Friday, March 21, 2014

Autumn Tasks.

Autumn is a busy time. For this little ant it means scurrying about eating honeydew or sweet nectar on Hoya bella.( click to enlarge. )
 For these wasps on the grapes  it means getting stuck in and eating just as much fermenting juice as they can.
 Care is needed when picking the grapes. I have made one large batch of juice and will do more. Once even one grape is split or eaten the wasps take advantage and can get quite drunk. Roger has been going out at night to nests he has marked during the day and pouring petrol down the nests. Some that have horizontal tunnels are hard to kill. ( if left the nests can get quite huge )

 R has resurrected the corn I showed all over the ground in the previous post. It may survive but won't be great.
 Yesterday  3 tree fellas ( fellers ) arrived to do the tree limbing we needed. They took low branches off the Rimu over hanging the deck. Rimu ( a NZ native red pine ) is the most prickly horrid leaf to handle. They dragged the branches across the lawn to get to the shredder and left a trail of little twigs so I had to remow the lawn ( quickest clean up method.)  They then took lower limbs off the 2 oak trees. Here Phil is roped to the tree. Limbs and chainsaws are raised and lowered by rope.
 All the branches got put through the mulcher. A very noisy job.
 Which left us with 2 piles of mulched wood to break down for future use as mulch or growing pumpkins on.
 The light is now streaming in. The only casualty was a few broken small branches on one of the yellow Vireya. ( it will regrow; it's just a bit lop sided. )( I am glad I took it's photo when it was looking pretty )
 The 3 guys them trimmed the cherries along the driveway and took all the lower limbs off the walnut tree so R can get under it with the hustler to mow. This meant I had to race out and pick all the walnuts not yet dropped off the lower branches I could reach. ( I have never picked them  un-split  before so will see how they go ) I am drying them in the sun. Today I will go back and collect what are now all over the ground where they worked. It may mean a slightly reduced crop but I still have lots from last year in the freezer. So YES Leanne - This year's walnut collecting tally has started. 434 so far. As a comparison last year I picked up 7621.

It has been such a fine Summer the pests have all thrived. I have spent 2 sessions cutting down/off the netting all the runner beans. Usually they are left so the roots go on adding nitrogen to the soil but this time they were so pest ridden I decided to take them out early. Firstly and during I sprayed with pyrethrum to kill white fly, vegetable bugs ; passion vine hoppers and other varied pests.  A job needing patience, while keeping  ones mouth shut so as not to in hale white flies.
 I am now off to finish the clean up outside. I will collect the small twigs etc in the flower garden - better for me to do it then blokes with big boots  - and then the walnuts. Did I mention we are back to that beautiful calm clear Autumn weather when harvesting and cleaning up are tasks that must be done. I have left the kiwifruit for a while because I got ahead! Yea! That gives me the time to clean up my garden ( and R's ) and all the other gathering jobs.It is good to be busy( within reason ).
****Before I go I want to say Hi to my commentors. I do so appreciate your interest - it encourages me to keep taking photos and rambling on here about country orchard life in BOP, NZ.****


Kelly Warriner-Simpson said...

*waves from the comment section*

As a random urban Wellingtonian, I love reading about your harvest work and seeing you much sewing you actually get done despite how busy your days are!

Jennifer said...

Wow, you've been busy......hope you have a chance to sit and put your feet up occasionally!

Sue W @ Living the Good Life said...

Ick! Hate wasps! I had to laugh when a read about the 'tree fellas'! I used to go out with a guy who every time he saw a sign for 'Tree fellas' would say but there's only 2!!! If you were to sae three fellas with and Irish accent it would be pronounced tree fellas :D We had the first two corn cobs today, it was delish!

Maureen Heywood said...

Ali thanks so much for posting the Hoya pic. I used to have a beauty many, many years ago and now after seeing yours I think I have to find another one!

Nicky said...

Lovely hoya, they are gorgeous blooms. You two are still so busy, hope there is time for some R & R soon for you...

Deb Hardman said...

Beautiful colors! My world is still quite white.

It's always so funny to visit your bog & see the opposite seasons from here. Than,is for dropping by on mine. I always love hearing from you!

Thimbleanna said...

There's always so much work outside going on over here -- and it's beautiful! You're so far away from me (not to mention in a different hemisphere) so I love to hear about all your trees and plants. I love that first little flower picture -- all those teeny little flowers that form the bigger flower -- just beautiful!

Isabelle said...

Do your hoyas grow outside, then? I keep mine in a pot; but it still blooms beautifully. And somewhat stickily.