Monday, March 27, 2006
We have had an interesting time trying to get rid of the crop. Stephans restaurant buys them for a good price but are not always there and it is a reasonable drive up there. Ruth Pretty tends to use them for weekend functions. More local shops to try yet. We gave some to two neighbours, neither of whom had ever tasted them. It seems there is an education job to do on the population regarding the use of figs. I believe growers in Hawkes Bay are now growing more figs so they are appearing in Commonsense Organics and Moore Wilsons at a premium price.
We have one late tree yet to ripen, a huge one called Adriatic. These are Peter Daldin and Brown Turkey so far.
I had an email back from Kay Baxter of Koanga Gardens who advises planting the followiing ground cover under figs: catnip, wormwood, catmint, geraniums, dentate lavendar, pizza thyme (whatever that is) and oregano. Might try to find some of those and plant them in the autumn or winter.
Posted by Otaki4fruit at 1:56 PM
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Posted by Otaki4fruit at 11:38 PM
Ivan said that in Holland he learnt to make seed balls. He started with a container each of soil, sand, and water. He put seeds in the bowl, added soil and shook it. Then a bit of sand, then a spray of water. Then he repeated it till they were of decent size.
When the seeds are thrown to the ground, they remain covered in this clay until the optimal conditions for sprouting. Hopefully this will work!
Posted by Otaki4fruit at 12:15 PM
Ivan has used the saplings from the hazelnuts and tied a couple of them together to make a semicircle. These are very bendy. (they are used by water diviners for finding water). Over the top we have fine netting. He has also divided the bigger garden in two with a couple of our railway sleepers.
Posted by Otaki4fruit at 12:05 PM
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
We have not yet discovered how to grow figs organically. Several websites say grow rue under them but one said the jury is out on that topic. We need to make contact with organic fig growers.
Posted by Otaki4fruit at 12:25 PM
Saturday, March 11, 2006
This is a shot from the apple orchard. We have 35 heritage apples but only two have fruited this year. There are no worms in the soil. The secretary of the Levin Soil and Health has kindly provided us with a great many comfrey plants and here Steve is teaching us to plant them on the drip line of the apple. Just as well. I would have had them planted too close to the trunks. The mower will mow over them and that's fine. They will bring up good nutrients from way down deep. We will also plant lavendar and borage for bees.
To test for clay you roll a cylinder of soil and then bend it till it breaks. Ours broke at 15 degrees. You double that and that is the percentage clay of your soil = 30%.
Posted by Otaki4fruit at 12:02 PM
Posted by Otaki4fruit at 11:56 AM
Saturday, March 04, 2006
The best news is that Bryan and Susanna were here overnight with Daniel only and that the caravan now has electricity. I will take in the gas bottle to fill, and hopefully the stove will also go. It has been very sunny in patches today and after Susanna and Bryan and Daniel had gone I lay in the sun at lunchtime in the caravan and read. It was wonderful. I am thinking of changing the curtains so the colour scheme looks better...Qunices anyone?? I will have to cook the yellow peaches as they get brown rot or the birds start on them. What a shame Malcolm doesn't eat stewed fruit. Maybe I will dehydrate them, just as I did the small sweet white peaches which didn't keep long.
Posted by Otaki4fruit at 5:57 PM