Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I got to bed early last night and up early today. Feargal and I started off finishing clearing and leveling an area near the house for a small garden. I picked up rocks, pipes, and an old carpet that would be in the way of the escavator. Brambles had been thriving in the spot and had to be cut down and dug out to prevent thier return. After the area was cleared we had to bring down some good soil from a bit farther up on the hill where he had knocked down a hump above a wall the day before. We thought it would be easier to load the dirt into large rubble bags in the back of his truck and then dump the bags where needed rather than taking the time to run wheelbarrows back and forth. We did about a dozen bags of dirt, each with three large buckets of good dirt and then leveled the dirt over the area. Feargal and I loaded the escavator onto it's trailer and he left to take it back to the hire center in Dublin. I raked the area flat and had it ready to plant with small boxwood cuttings later this evening. Then me and Frances focused on getting what vegetables she had ready to plant in the first raised bed I had built. Frances had bought a few plants from an organic grower in Cork the week before I arrived and has been waiting to have a place to put them. We put in a few clumps of rosemary on one corner of the bed next to a small brussles sprout seedling. In the next section of the raided bed we planted a few pieces of rubarb and finnel. In the center section we planted two varieties of lettuce sprouts and some parsley that had to be seperated out of clumps. Surrounding the lettuce and parsley we planted organic onions and garlic which would help keep out some pests including slugs. Frances will line the different section wih small pices of copper piping to also help keep the slugs away from her greens.I suggested also using egg shells to aid this same issue. Once we finished planting Frances offered to set me up on her bio-ressinance machine which she uses with patients to relive stress and better understand personal issues. It was a very interesting experience and I could definately tell the process was very useful. I  went through a simple frequency test which aquired information about the bodies flow and chakra balance as well as recording the DNA codes so that it can notice any irregularities. Later on I would be able to recieve treatment for any imbalances and give myself some understanding about any stress I am dealing with. Todays test gave a similar result to what I already knew about myself. I am in good health, yet I struggle with anxiety and neurological stress due to hyperactivity and excessive mental blocks. If I have beter control over my emotions and try to not worry over small issues I will easily be a much more balanced person, yet mental issues are always more difficult to solve than physical problems. I always find it hard to not think about the negative things and let my mind be at ease, especially without using some type of vice or meditative device. I can say a change in environment and physically being removed from daily stress gives me a great oppourtunity to find peace of mind even though I am naturally fearful of such a large change, I know experiences like this can only make one stronger.

After we chatted a bit about my results, I went for a walk in the forest and enjoyed a bit of self considerations out in the open mountain air. When I got back, Feargal had returned and Frances had left to visit Dublin for the night. Feargal and I began doing some landscaping with the areas we had cleared and some shrubs we needed to move. We transplanted a few evergreen shrubs from the upper hill near the bee hives down to the new gateway that had been indtalled and rearanged some trees in the lower garden to give a good balance with the new additions. As each hole was dug for a tree we would fill the hole wihth water to sofen the ground and then water the roots thuroughly as it was put in place. I added some more water to the vegetables I had put in earlier that day and then moved to plant the boxwood cuttings out of the potting shed and create a hedge in the area near the house we had worked out that morning. We arranged and planted over a hundred and fifty boxwoods along the wall for about an hour past dark with a large sitting log placed in the center.
Tomorrow I will fix some other areas to be prepared for planting some oak sapplings and start on the poly tunnel frame. I will also take time to go to the local tourist information center and use and international phone to make an appointment with the Kildare Immigration Office and prepare transport arrangements to my next host this coming Monday. I am down to the last four days at Knockanode and theres no way to get eveything done that we have started, but I do plan to return later this Spring when more Wwoofers are around to get even more work done and hopefully see more progress with the gardens and the house. It will be amazing to see all the trees and grounds in bloom during the long warm days. This has been a very buisy and eventful week, but I do see progress and any sress is quickly becoming nothing more important that the labor. Its a beautiful place and I have had an amazing time for my first month in Ireland.

Feargals cuttings

The Hedge garden

Bee Hives
 Progress on the poly tunnel area

 Feargal working on the Gates

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