Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Back from holiday and have had two lots of wwoofers

Well the ability to send photos might have deserted me (I interfered with it somehow and can't get it back, I used for a mac) but the garden continues to flourish.

I wish I could send photos of the heritage apples which are all swelling and looking so promising. We have already finished thinning them (very late I might say) and used the thinnings for stewing. In fact I had so many I had to freeze them.

Our first wwoofers were Dagmar and Paul from Scotland, wonderful people. We did heaps of work. Everything grew so much while we were away for a three week holiday it sure needed attending to. Fortunately we had had family in the house all that time and the glasshouse and vege garden had been watered regularly and the geese water changed. On arrival home we found the early plums had all been eaten by the birds, there are no more early fruit on any of the olives and disease has entered the wine grapes. Well the grapes were never disease resistant anyway. I always put off spraying them, even with Organic 100 or baking soda and it's time I was more disciplined about it. Anyway they look generally better than last year thank goodness.

The herbal ley is proving wonderful for all sorts of beneficial insects. I think I have identified a hoverfly – not sure. Bees are having a party in the phacelia and the various white flowers are growing underneath them. Borage is just staring to grow bigger. By autumn each plant is huge and the bees love it. So I had to transplant a lot of young borage plants from the vege garden (we had a very big one there last year) to under the fruit trees at the back. The coriander I put under the citrus is flourishing, wonderful for cooking with.

And that brings us to the French wwoofer Stephanie, who is with us now. She loves cooking and yesterday cooked us a delicious lunch which I am still recovering from.

My son in law and daughter noticed that the walnuts almost all have borer, so we had to treat them with a dose of kerosene and seal it with wax. Oh dear.

We have also had trouble with rats who seemed to get half our nuts. Devious brutes. So hopefully we are outwitting them now. A fisherman friend on holiday suggested using nylon fishing line to hang them from in the shed so they can't climb down it. Hopefully that will work.

The weather has been fairly awful. Spring was cool and wet and summer not very obvious. We have only had a few really hot days so the prospect of the kumeras doing well is not strong. Tomatoes are ripening in the glasshouse now, most of the carrots didn't germinate (they are germinating now as it is warm and wet) and you can say goodbye to growing broccoli in the summer due to white butterflies. They hardly grew much anyway.

The corn, beans and squash are working well together. Three sisters the Hope Indians call them. Beans climb the corn and the squash is creeping underneath, beans create soil for all of them.

Bryan my son in law did all the shredding while we were away and many little mechaical jobs fixing things.

Oh and I forgot, I love tradesmen. Our plumber came this week and sorted out the filter and now we have good water pressure again. What a relief. Now we need an electrician again for the caravan as it is shorting out too often. Must go for a swim.