Possibility and reality

12 06 2009

We got a pleasant surprise this week in the form of a 300000 tobacco seedling order to be sown as soon as possible. It means that I will have to get some more trays from the Tobacco Research Board but only once the deposit comes through.

Driving off to the bank to check if anything had happened I began to ponder the possibilities. Another customer was also talking about some very big orders of tomatoes and the Zimbabwe Tobacco Seed Association was wanting a sizeable order too so I was going to have to give the irrigation some thought. We have had pretty good power up until now but that could easily change and a couple more 5000 litre emergency tanks would be in order (there is a small diesel pump for them). There is an ancient but reliable Lister diesel pump at the main 125000 litre tank but it struggles to provide pressure to the far end of the nursery which we might well have to use. Maybe another Lister type engine to go the other end of the irrigation system and feed back from the emergency tanks? Then of course we have to get the water out of the ground and that would mean parking a generator right next to the borehole (some 200m from the office so the voltage drop from there would be too high) or getting a much bigger generator at the office block. Seedling medium in the form of composted pine bark is becoming a problem; the tobacco growers are also using it at this time of the year for their seedlings (methyl bromide which was being used to sterilize tobacco seed beds will not be available from next year) and supply from the one and only supplier is short. This was all quite exciting (and challenging)!

Then I got to the bank. None of the promised transfers had come through.

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