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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Coffee Tree(s), Maintenance and Generators

Today started well with both of us down behind the tanks loading up the cut down trees into the trailer and taking it down to the hayshed storage area for a 2 year dry out. With two working it was a speedy task. All that is remaining is the mulching of the foliage.

While the tractor was out and about yet another load of rocks was removed from around The Orchard. This seems an almost endless task but I'm sure it isn't. One day it will be done.

The other tractor job was to level out an area adjacent the workshop. Originally this was set up as a garden bed to grow some tropical fruit but it just never took off. Over time it became a storage ground for timber and firewood. The chooks would scratch around and gradually dirt built up against the metal sheeting of the workshop. This is not an ideal situation. Soil and metal don't work well together.

As part of the ongoing maintenance program this potential damage to the workshop needed addressing. Over the last couple of weeks all the timber has been relocated and today we used the 4 in 1 bucket to scrape the site. The job was finished off with a shovel. The metal cladding was showing some signs of rust and after a bit of wire brushing a rust converter was applied. A coat of paint tomorrow will finish the job.

Eventually this site will make a good level pad for some alternative use. Level sites are rare on Home Hill Farm.

Our Coffee tree is experiencing some trauma. A month ago a large branch snapped off. Last week another came off. Today we found 4 central branches broken. originally we surmised that it was the action of wind on fruit heavy branches but not any longer. The possible suspect is now a possum. The tree looks a bit battered but the fruit on the broken stems is salvageable and the tree will recover.

We would have preferred last years problem which was rodents eating the berries and spitting out the pips on the ground which we were able to harvest removing one step from the process.

We planted a second tree in a different location after having some success making our own coffee but it is some time away from producing a viable crop.

The damaged Coffee
The recovered foliage
The dried beans from the earlier broken branches partially processed

While working today I was listening to TSP ( The podcast was an older one related to choosing and using generators. I have to say it was a great listen explain the different types of generators and how to decide which is the best for you. Especially good was the method to calculate your usage. Part 2 of the program explained how to incorporate the output into your house. Some methods were dangerous and illegal while other options very useful. The other excellent section was on ways to increase the running time of the unit with either extension tanks or converting the unit to duel fuel usage i.e. Petrol/Propane gas. Petrol has a limited shelf life unless additives are used to increase its storage properties. Propane on the other hand has an unlimited storage life and most importantly we always have a full 45 KG backup tank for our gas stove making this an attractive conversion option.

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