Week 1

Well this is my first blog. This first week has been an interesting introduction to my studies.

Bannockburn Road Campus.

Monday and Tuesday was taken up with practical instruction on fencing. On the Tuesday we all got to put our new skills into practice and built ourselves a section of strained 7 wire farm fence. Claire and I did quite well but we lost some points due to our use of a to small diameter main strain post and for not giving ourselves more wire room in tying off. I found the tying off difficult as my wrists suffer from joint pain so where I could I used a small handy tool. The tool helped but I think it’s design could be improved on by lengthening the shaft or placing the tool horizontaly to the wire rather than verticaly, having rounded ends with the shaft/handles rubber coated

Something like this:IMG_0629

10545072_10152597023039252_1354303855_nThe fence section Claire and I built:


Wednesday was taken up with small tools and maintenance. In the morning Alex (Tutor) gave a lecture on the workings of internal combustion 2 and 4 stroke engines, the differances in the engine technology, the applications in small tools (chainsaws, brush cutters etc), the importance of regular scheduled maintence especially in oil changes and getting the right mixture of oil and petrol for 2 stroke engines.

Cromwell Main Campus.

Thursday was my introduction to Propagation. In the morning Jo (Tutor) presented  a lecture on the Fig (ficus carica) its origin from Northern India/Turkey, its ideal growing requirements (it prefers a Med climate) and propagation technique (from cuttings). Figs can produce two crops in season-first crop (Breda fig) grow best on previous years wood and ripen Dec/Jan. Second crop grow on new seasons wood. The best Fig for Cromwell conditions is the Lesa.

The class then went to the potting shed and spent our time potting up seedlings. We tidied up the surrounds trimed a vine and spur pruned the table grape vine. Time was also spent in the Glass House weeding.

After lunch we worked on the vegetable raised garden plot development. We laid weed matting in preperation for a gravel walk way.

My Friday was spent in the libary.

Glass house

Glass house

Weed matting

Weed matting



white table grape vine

white table grape vine

Today Im getting organised for the new week, bookmarking relevant web sites and sourcing good Weather Apps for my Iphone….FMG Rural Weather looks good. I’m also continuing to work with this WordPress software to figure out the best layout etc….this blog will be a work in progress!



Mitchels Cottage out from Alexander is a stone built home and out buildings from early settlers. The site is open to visitors and is maintained by DOCS. The use of stone for fence posts etc is remarkable but understandable given the rarity of timber. These fence posts are truly built to last. There are a number of beautiful hand made wrought iron gates along the entry road.

IMG_0706 IMG_0701 IMG_0711 IMG_0713



One response to “Week 1

  1. Hi Peter- An excellent start to your blog and exactly what I was looking for. Great skills and I will follow your blog with interest! Using one post per week is great – just edit to add anymore for that week. If you can include in each post title the week number it helps keep track…so last week was Week 1 for you. Have a look in the Cromwell Bulletin (also an online version) for the weekly weather summary and figure the best way to include it. Keep up the great publishing! Cheers Jo

    Liked by 1 person

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