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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Life Project - Wrap up

Our real estate agent emailed to us the results of his calculations in valuing the property. The range confirmed our own estimates.

If we were to purchase the property that we viewed up north it would mean contributing money about 30%) out of our savings in order to built a simple house that took advantage of the spectacular view. And that would be if the vendors were prepared to sell at our valuation of their property.

The building of a new house would mean that the illegal original house could be rented out providing a small income to justify the expenditure on a second house. But this does not overcome the problem of having a very large and useful shed located no where near either house. There is little doubt this would drive us mad after a short period.

The decision then is to (for the moment) stay where we are. The likelihood of another property coming on the market with the attributes we desire and in the price range we could afford is small.

That then brings us to Plan B i.e. the improvements to HHF we documented earlier. Most of these revolve around reducing the amount of work performing tasks which regular and needed. The first item to tackle is watering.

Since the agent examined HHF we have been taking things a bit easy spending more time reading. This has been a way of getting away from the regular demands of HHF. Now after a period of rest and confirmation that a move was not imminent  we got back into the tasks.

We had moved away from the automatic watering of the fruit trees with the system installed when the trees were planted. initially to reduce the volume of water required at each watering as well as encourage the trees to dig deeper for water. This has worked well for the last few years as we only applied water to a tree when it showed distinct stress over a period of days.

This last 6 months has been a an exception with the prolonged dry spell putting most of the trees under severe stress resulting in us watering almost every tree. There are some exceptions such as the olives and macadamias.

The first item on the Plan B list was to fix and test the old watering system in the orchard. That has taken most of the day. Some better spray nozzles have been utilised and any trees not requiring regular watering have been turned off but left in the system in case. There were lots of breaks to be repaired where trees had grown and damaged the pipe. Some of these underground breaks required a lot of digging to find and repair. By the end of the day the system was working well.

All that needs to be finished is to bury the new sections installed to replace damaged pipes. The system tested extremely well with the modifications, very good pressure to all the nominated trees and a good fine spray pattern.

Plan B consists of quite a few more irrigation jobs but the orchard was by far the biggest single item.

A sense of achievement at the end of a long hot day.

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