Monday, February 2, 2015

A Good Haul

Mondays are spent at our bush property. There we have 311 acres of steeply timbered country with about 10 acres partly cleared closer to the road and the valley bottom.
The great advantage for us is the elevation and climate. At about 300m above sea level and with an almost Mediterranean climate we can grow a much wider range of plants for a longer growing period than at Opportunity Farm.  Here at 900m we can have long winters, snap frosts and greater wind chill factor.
The other benefit is that there we have had a much longer time to establish orchards and gardens. These are caged with chicken wire and bush poles so we can trust in harvesting without parrots and cockies scoffing the lot. Today I put time into the vegetable garden - trimming off the lowest leaf stalks of the tomatoes, weeding and trimming back.

February is peak harvest time so I also picked a couple of buckets of tomatoes. They are picked when there is any orange colour at all and brought back to ripen up on the kitchen window shelves. A box of zucchinis was garnered for the kitchen and the piglets. However it was the fruit that was most abundant.
We have had very little stonefruit in the past couple of years - too hot, too cold or too windy at the wrong time but this year looks to be a good one. Two plum trees are laden and they have been watched eagerly for ripeness. Today there were a lot of fallers and plenty that were just about there. A box of good ones for preserving and a box of fallers for the pigs.
The peaches are also getting close so there was another two boxes of those. Down in the apple orchard the first two trees to ripen are Gravensteins - they are a large apple that goes slightly yellow with red stripes when they are ripe. Again lots of fallers and plenty left on the tree. The two large boxes will need to be sorted and the good apples put aside for juicing when we have enough to merit borrowing the pedal-powered juicer.

A good haul for one day and plenty of work to do to sort and process so the harvest can be enjoyed all year round.
A Fine February Harvest

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