Breaking Ground – Sandy, Limestone Infested Ground

We broke ground last Friday. Sand. Then limestone. And did it over and over again to the point of exhaustion. Loved every moment of it and still feel sore days later.

My partner and I made a trip up to the block on Anzac Day and soon realised it was, indeed, a special public holiday. We had trees and irrigation supplies to purchase but nothing was open until 12pm. With respect to the fallen soldiers, half a day wasted. Eventually we were back on track and bailed our first shovel full of dirt at 2pm. Hard labour, it was. The ground, whilst sandy and soft, was freckled with limestone. To be expected in that part of the world. This had its pros and cons. Pro: free building materials and a good workout. Con: the sore wrists I am typing this with today, and the sheer time it took. We worked into the night under the beam of the car headlights. The challenge didn’t stop there. There was no water. Turns out there is no mains in. A blockage perhaps? Onto the council, who are responsible for the supply. Thankfully, my friendly neighbour ran a long hose from his bore tap, which made our bucket trips to water in the figs, olives, gojis, and feijoas, a bit shorter.


We planted the trees in a medium of loam with chook shit, grape marc (the byproduct of wine production), the sandy loam we dug up, and a pinch of rock dust. The irrigation will have to wait for this weekend – thankfully the trees were treated to 19mm of rain this morning – and some swale building and mulching.

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