I haven't written for a while. I am a bit shell shocked by the news that I have a big flair up of my old cancer problems - 'numb chin syndrome', a growth over my collarbone, and spots on the liver. I have started some more chemo, with only a 20% chance of response, and am booked in for some radiation treatment. I don't feel too bad at present, but I am having to think about what I can realistically expect to be capable of over the next few months, and what will happen to the grove without me around to run things? But today, at least, things looked promising. Mick Ryan, from Preston Valley Grove, came out to look at our trees and work out what he would like to buy from us. He has a big order from a WA company, and doesn't have enough fruit to fill it. So he wants to buy 10 to 15 tonnes from us. He will harvest, and pay us $250 Tonne, plus provide his manager for free to do any skirting necessary to prepare the trees for mechanical harvest. Plus he will give us some free harvesting as well. He looked around the grove and decided that the Picual, the
Corregiola and the Leccino were what he was interested in. I wished he'd been interested in the Coratina, which is dripping with fruit. I don't much like the oil it produces, as it is so bitter, but it is ok in blends. Anyway, the Leccino will need skirting. Tania is prepared to start that next Monday. I'll come down on Tuesday and help with chipping the prunings. Mick's manager, Dave, will come some time after Easter to do some skirting as well. The harvesting will probably be done in two batches, as the fruit will ripen at different times. I thought the first week in May would be the time to start. All very exciting!