Today is day 2 of the avocado picking.
Yesterday the weather was most frustrating. It went from sunny to cloudy to a quick shower of rain about 10 times. Never before have we had pickers working in rain parkas. ( here is G working at the bottom of the top block.)
Here is L working inside a lower tree. We are lucky to have G and L working here. They are husband and wife and very good at what they do. They are careful and look after our trees while pushing their hydraladdas into the trees. ( the avocado trees are flowering and setting next year's crop, and can be easily broken ) Also helping yesterday was their daughter C just wanting holiday work before she starts at Waikato Uni next year. She did 3 hours picking from the ground for us. Also helping was S just for the morning.
By the end of the day we had 12 bins of fruit. Some of the cleanest ( as in not much rub ; insect damage or marks ) we have produced. There is just a little sunburn. ( seen on the fruit as pale yellow to red colouring )
Today is a sunnier day so should be more pleasant for them. Joining them today is another hydra ladda One that can reach higher up the trees. He (M ) will go along where they picked yesterday to get the top fruit they couldn't reach. The poor guy drove in here at 7.10 this morning and the truck with his machine did not turn up for 2 hours. So frustrating and 2 hours pay lost.
( not his fault! )
R is using a bin trailer with 3 bins to bring some of the fruit back to the loading area. Also using single bins on the forks in other areas. He was quite tired last night as it is a lot of getting on and off tractors, hustlers etc to have the right machine in the right place at the right time.
My only duty with the avos was getting the documentation signed and Quality controlling the bins of fruit as they arrived back full. That gave me time to work on the Psa Survey I am doing in the Kiwifruit.( It's a have to! It can be compared to last year's at the same time and must be kept with our records and sent in to Vine Health )
Every single vine, male or female on the orchard has to be recorded and it's PSA status noted. That involves at lot of walking. I am half way there and about to do more today. The leaf spotting ( not serious on most vines ) has spread across all blocks in the orchard now. A few patches are becoming more worrying and will be watched closely by us. Where we cut back canes some weeks ago there is some cane die back happening. More damaging than that has been the wind. There are so many broken branches from the relentless wind we have had during the pass fortnight. The dead broken canes have to be carefully pulled out without breaking more off.
Did I mention that the kiwifruit flowering is late this year?...and currently we have 25 bee hives and one bumble bee hive in the kiwifruit blocks. Also early this morning we had 3 Pollen Plus people walking through with leaf blowers distributing male pollen into the air under the vines. ( this is the second round of artificial pollination ) There is plenty of fruit set already so the bees have worked despite the wind. It just makes life harder for them..
Last Saturday I spent all day working in the herb garden and vege garden, weeding and pulling out spent plants, replenishing the soil with sheep pellets and compost and then replanting.
The biggest old sage plant that the bees have so enjoyed gave way to more lettuce seedling. One Sage is still flowering. Not a herb I use enough of to require two really...but I left it flowering as the bees were so keen.
I got my first small pick of strawberries and some last broccoli before I pulled the plants which were months old out.( green and red look so good together ).
Finally before I get back to work, here is a quilt. My friend M finished this scrap strip quilt . She put it together in 3 parts so the mid section is slightly offset from the sides.( she didn't think it was going to match so that was a smart move.)
What a great way to make a lovely big quilt to use up her scraps.