May is nearly finished and yet the strawberries are still ripening albeit at a much slower rate. Alas we are not getting many to eat ourselves as the parrots seem to have taken a liking to them this year. Hopefully that won’t continue next summer.
The days are shorter but the weather is amusingly warm. Still wearing shorts . Sceptics on climate warming get over it. We are experiencing great changes in out climate. Yes it is nicer to have warmer weather in Tasmania but the rest of Australia it won’t be so good. And the danger of bushfires was extreme last summer. Fortunately we didn’t get bushfires on the East Coast but the west coast had bushfires in the rain forests. This is almost unheard of event and spells doom and gloom for many of our remnant species which are not bushfire tolerant.
So what are we up to? Perhaps you think we are sitting on our bums relaxing now that the picking season is finally over.
In July we intend to take a welcome break and go to the U.S to see how other farmers operate and of course visit friends and family. Before that there is plenty to do. Right now we are collecting canes for nurseries. No help around this year so guess what Ann and I are the total team. Working conditions rules for backpacker employment have been changed considerably by the Government. In past years it was a very attractive proposition whereby backpackers could get a second year extension in return for working on farms for 3 months in their first year. Whilst the rule still sort of applies it is not easy for horticultural farmers to keep such workers on longer than just the picking time as they are not experienced in other work which generally takes longer to train them for.
Anyhow back to us and you can see in the picture below what a bundle of canes looks like. We also have lots of pruning of the fruit trees and sprays to reduce fungal problems. Fences to fix, strawberries to cut back and if time permits replant, mowing and weed control. The list goes on and we just keep at it.