Shoot selection, Infanticide and the Master Race

Shoot selectionI can’t stand it.  It’s like killing off one baby to ensure the survival of the other, but which one do I choose?  The eldest?  the youngest? The strongest?  The tallest?  Agony, guilt, it’s all there and finally, when you pluck up your courage, close your eyes and do the deed, there are thousands of others waiting to be cast out of the gene pool in order to achieve a vinous master race.  Cuvee Aryan here we come.  (Well it is Chardonnay.)

Time to Celebrate – The Story So Far

I know there is still a long way to go, and arguably there always will be, but still I feel fantastic and excited about what we have achieved so far.  I wonder how many people in life can say they built their dream?  Well mine is built so I thought I would try to tell the story so far with a few pictures.  Enjoy.  I have.

Add New Posts

Well, they’re in and it feels good, but there were some moments of real concern.  Had I chosen the right posts; were they strong enough for ramming; did it matter that they couldn’t be pointed?  In the end, all it took was a good operator with good experience and rain; lots of it.

All in a line

All in a line

The 8’x5″ end posts are all pre-drilled and provided the biggest challenge.  With the delays meaning installation didn’t begin until after Christmas, drying soils and some rocky patches slowed things up.  The 100mm augur bit should have been ample but the difficulties of accurately drilling at a 30 degree angle resulted in a change to vertical posts.  While possibly not as strong in design, the upside is that the posts are now 900mm in the ground which we considered plenty strong enough when combined with the 40″ ground anchors.  On the other hand, trying to bang them in so far resulted in a worrying attrition rate and unacceptably high costs.

Postmaster Ian

Postmaster Ian

In fact, so great were the concerns, that I put a stop to proceedings until I could think of some way, (or someone,) to do it better.  I was resigned at this point to having to pre-drill every hole, even for the 3 1/2″ line posts, with frightening cost implications.  Eventually, pouring out my woes to a mate in the south eventuated in him making a call to someone who knew someone who was away at the moment but might be able to help when he gets back …etc…etc. It turned out that he could and, after many more delays, he did.  Not only that but, after so much rain fell in April that I was worried about getting onto the site at all, by May 17th, all 620 line posts were in with no pre-drilling and with the loss of only one; a pretty incredible outcome.  Love your work Ian Brown.

Anchors Away

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Nearly everything is here, very much later than planned, but at least we have been able to start. The earth anchors from Qing Dao are all we could have hoped, although admittedly a few of them provided a few problems. And believe me, we are throwing everything at it. If it moves, carries, lifts, drills or measures, it is press-ganged into service, (and that  includes the kids.)

Holden

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