Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What Has Happened to Summer?

November has been cold and wet apart from a few days when summer made a brief appearance, then left.
I am not complaining about the rain though. The country looks the best it's looked for 10 years.
The grapes and vegetables are growing well and when some heat eventually comes all the plants will jump out of the ground.

The Vegetable Garden
The orchard is also looking good. The parrots will enjoy a good season of fruit ( apples, peaches, nectarines, plums, nashis and pears) this year. Hopefully this will be the last year of 'waste' in this area as it is planned to build a netted cage around the entire orchard over the next 12 months.

The Orchard
I had help to pull down an old water tank that had been damaged by the hail storm. As well we managed to do some much needed fencing.
We hired a skip to get rid of the tank residue and managed to rid the property of quite a build up of other metal waste that had been accumulating for the last 10 years.
We enjoyed a day trip up to Braidwood for an outdoor quilt show and one to Sydney for some serious Christmas shopping. I still not have found a suitable replacement espresso coffeee machine.

The Pinot Noir Vineyard
Other than that, work continues at the new vineyard project at Milton. We have almost finished planting the 10 acres there and some of what has been in the ground for a year or so is looking ready for the training process to begin. This will be quite complicated as the owner has opted for the French single Guyot cane pruned system rather than the conventional fixed cordon, spur pruned system. It is estimated that the former takes three times as long to perform per vine than the latter. The advantage is said to be controlled yield and improved fruit quality. Time will tell!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Spring Has Sprung!

Rain and more rain! That has been the story of September and October. The dams and tanks are full and the creeks are running, some even flooding. The grass is jumping out of the ground and the vines are thriving. Well, almost! The Cabernet Sauvignon was attacked by wallabies for the first time ever. They ate a lot of new shoots and caused a great deal of fruit loss. The replacement shoots are not as fruitful so it will be a toss up this year whether a harvest is worthwhile or not. Looks like an electric fence around this vineyard is now in order. My grapegrowing neighbour had a similar event this year as well.
The new plantings are doing well. Even the Pinot Noir has sprung to life. Amazing what a a pep talk or maybe the threat of grubbing will do.
The vegetable garden looks good as well. We have a full load of lettuce, chinese vegetables, pumpkin, zuchinnis, spinach, beetroot, beans, corn, tomatoes and herbs to look forward to in the coming months.
The young cattle are appreciating the good season too. They all look fat and well and a lot less skittish since the hand feeding..
Summer is just around the corner. We are looking forward to some time down at the beach swimming and fishing.