Feast or Famine

In 2006 we had major bushfire. 1991,1992 major flooding in the summer. In recent years I would say more of them have been hot and dry but this year looks like another wet summer. Whilst everything looks beautiful it slows up the growing cycle and creates additional work.

One outcome of the wet summer is ground maintenance. Mowing grass can be a very tedious job. This year the grass seems to grow as fast as you cut it.

Weeding also a much bigger problem. Herbicides can sometimes be used especially chemicals such as basta or roundup. However once the leaves begin to appear and dormancy is broken spraying can cause some risks in that it can kill the plants you are trying to grow as well. So hand weeding becomes the major technique for maintenance. This year as I have said everything is growing so well , weeds as well ; that keeping things tidy is hard.

All the stonefruit trees need regular fungicides in wet weather. Brown rot is every orchardist’s nightmare. So out goes a fungicide spray , down comes the rain again and then another spray is required. Not a lot of fun.

Well in between rains we have started to pick raspberries. It can be a bit of a juggle what with waiting for the rain to stop and for the berries to dry so that they can be picked.  

We have only just started the season but there looks to be plenty out there even though we have had lots of disease damage with the wet winter. The Autumn varieties and chilowack seem to be most affected. Chilocotin would be the least affected.

Boy this posting sounds like a gripe season. but i don’t really mean it to be that way. I sometimes get overloaded with work but really i wouldn’t want to live anywhere else and the lifestyle suits me. Farming has always presented itself to me as a challenge.

Today we will finish cleaning up our kitchens which were partially repainted yesterday and make some jam. Two more workers come today also to help with the picking. In summer our pickers use our house. It is better than camping out and lots of our workers are from overseas on working visas. So generally they do not have much backup.

The last steps in maintenance have been completed. Some painting, spring cleaning and we look like being ready soon. Every Year we do as many changes as possible before the season starts including maintenance. When the fruit is being picked there is no time for such luxuries as time out for repairs or just sitting down.