Thursday, May 03, 2012

Almost Ready.

 May certainly is Autumnal, with for us, chilly nights in single figures. ( but brilliant sunny days )That means the sugar level in the kiwifruit are rising rapidly. I have been testing some fruit. In years gone by the brix or sugar levels in the fruit was the only measure. Now it is an indicator that they are ready ( or not ) but have to have a second more important test - that of dry matter. I don't have the gear to do that test. We get paid extra if we have very high dry matter ( which we usually do ) -  it makes the fruit taste sweet and flavoursome.
 In the photo is a refractometer,for doing the brix test. Both ends are thinly cut off the kiwifruit so drops of juice can be squeezed out onto the glass plate at the end. It is then closed and held up to the light to get the reading.
 This is what's left and has to be binned. See on the chopping board the juice where I have been cutting. The fruit at this stage are still rock hard so getting the juice out is a bit of an art., that's why a really thin curved slice is cut.
 The fruit is just sitting below the 6.2 % soluble solids, so picking is not far off now. ( I hope )
I am absolutely amazed that I am still picking the last few green beans from my little extra garden. They were planted on the 29th October and first picked on 1st December. Because the first sewing got scratched out by birds, I did 4 sowings in total filling in the gaps . But here 5 months later they still have not died off.
 It is in a very sunny spot on a slope with soil that has to be enriched with lots of compost and goodies. Things are slower to get going there than in the main garden but seem to be really tough and healthy when they do grow.(Production  far outstripped the scarlet runners and same variety green beans in the main garden. )
  Pukekos and Polly and Percy being the only problems there, but I have used protective cloches that helped. So my green beans win the most productive prize for me this Summer.
 I have been quilting these 2 sandwiched canteen bandannas. As well as making small quilts some of the ladies have been making simple bags...folded like an envelope from 2 bandannas. I am having a go at one. Will show a photo if it turns out okay.


Jennifer said...

That's very interesting - I didn't realise the fruit was tested before being released! No doubt about it, you have done well with your beans.

Isabelle said...

Interesting indeed!