Monday, September 12, 2011

Meat Mayhem

We went up to the Plot last week and were amazed at how green everything is.
We were dog-sitting a friend's dog and so she came along too 
(much to Mad Dog's irritation).

Bonnie and the sweet Jasmine flowers
Meat prices are just climbing higher by the day and its seldom that we treat ourselves to anything other than sausage or mince. While we were up at the Plot, we noticed that there seems to be a frenzy taking place. The fields are lush and green after some generous winter rains and other landowners are hastily jumping on the bandwagon to make a good amount of money, despite many of them  living 260 km away in Cape Town, as we do.  They have acquired more livestock in the form of sheep or cattle. One owner has expanded his flock of sheep to over 100 and he also owns some cattle and yet, he only owns about two hectares! Most of these meat barons will rely on being able to rent Commonage from the Municipality or  approach other landowners, who don't own livestock, to rent out their fields to them. However, if a property is not fenced off, then its a free-for-all! Only a fence demarcates: "So far and no further". Or at least, that's the theory.

I was so disheartened when my neighbour there telephoned me three weeks ago to tell me that he had chased an entire herd of cattle off our plot. Somebody had opened the fence to our property (the gates are secured) and allowed their cattle to browse on our land. Cattle love to rub every itchy bit of their bodies on a tree and as our trees are still relatively small, the damage was extensive. The most upsetting was the damage to one of our four Mission Olive trees, which had borne fruit for the first time this year. 

Mission Olive
Mission Olive's new shape: a wind tunnel

Wild Pear

Wild Peach
One of many damaged Wild Olives
The worrying thing is that the heavy winds and harsh climate might just prevent a full recovery and lead to an ultimate demise. 

 One man's dream creates another's nightmare!

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