the 2017-2018 Berry and fruit season has started

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Just starting to pick cherries

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Blackberries are great

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What a season – hardly any rain in the last 6 months. But amazingly lots of fruit. IN the tree crops cherries and apricots are now being picked. Lucky we have irrigation.

Just the same lots of damage from roos and possums who are desperate for food as the surrounding forests are without fodder.

We have lots of berries though. At present picking strawberries, raspberries, black berries, red currants and blackcurrants.

Our shop is open every day and lots of other goodies available. Ann is a great cook and berry desserts, smoothies and our own special icecream are awaiting your evaluation.

Is Winter Coming?

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.

bundles of 10 canes off to nurseries around Tasmania

bundles of 10 canes off to nurseries around Tasmania

Raspberry good times

Yes we are picking lots of raspberries.

We have 6 pickers now besides our permanent girl Lisa. Two are from France, one from Sweden, one from Taiwan and two from Japan. Everyone seems to be getting along well and that makes a real difference.

The first flush of strawberries has just about been finished but all the good work we put into improving the soil seems to have paid off. The quality of the strawberries has been great this year with little disease. 

Some raspberry rows severely damaged by what we suspect is phythophera but still lots of good looking raspberries still coming on the cains that didn’t die. Also regrowth is good in many place and if we can suppress the phythophera for next year production will go up enormously.

The weather has been atrocious this year with lots of drizzly days and not much sun. Surprisingly though the fruit seems to be at least one week ahead.

It’s Raspberry Time

Hi everyone. We have just launched out shopping trolley. It has been a long winded task but just like a boat it now is out there for all of you to look at and it will sink or swim on its own merits. We are very pleased with the results so far and I think our customers are pleased to know that they can stock up whenever and it really doesn’t matter where you live. Postage isn’t cheap but then again you are buying direct and there are no middle man charges.

The Raspberry season has just started. The growing season has seemed a little slow this year because of the colder weather and frequent showers. But the upside  is that the farm has never looked better.

Our new water pump has been installed. We have always had a water limitation in the lower paddocks. This new pump practically double our flow rate and didn’t take all that long to install and started up straight away.  We really needed it for the new paddock across our so-called creek( normally dry except after heavy rains).  This paddock was established from land cleared after the bushfire.  This area was our least developed direction for bushfire protection.

We have also started harvesting honey. Jason Johnson used to do it for us but has since moved on to greener pastures and now works at White Sands which will be one of the iconic places to visit and stay in the future. 

All of our hives were destroyed in the bushfire. I am actually enjoying it more now that i have a decent bee suit. The little varmints always seem to know when I was around and would find holes in my suit and then attack me. I might add not just the one but all of his mates would know exactly how to get to me too.

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