Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Liquid Pollen.






On Monday and again today we had 20 young folk ( from about 5 countries )spraying liquid male pollen onto the female kiwifruit flowers. The pollen was collected earlier and milled and mixed in a slurry with red food colouring added so they can see where they have already sprayed. This is a very expensive exercise, for the pollen and all that labour but we hope it will ensure a really excellent fruit set. The bees are also still working away. Many fruit are already set...The petals darken and then fall leaving a tiny new fruit about the size of a marble.
I haven't got much more sewing done( too busy ) but am working on attaching the 3rd row of hexagons to the 2nd row. The count for the individual hexagons is now 261....so only 9 more needed.

9 comments:

Fiona said...

Before your blog I had no idea that so much went into growing and harvesting fruit! My son is also fascinated because he is learning about plants at school at the moment - bet you didn't realise you were writing an educational blog.

Ali Honey said...

Hi Fiona, That's great that you find my blog educational! ( I was a teacher way back when, so maybe once a teacher, always a teacher.) It's been a lovely hot day here today and the little bees are still working well. About 90% of the flowers are probably now pollinated. It's good if the flowering is all over quickly as it means the fruit is likely to mature at a similar time next May/ June.

anne bebbington said...

Gosh that does sound labour intensive - clever idea to use the colourant to see where you've been - don't the people with the spray guns get covered with the fallout - you could think you had a terrible disease if you looked in the mirror and found yourself covered with little red spots! :o)

Pixie said...

the young international crew look like they're enjoying their work. It must be kindof fun to have them around. thanks for another kiwifruit lesson, I'm really enjoying them.

Ali Honey said...

Yes, Anne they do get it all over themselves but assured me it washes out. The guy mixing it had rubbed his nose and looked like he could help Santa. You should have seen the state of our outside ( for their use ) toilet - it was splattered pink too! ( I won't elaborate )

ForestJane said...

That's pretty cool - seeing it from bud to ripe fruit makes me want to send you an order for kiwis next June!

kirsty said...

Hi Ali! Gosh you made us laugh with the "Twinkle in your eye" comment on my sequin incident :D Why has it been so long since I visited your blog?? For some reason I haven't ever subscribed - will rectify immediately!

Suzi-k said...

hi ali, thanks for the visit. This is so interesting, I adore kiwi fruit but have never seen them on the vine. The flowers are stunning, do they have any scent? The leaves and flowers remind me a little bit of passion fruit (grenadilla), are they related?

MargaretR said...

Doesn't time fly? It hardly seems yesterday since I was reading about this process last year. It's true that your blog is educational, I have learnt a lot about Kiwi growing and other things on my visits here.