Saturday, 28 June 2014

Updating the erdbeerberg

When I was studying agriculture at Uni (in the UK) one of the big issues was the way the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union led to massive surpluses of some products.  The most problematic was huge stocks of butter attributed to subsidies permitting a French peasant with 2 cows and a goat to make a living from those stock.  This stockpile was referred to in the British Press as the "Butterberg" with 'berg',  the German word for mountain, being used to display the erudition of such rags as the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express.

A couple of years back I decided to adopt the term for our strawberry patches which were - even without the guiding hands of Rupert Murdoch and Lord Beaverbook - producing massive crops.  However I went a step further and used the Deutsche for strawberry as a prefix.  Seeking to be a bit more erudite than Pommie tabloids is a pretty modest ambition!

Last year it seemed that one of the patches was getting invaded by underground stems from a patch of mint  on one side and raspberries on the other.  It was also old enough that the strawberries were getting a tad senile.  So I decided to create a fresh patch elsewhere in the vegie garden.  The mint and runaway raspberries will get dealt with later: the mild Winter means they haven't yet gone dormant.

The new patch is currently a bit damp, after recent rain.
I am hopeful that it will dry out in the next few days so that I can transplant some runners .  To get things prepared, as well as digging the new bed I went to get some pine needles as mulch .
I was accompanied on this trek by the small dog who found something interesting under the pines.
 Yes, it was indeed evidence of wombats living by the creek.
When you've got it, roll in it.  This is much joked about in Footrot Flats
but I have never had a dog before that so enjoys writhing in faecal matter.  At least wombat doesn't stink as does fox.
Back at the patch it was time to add a bit of compost to the patch.  While sieving it I found a few beetle larvae (more evidence of the warmth of the season) and flicked them to where the magpies can see them..
 Here is the finished patch, waiting for dryness.

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