Friday, February 27, 2009

Wedding Quilt Update

I started to cut out the Garden Wall wedding quilt last week - boy did it take some time!! Anna Maria says on the pattern that you'll spend more time cutting than sewing, and I think she's right! I sewed 4 blocks yesterday afternoon, only 5 to go then put the sashings on and send it off to be machine quilted. It's coming together really easily and I think it looks very effective. You can see the dark garden wall, and then the green foliage and pink and yellow flowers.

Farmer Phil is at a Controlled Traffic Workshop today, so hopefully I'll get the other 5 blocks made and put together.

You're thinking, what on earth is a Controlled Traffic Workshop?! No, he's not becoming a traffic cop!! It's a day where like minded farmers get together with the experts to see whether this farming system would suit their business. Controlled Traffic is a no-till farming system using machinery with wider axles and confining paddock traffic to permanent tracks using GPS. The experts believe that growers using this system have significant yield advantages in dry seasons and potentially stand to capitalise in average and good seasons through enhanced moisture retention, crops growing in uncompacted soils and machinery using less fuel whilst operating on hard permanent tracks.

It all makes sense, but there is the added complication of extra costs from having to either convert your existing machinery or buying new machines. We already use a no-till system, meaning we don't plough the paddocks 2 or 3 times before we actually sow them. Our seeding machine will sow straight into last years stubble and then leave that stubble on top of the ground to act as a mulch - just like everyone should use mulch in their garden to retain moisture. Farming is really just large scale gardening, just using bigger machinery!

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