Monday, June 18, 2007

Satsuma mandarins are ripening

They are good and seem early this year. Already delicious. We have put a lot of compost and manure round the citrus and are even going to plant another lemonade tree shortly, well as soon as the soil is really wet enough. So far there hasn't been much rain, just fine days and a lot of dew.

Try again with that alyssum

The herbal ley looks different in autumn and winter

Yes well. Remember how we sowed a herbal ley with a great many seeds in it during spring? In late spring we had a lot of phacelia flowering which attracted beneficial insects. Twas a mass of blue. They died down and the alyssum began to flower. Here is the alyssum, the white flower and behind it you can see the phacelia coming again. Also the clover is flourishing at the moment.

The various mints seem to be coming again now. Under the figs we have added rue and wormwood and catmint and catnip though I had to plant the latter twice and must go and inspect to see if it is still there. But two rue plants are now seeding. They were hard to grow.

Making anaerobic compost

This is me Deirdre stamping on the anaerobic compost

We have learnt how to make anaerobic compost with EM or effective microorganisms. Basically you have to activate the EM1 adding molasses and warm water and leaving it in a warm dark place for ten days. Then you dilute it in a watering can and you have a wonderful solution of beneficial anaerobic bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms ready to water on your compost.

Well this one was one we had neglected for a while, as we had just piled weeds on it for months. So we sorted it all out, pulled out the woody stuff and added grass clippings and watered it.

Then to keep it anaerobic you have to stamp it down and cover it.

Silver eyes love the persimmons

Just as for figs, we have to get there before the birds. Fortunately persimmons don't mind being picked a bit early and ripen up well inside because it is quite difficult to cover them with nets, too high. Anyway we are sure enjoying our daily persimmons for the month of June.

This one had been upside down about to tackle the fruit and was just pausing before flying off and I caught it.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Malcolm mows front area for grass for compost

He loves doing it too, but today got the mower clogged. You can see the pile of grass on the ground.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Feijoas, Adriatic and Brown Turkey figs and apples

The autumn crops have been light this year, thanks to a dreadful wet spring which went on forever. However there have been enough figs and enough apples and feijoas for us and for close family. The persimmons are coming on, ripening up and are delicious now.

Fortunately this year we found another Adriatic that the Deans had planted a few years ago and this time it bore fruit. Just as well because the big one has been too sheltered and hardly ripened at all. A month late and so few ever got round to ripening. But the one in the sun is looking good.

The two apples in the photo are Tydemans Late Orange. One tree still isn't ripe. That is the last of the apples and we have planted some more - Gravenstein and the one from Wanganui with such good health properties – Monty's Surprise. It is a heritage apple again and its research is so good that Good Health Wanganui, the body that provides public health in that district, has bought 5000 trees to give away to households in their district.

We have also planted another cranberry because the other one is doing so well in acid soil near the pine trees.