The rain has come! Woohoo!! I'm not sure how much growing the trees will get in before winter, but I'm hoping that with a huge amount of mulching, the summers will get progressively easier and more productive. This was a tough summer, and watering was very time-consuming and exhausting, and we watered barely enough to keep everything alive.
With the rain, we knew it was time to coppice our invasive Port Jackson, Acacia saligna, before it went to seed and we earned the hatred of all our neighbours. We cleared it last year, and it came back with a vengeance, but with more rust fungus than previously. This year, we've coppiced the hundreds of trees at waist height- we expect them to be back, but hope that their strength will gradually be weakened as we add other trees, improve the soil, and cut them back more aggressively (and the rust fungus spreads). To my knowledge the rust fungus attacks these wattle/acacias specifically. For this year, I'm so grateful for the mulch and biomass provided by the Port Jackson, as well as the wind break they provided to our apricot and guava trees, which did pretty well this, their first year (one guava is even bearing fruit at the moment!).
Let's talk practicality: Finding time to coppice three hundred trees with three kids and jobs? I've had to do it in the evening, holding Hana in the carrier, often breastfeeding while chopping. Yeah. She's gotten so used to it she doesn't like me just walking around with her to get her to sleep-- she wants to feel the jerkiness and the occasional branch landing on her head. Lest you think Eug is slacking off, I think I may have the easier task. While I'm cutting, Eug is busy cleaning and putting the animals to bed, and making sure the boys don't do anything too crazy. At the moment the boys are into playing in the sand of our driveway, which they bring into the house right after Eug finishes cleaning. Aah, to have it all. (that's sarcasm, but only partly, because what kind of person has an acre of land and a red tiny house and three great kids and then whines about it? Yeah. I guess I do.)