Monday 1st We got the two pair of bullocks and finished ploughing in the paddock. Tom Wyatt was cutting Nikau all day to thatch the shed.
Tuesday 2nd We got the two pair of bullocks up in the morning. Samuel ploughed that three cornered piece of ground near the stock-yard in the morning, and Tom drew out Nikau with the other pair of bullocks. Mr Matthew of Great Omaha and another young man came over in the afternoon and staid for tea.
Thursday 4th Samuel went to Pakiri on the horse partly on his own account and partly to bring the mail, but the mail had not arrived so of course he could not bring it. Dr Dalton and Willie Greenwood came down with him, both of them staid for tea and Willie staid all night and Dr Dalton went to Mrs Kirkbride’s.
Tom finished one side of the roof of the shed and commenced the other side.
Friday 5th Willie helped us with the shed in the morning and he went up home in the afternoon.
Saturday 6th Tom finished putting the Nikau on the roof and then he made a saddle of the roof of the raupo off the old whare, before evening we finished the shed and the stockyard and Samuel dug a drain on the outside of the shed.
Sunday 7th When we got up in the morning we found that three parts of the pig that we killed yesterday had been taken away during the night, but by whom I do not know.
William & Joe went to Pakiri and Willie Greenwood returned with them and staid all night.
I went to Mrs Anderson’s in the afternoon and staid for tea.
Monday 8th We finished the shed, made two bins to keep Potatoes in, made a floor over it with slabs and stacked the straw on it that we got from the whare, we also brought the Oates and Bone dust from the whare and put it in the shed. Samuel & I went to the Pa in the afternoon and bought two pigs for £2.18.0
Tuesday 9th It was a beautiful day. We were busy digging up the Potatoes in the field, I had Mr Knaggs and three of the young Andersons to help me, we dug up more than a ton.
Tineti brought over the two pigs I bought yesterday. Samuel killed one of them and it was very fat, it weighed when cleaned 65 lbs.
Wednesday 10th Mr Knaggs and the three young Andersons came again to help to get the Potatoes up, before night we had them all up and housed and only just in time as it commenced to rain when we had got them all in. Mr Monkhouse came and staid all night.
Thursday 11th It rained all day so that we could not work out of door, we sorted potatoes all day.
Friday 12th We continued to sort potatoes before breakfast and weighed them all. We have dug out altogether 3 Tons 11 Cwt & 18 lb.
During the remainder of the day we slashed down tea tree scrub.
Saturday 13th we finished cutting down the tea tree scrub before the door and cleared up the place in from the house in the morning. We commenced to dig a drain from the swamp up alongside the orchard fence.
I went to Mrs Kirkbrides in the evening.
Monday 15th We continued digging the drain and a good job we made of it. The wind is very strong and the weather is threatening.
Tuesday 16th We continued digging the drain. The wind continued to blow very strong.
Thursday 18th We continued digging drains, the weather is very unsettled and we have frequent showers of rain.
Saturday 20th We finished digging the drains all round the field. We have been draining all week and I think it is the most important thing I have done since I have been on the place, the paddock was very wet before as all the water that came off of the hills rushed over the paddock washing away the soil and rendering it unfit for cultivation. The Potatoe crop would have been much heavier had not the water rushed over it as the potatoes on the black swampy piece of ground were all rotten when we dug them up and were not worth picking up.
Willie Greenwood came in the afternoon and staid all night.
Sunday 21st It is just a year ago since I made the agreement with Kenneth McKenzie to buy this land, it will soon be a year since I came to live on it and commence the work of improvement, I cannot say that there has not been anything done, in fact there has been a great deal done, but what has it cost!!! Certainly it was experience that I wanted and which I have had to pay dearly for.
My great mistake was in having my work done by weekly work instead of contract work, it would have been better both for myself and for my men and I should have more to show than I have now. There are certainty some things that could not be done by contract but on the other hand there are are a great many things that I have done since I have been here that could have been done more economicaly were they let out by contract, such as felling bush and logging it up, splitting posts and rails and erecting fences, ditching, breaking up ground ready for the plough, reaping or mowing grain or grass seed crops and thrashing the same and cleaning it ready for market, of course I should always want a man or a boy to milk cows, feed the pigs, attend to the garden and eradicate thistles and other noxious weeds on the farm, I think this plan would answer better than the old one and I think I will try it.
I went to the Andersons in the morning and staid for dinner, Mr Anderson, Jim and Sidney returned with me in the afternoon to have a look round.
Monday 22nd It rained all day we could not do any work out of doors, we sorted potatoes in the shed and bored and morticed all the posts that were in the stockyard.
Thursday 25th We all commenced logging up in the clearing and we commenced making a picket fence along the edge of the bush. Mr & Mrs Marshall & family came in the cutter “Alarm” to go and live permanently on their land at Pakiri.
Charlie Dyer came over on the horse in the morning and staid for dinner, he brought my newspaper with him.
Friday 26th Mr Wright & Billy Dyer came over in the morning for flour but I could not let them have any as I am getting very short of that article.
We continued logging up and making the picket fence, we are making a very good job of the fence.
Saturday 27th The weather continues very fine. We finished making the picket fence.
Willie Greenwood called in the afternoon.
Sunday 28th It was a beautiful day. I took a walk by the Koroa in the afternoon.
Monday 29th We got the bullocks up in the morning and Samuel tried the new harrows on the Wheat land, they worked very well & tear all the fern root out of the ground.
Tom, William & I began logging up in the clearing.
Tuesday 30th Samuel continued harrowing on the Wheat land. We continued logging up.