Saturday, 2 March 2013

Here comes autumn...

Well, it is March now. Technically it is autumn.  But it is still beastly hot.  In Australia the weather bureau announces that we have had the hottest summer ever.  I would agree. We have just had a few days holiday on Rottnest island, off the coast of Perth.  Usually Rottnest is considerably cooler than Perth, but it  wasn't this time.  No sea breezes, just hot easterlies.  None the less, we enjoyed our break - swimming, fishing, talking, eating, drinking ...watching the sun go down. Back to routine now.  I have a market tomorrow, and will go down to the grove on Monday.  I hope Tania has been able to go over and water my garden, though I am sure the peaches and rockmelons will all have fallen off or got overripe. I trust the guinea fowl are doing well, and worry that the bees are getting overcrowded - can I persuade my husband to come down and do a 'robbing'? (The last time he was badly stung.  He may be unenthusiastic)
Our new tractor should be ready to collect soon.  I have plans for work for it! I don't think I mentioned to you that I had a call from the people who did our contract harvesting last July.  They have asked if they can buy  some of our fruit.  I would be delighted!  They will take up to 15 tonnes.  That means we wont have to worry about dealing with the massive crop we have this year.  The deal is they will come and pick, and pay us $250 a tonne, plus give us a free day harvesting.  Anyway, they will come and look at the trees some time this month.  It will be our job to have them ready to harvest, which means pruned ready for machine harvesting. And stake free. We have done some of the trees, but a lot look very untidy.  And we have a big problem with stakes still next to the trees.  They should have been pulled out a long time ago.  So once the buyer decides which trees he wants to harvest, we must get them ready.  Usually we can pull out the old stakes next to the trees using the tractor, but I am afraid that many of them have become embedded in the trunks.  So I need to find an alternative way of getting them out.  I believe you can get a battery operated angle grinder which will do the job.  Haven't found one yet, but will start looking seriously.  I wish I felt more energetic.  The long hot summer, and problems with my health have reduced my ability to get things done.  Isn't it frustrating!

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