OK, we’re rural. We have sheep and a solar-powered electric fence (an S10 Solar Energizer for those into such things, and a 4-wire SmartFence that winds back up again after deployment). They’re not actually our sheep, but we get one occasionally for the freezer as we let them roam around under the olive grove to keep the grass down – and we don’t have to shear, dip and drench them! There are 10 brave enough to come onto the main lawn, which we do mow, but it’s a bit of a time-consuming bugger to cut and we’d rather leave it to the sheep.

Our mate John is donating a chicken coop to the cause for our upcoming free-range flock, and we’ve been promised some Orpingtons to go in it. If that goes well we might try some geese as an alternative to relying entirely on sheep for grass control. This is important as we have to keep sheep – or more precisely sheep shit – out of the olive groves at harvest time.

The next big step though is the arrival of the large greenhouse to house our hydroponics system. the weather here is lovely but windy, and anything outside tends to get hammered flat. A test hydroponics system suffered 25% casualties, so the greenhouse is more to keep the weather off than the crops warm. Oh, and keep the sheep out.

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