small space as possible due to the crops in the field… “Well, the TLB ended up inside the trench and it took us and hour and a half to get the TLB out. The driver was a total nervous wreck,” says Tiekie. Tiekie added that he thinks the driver is just two years younger than Methuselah. 
On Wednesday the driver arrived at work slightly more relaxed and rested than he left on Tuesday afternoon.  It was mid-morning when the front wheel of the TLB burst with a bang that sounded like a bomb blast, “giving the poor driver another nervous breakdown,” says Tiekie.  Seeing Thursday was Ascension Day the staff worked only half day giving the driver enough time to recuperate after his ordeals. He was also spoilt with loads of yogurt from Parmalat. 
The first hick-up with the dam also came this week. All the pipes and other equipment that has been ordered from South Africa have not been delivered to the farm yet. It is something we have no control over.  So the waiting game starts. 
Probably not a bad idea to look for African proverbs on patience: 
Patience can cook a stone.
A patient man will eat ripe fruit.

   The TLB and driver. He has aged somewhat since this photo was taken.