October 1865

Sunday 1st  It was a beautiful day. I walked to the Goat Island in the afternoon.

Monday 2nd  We began to dig up the ground in front of the house, that in front of the house where the Porticover tree came out of dug up very well, but that down nearer the cliff turned up very clayey, we planted 5 rows of Potatoes as we went along 2 ft 2 in apart from row to row & 1 ft in the row, the rows are very long being from the edge of the cliff up to the grindstone

Tuesday 3rd  It rained all day without intermission so that we could not work out of doors.

Wednesday 4th  It was rather showery all day.  The ground was too wet in the morning to dig so we put up two panels of the fence.  In the afternoon we dug up the ground before the house and planted three rows of Potatoes.

Thursday 5th  We continued to dig & plant Potatoes, we planted 5 rows of Potatoes.  There was a few slight showers but they did not interfere with our work.

Friday 6th   We continued to dig & plant, we planted 2 rows of Potatoes, so that it makes 15 rows in all that we have planted before the house this week.
We got out a large cedar stump that was nearly on the edge of the cliff so that we gain a good deal of ground.  Mrs Porter came over in the afternoon & brought my clothes home & also to borrow some sugar.  I went over to the Andersons in the afternoon to take back some jars & also to get some Cabbage plants that Jim had promised me, they have fenced half an acre of ground in at their little bay & are hoeing it up to plant corn & pumpkins, it is a very good deep soil, being a spade deep.
I planted a row of cabbages 2 ft 2 in from the cabbages & 1 ft 6 in in the row, there was 42 plants in one row so that the row must be about 68 ft long.

Saturday 7th  We continued to dig & planted two rows of cabbages making 131 plants in all that we have planted.  We have planted one row of Broad Beans 2 ft 2 in from the Cabbages and about 3 inches in the row.  I went to Mrs Kirkbrides in the evening to take her some mint plants & she gave me a thyme plant.

Sunday 8th  It was a beautiful day.  John and Joe Wyatt & I rowed round in the boat to the Goat Island in the morning & Tom went by land.  John shot two Goats.  We went fishing and & caught 13 fish, 4 snapper, 1 Karwai, & 8 Rock Cod & 1 small shark.  They were the first fish I had caught in New Zealand.

Monday 9th  Tom helped John to skin the goats.  I had half a goat and one of the skins for my share.
We planted a row of Broad Beans 2 ft 2 in from the other row and about three inches in the row.
I received a letter from Foster in the evening.  It began to rain in the evening.

Tuesday 10th  We continued to hoe up and dig, we also made a fire and burnt up all the rubbish & took down the old fence.
Very little rain fell last night, hardly enough to wet the ground, we want rain very bad as the ground is very hard & cracked.  A cutter came into the harbour in the evening named the “Two Sisters“.

Wednesday 11th  We continued to dig & plant, Tom finished to hoe up the ground below that which was planted last year.  We planted 2 rows of Broad Beans the same distance apart as the others, we also planted 3 rows of French Beans 2 ft 2 in from the Broad Beans & the same distance between the rows & about three inches in the row.  Jim Anderson gave me the seed.

Thursday 12th  We planted 3 more rows of French Beans the same distance apart as the others, making six rows in all.  Next to them I planted a row of Raspberry Canes about 18 inches from the Beans and about 9 inches in the row, I ought to have planted them further apart as they would have bourne fruit sooner but I had not sufficient room, Mr Porter gave me the canes, they were once a very fine sort but he has allowed them to grow wild and they have very much deteriorated, so that they will take a great deal of care before they will bear fruit, at least fruit of any size, the manure that is best suited for them is ashes.
I planted a short row of my finest Pxxgertaker Peas about 2 ft 6 in from the raspberry canes.  The seed is selected from those I grew last year coming from pods containing not less than 7 Peas & the largest quantity of Peas, by adopting the method of choosing the pods with the greatest number of peas in, I think I can obtain a more prolific sort having a fixity of character.
In the afternoon we made a sapling fence round the ground enclosing a nice strip outside the hoed up ground to plant Cucumbers etc in.
The “Two Sisters” sailed for Auckland in the evening loaded with Joe the Portuguese firewood.  The “Industry” came into harbour last night from Auckland with Mr & Mrs Whitton, a horse and four cows, they landed the horse and cows this morning.

Friday 13th  The “Industry” began to load with Joe’s firewood.  We planted 11 hills of Cucumbers, 6 hills of Apple Melon & 12 hills of Vegetable Marrows, & a row of maize by the side of the fence.  We also stumped the Porticover tree & planted maize near it, also some Nasturtiums by the side of the Pouriri tree & some pea sticks to climb up.
Tom made two new hoe handles in the afternoon, Joe and I measured  a piece of ground before the house to hoe up & removed the house blocks & the bean sticks off of it.  Mr Porter came to borrow 50 lbs of flour & a little salt.

Saturday 14th  The “Industry” sailed for Auckland this morning loaded.  We began to hoe up the fresh piece of ground before the house, some of it is very good soil & the rest is middling, but it is all better than that we have just planted.
The young Andersons came over for thistles for their cow & Jim came over in the evening for a load of them.

Sunday 15th  We went fishing off the rocks near Point Rodney in the morning but we could not catch any fish.
Tom & Joe & Jim Anderson & I went to the Pah in the afternoon to have a look round.
We heard today that the “Elfin Queen” had been shipwrecked & all the lives on board lost on the West Coast near the Manakau and that the body of Captain Dixon had been picked up at Onehunga, I hope it may not be true, it is only six weeks last Tuesday since she left this place for Hokitika.

Monday 16th  The Knights Dwarf Marrowfats that we planted on the flat have not come up on account of the seed being too old.  We planted the two rows over again with the Pugetaker Peas, one of the rows next to the Potatoes we planted with those I grew last year coming from pods containing not less than 7 peas & the greatest quantity of Peas in each pod.  The other row we planted with ordinary unselected Pugetaker Peas.  We next commenced to make a duck place next to the post and rail fence near the well, we made it of saplings, its dimensions are as follows, length 16 ft, width 10 ft, height 4 ft.
In the evening we went over to the Andersons for the ducks which I have bought of them, 6 ducks and one drake for £1.
Jack came from Pakiri to see if there was a vessel here to go down to Auckland in, as there was no vessel he came to stay over at my house until one came in.

Tuesday 17th  The ducks laid one egg.  The cutter “Orpheus” came into harbour early this morning to load with Portuguese Joe’s firewood.
We continued to hoe up before the house, it was very showery all day & we had a wet night.

Wednesday 18th  The ducks laid one egg.   The “Orpheus” sailed for Auckland with a cargo of fire-wood. Jack went down with her, also three Miss Kemp’s.  The “Ida Zeigler” came into port this morning with a general cargo.  We saw a ship going up to Auckland in the morning, it looked very much like a man of war.
Tom made a new handle to my hoe, we ground all the hoes and put an axe into order, we fell a little bush in the morning & continued to hoe up before the house in the afternoon, we got the xxx root out.
The “Industry” came into harbour in the evening from Auckland after a passage of five hours.  Mr Anderson came up with her.

Thursday 19th  The ducks laid one egg.  It was very showery all day, so much so that we could not work out of doors.  Tom made a washing stand & fixed it up near the door & covered the top with oil cloth, it looks much better than the old cask we had before.  He also made a trough for the grindstone.  A schooner went out of Great Omaha in the morning, we suppose it to be the “Ono“.
Tom, Joe & I went over to the Andersons in the evening to see Mr Anderson, he looks very well after his travels in Australia.  He has visited the towns of Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne  and Adelaide, he admired Melbourne more than the others as the town is so well laid out, the streets so wide and so many public buildings, the principal of which are the Post Office & the Free Library.
In Tasmania he visited the town of Launceston & Hobart Town, he travelled from the former to the latter place a distance of 120 miles by coach along a good turnpike road, it took them 14 hours and the fare was 30s, he said the scenery was most beautiful being very mountainous.  Mr Anderson seemed to be more pleased with Hobart Town and its vicinity than any other place he had visited, he describes the soil as being very fertile, as an instance he said he saw carrots as thick as a man’s thigh & weighing about a ¼cwt, he also saw very large orchards, the farm he visited was Mr Shoobridge’s.   Captain  McKenzie killed a bullock today,  I think it is the first that has been killed in Little Omaha at least since I have been here.

Friday 20th  The ducks laid no eggs today. We had some slight showers in the morning, we continued to hoe up before the house & took  out a large pouriri stump.  A steamer went up to Auckland in the afternoon, I suppose it is the mail steamer, if it is she is two days before her time.
The “Industry” sailed for Auckland in the evening loaded with Portuguese Joe’s firewood.

Saturday 21st  The ducks laid no eggs today.  We had some slight showers in the day.  We finished hoeing up before the house.  A cutter went into Great Omaha in the afternoon.  The “Ida Zeigler” sailed for Auckland in the evening.  The Potatoes are coming up in the ground in front of the house, they were planted a fortnight last Monday.

Sunday 22nd  It was very fine in the morning, but very showery in the afternoon, Tom & I walked by the beach to Monkhouse’s after dinner, we saw a barque going up to Auckland, we found Mrs Monkhouse at home and spent a very pleasant hour there, she showed us some drawings & sketches that Mr M. did.  They have a very nice library of books.  We returned through Kemp’s ground  by the new road, we called at Greenwood’s whare,  Mr G and his son are up now.

Monday 23rd    Tom & I went to get nikaw in the morning at Campbell’s bush on the other side of the harbour.  We made a little house for the ducks adjoining their yard.
A schooner went into Great Omaha in the afternoon, supposed to be the “Ono“.

Tuesday 24th  Dug up the ground in front of the house and planted 7 rows of potatoes next to the others 2 ft 2 in from row to row and about 1 ft in the row, next to the potatoes we made a broad path to lead down below, the other side of the path we planted a double row of Scarlet Runners about 1 ft between the double row & three rows of Peas 3ft from row to row, 2 of the rows were Puzetaker Peas & 1 row Large Marrowfat  Peas.
Saw a cutter go out of Great Omaha in the morning, supposed to be the “Isabella“.

Wednesday 25th  We finished planting the ground in front of the house. We planted a large bed of Carrots, we manured it very highly with night soil mixed with ashes & bones broken up into small pieces, about a third of the bed was sown with the seed Mr Anderson gave me and which were given to him be Mr Shoebridge near Hobart Town who is famed for his success in Carrot growing; the rest of the bed was sown with seed I bought & which I grew last year, some of which attained a very good size.  We planted six rows of Turnips, three of Golden Globe & three  of Bangholm Swede, both of which seed I grew at dear old Ridlington.  We also planted some radishes, some Tomatoes, Passion Fruit, Chillies, the two latter were given to me by Mr Allison of the Flagstaff, North Shore, and also Sunflower given me by Mr Foster.
The “Ida Zeigler” came in from Auckland in the morning.  The “Industry” & “Helen” came in the harbour from Auckland.  They went from here to Great Omaha to load with firewood to take down to Tauranga.

Thursday 26th  We pitched all the firewood over the fence, rolled all the logs together in a heap & we set fire to it in the evening.  We also set fire to a large Pouriri tree but he would not burn as he had no draught.  The “Ida Zeigler” went out of harbour, I suppose to Auckland.  Mr Porter & two children & Jim Anderson came over in the evening.

Friday 27th  We began to pare off the weeds on the ground behind the house that was planted with maize and pumpkins last year.
We set fire to four pouriri trees and they were soon laid prostrate on the ground & being hollow they burnt themselves nearly up.
The large pouriri tree is still burning inside but he has not fell yet.
The wind blew very strong from the westward and it blew all the ash away.

Saturday 28th  The large pouriri tree fell during the night and made a great noise, it is now burning up well.  We set fire to the bush on the road, but it did not burn very well, we also set fire to the bush that is fell this side of my fence going to My Wyatts land and it ran through the bush very well, burning the leaves and branches and only leaving the logs.  The wind was very high, it looks like rain but it seems in no hurry to come down, a heavy shower would do a great deal of good now as the crops require it, and it would set the ash so that the wind could not blow it away.
Mr Anderson and Jim came over in the evening to have a look round, the former had not been here before.
The ducks laid 1 egg.

Sunday 29th  Tom is going to town for me to get provisions and execute other commissions, he & Joe went to Great Omaha in the morning to see if there was a vessel in there,  they returned for dinner bringing tidings that the cutters “Isabella” & “Orpheous” were there and that the former was partly loaded and would sail tomorrow for Auckland.
Tom, Joe & I went to Mr Porter’s in the afternoon, we had a look round his garden, it looks very gay with flowers.  I went down on to my flat this morning to have a look round, I found that some of the Pinaster Firs are coming up. They were planted four weeks last Thursday.  The ducks laid one egg.

Monday 30th  We had a nice shower of rain early this morning, it will do a great deal of good to the crops and it will also set the ash.
The ducks laid 3 eggs this morning.
Tom went to Great Omaha in the morning  to go down by the cutter “Isabella“, we saw for here the cutter going out of Great Omaha in the afternoon & she soon rounded Takatou Point.
We rolled some of the logs together and made a large log fire round an enou stump and we set fire to it in the afternoon.

Tuesday 31st  Nothing particular happened today.  The “Orpheus” went out of Great Omaha in the afternoon.  We made three log fires and set fire to them in the evening.  The westerley wind continues to blow as strong as ever.  The “Ida Zeigler” arrived in harbour early this morning and she went out again in the afternoon.  We seem very dull without Tom, but we must not expect him home just yet.