O'Reilly's News - Spring 2006
Winter of 2006 came early, wet and very cold….one of the coldest on record for our region and now finishing up early, it is bone dry as well. Unusually early, flowering was well underway in August with limited staggering between fruit tree varieties and I admit it caught me on the hop with a rush to finish the pruning.
I love winter … its peacefulness and its slowness and yes, the long nights lost under my doona, reading my journals and thinking of life’s opportunities. It has also been an especially hectic time with lots of volunteer and community work as well as extra curricular salaried employment. As well I participated in the PIRSA run South Australian Rural Leadership Program…all stuff that has given me a chance to refocus as well as widening my skill base and connecting with lots of folk I would not have ordinarily met.
Time for musing is well over though, and with spring always in such a rush, time is often measured by when I look up from what I’m doing and think oh golly such and such is already flowering, I’d better get a move on - quite a beautiful measuring stick really.
Summer vegetable beds are still being planted up, with our heritage tomato seedlings going in this week. These are the tomatoes we make our puree from. Picked fully ripe they are processed through a motorised press to remove the skin and seeds before being gently reduced down....and the results are sweet with no hint of bitterness. Bottling this puree in the Fowlers Vacola enables long term and safe storage.
Ongoing crops of corn are continuing to be sown direct and melons, pumpkins etc. (cucurbits) are being established in peat pots to go out early December. Weeding and slashing is very much a constant. Weeding carrots is a contemplative time….
All the fruit trees are healthy and bearing significant crops with harvest looking a good two weeks earlier than we have experienced before. This is no doubt due to the “big dry” that South Australia is currently experiencing. Irrigation has been quite a task but we have been working to conserve the water use and create greater efficiencies.
Our Apricot harvest will be well underway by the last week in November and we are currently taking orders. Very few places are left for those wanting deliveries of seasonal mixed boxes but we do expect to have reasonable supplies of produce available from our packing shed if you would like to call in. Unfortunately we are having to put our prices up this season and our minimum delivery will be $20 - hopefully you our valued consumers will still find this very fair.