We now have a Thursday group to supplement our Tuesday volunteers.
We have been too successful for our own good. Waipa District Council can not get enough staff to do the maintenance required on our plantings so we have to do it ourselves.
The Thursday group was started by Eric Todd last year, 2017. Some of the more able-bodied of us get together and spray and weed our plantings. The two big ones, Lola Silcock Park and the Meadow Walk, require a lot of maintenance as they are fairly new and their plants aren't big enough to keep weeds down, unlike our older plantings, which are fairly clean. This work supplements the Tuesday group's summer maintenance program.
We spend 2-3 hours in the field, then adjourn to a cafe to put the world to rights over morning tea.
At Lake Te Ko Utu.
At the Maple Arboretum.
Sometimes things don't go according to plan.
The Thursday group were in Lola Silcock Park, clearing out some over-crowded trees. The truck had been loaded the with prunings; everyone was standing around waiting for Pete and Eric to move their vehicles so that David could get the truck past them and take the load to Greenscapes. As everyone was chatting beside the truck, standing on the roadway, Pete came along in his jeep. He allowed a lot of room when he passed us, and that meant his right-hand side wheels went into the soggy, muddy drain beside the road. This was not a problem for the jeep- it just kept going.
However, when it came to turning out of the gutter it was a different story. The side of the gutter was too steep and taller than the jeep wheels. Stuck! Solution - Pete reversed all the way back to his starting point and tried again. Same result! This time, the wheel rut in the soggy mud was deeper. He tried a few more times, each time with the same result - a deeper rut in the mud. He bulldozed a substantial pile of mud with the jeep's front bumper bar. At that point – the others insisted they pull him out.
The only vehicle capable of doing it was the truck. John’s Surf was at the nursery. Joe produced a good rope, and the truck was hitched up. Even with the load on to give traction, the back wheels of the truck spun, but with a judicious combination of speed and power, Pete and his jeep emerged from the gutter.
The jeep was, without doubt, dirtier than it had been since 1943. Pete washed it at the nursery on the way to morning coffee before there were too many admirers of its mud pack.