Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fruit are ripening now and veges are all planted.

Well at last. The broad beans have been good but are now finished. Red currants are great and black currants are just starting but don't look as plentiful as the reds.

Loquats are good too but require a ladder to pick and then they aren't exactly user friendly. A great taste but such a lot of pip, in fact 3-4 pips in each. And we have to share them with the birds, plenty for all of us actually.

The cherry isn't having a good year at all sad to say.

Yesterday I started poking round the early plums and found some ripe. I had a good feed and brought some in too. On the way I picked a couple of leaves of Vietnamese mint and chewed one and lo and behold it went beautifully with the plums. So I made some more up. Delicious.

Elderflowers have finished but their cordial is still going, and the apples have been thinned a bit but maybe we should have been more ruthless. The herbal ley is looking really great under the apples and figs and I look forward to a whole bloom of white flowers later. And of course all the apples.

As for the geese, well they get out a lot. Not sure that the electric fence is doing much at all. And tonight Malcolm was mowing and broke the mower when he hit a big root. A big bolt was sheared off, and we hope we can get a borrowed mower for the holidays from the Levin firm KC Motors. If not... Sounds an expensive accident.

And the corn is growing up, with beans and squash. The kumeras are hopeless because it hasn't exactly been a tropical spring. In the glasshouse the tomatoes are swelling and I finally finished picking off laterals and tying them up before we go away on holiday and have family look after the place.

The tamarillo has now recovered after the awful spring and even looks healthy. Peaches are generally quite useless and macadamia are all finally picked. Well guess what? The rats have eaten all the hazelnuts we had stored in the storeroom and have taken half the macadamias to high places and scattered them everywhere including in the garage roller door. We had one onion bag stored in the mower shed and thought we were clever because we tied it from a rafter. And the darned rats climbed up there and down the string, demolishing half the bag. So next year it is 2-3 bags from the rafters and lots of early rat poison. All that work picking and dehusking and drying them and mostly to feed rats. Darn.

Ther radishes are up and the carrots have finally germinated after several failures in the spring. Good greens always means we have had salads every day and the herbs are extremely plentiful and varied. Peoppermint tea is great. I have peas and beans planted everywhere.

The wine grapes are still holding their own and the table grapes look healthy thanks to all the Organic 100 sprayed on them (fish waste and seaweed) They love it

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A happy moment during our property blessing and wedding

Originally uploaded by localcurrencies.

Well after six years of living together we finally got married on Dec 2nd, which was a very happy event. I think what we are laughing at here is the wee dog that Winsome brought chased the cows in the next door paddock. It wasn't long till the cows thought there was something wrong here as the dog was diminutive and they were big. So the cows turned round the chased the dog back to our property. He scuttled in so fast we all burst out laughing. We went from here into the clearing in the native bush for our wedding ceremony. And of course it was a brilliantly fine day after weeks of rain and indifferent weather...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Malcolm rides the mower at full speed

Originally uploaded by localcurrencies.

He was keen to get it all mown before the weather broke and sure as eggs today has been very wet and windy. This is Malcolm with his head down going for it. You can see the red currants in the distance with nets over them. We picked a good bowlful yesterday and there are plenty more.

Matze and Peggy plant the Wedding Bells rose

Originally uploaded by localcurrencies.

Yes it is true, we did get married last Saturday and Wendy and Russell gave us this lovely climbing rose. After considerable discussion, and rejecting five other sites, we settled on this one. It is visible from the dining room window, next to the green tea and can climb on the framework set up for the kiwifruit. It looks as though we will have some fruit this year though it is a strange variety and has a bad history, so no doubt it will be well pruned back in the future. Matze and Peggy are from Berlin, East Berlin actually, and have been very helpful to us during the week of our wedding preparations. They looked after our place for three days while we went away to find some sun (it wasn't there in Napier at the time either!).

Boys clean up the branches that Rupert cut off

Originally uploaded by localcurrencies.

Yes it is Rupert, Malcolm's 25 year old grandson from Dunedin. He visited complete with chainsaw and trimmed a great number of branches under Malcolm's guidance. Here he is transporting the branches the day after our wedding. In the trailer is Temmy (Malcolm's great grandson and Daniel (Deirdre's grandson) They had a ball.