Orchard in June

The harvesting has finished. Let me qualify that, the winter rains arrived two weeks early and forced the harvesting to be finished. There are still nuts on the ground, but these will be contaminated by fungus and will not be fit for human consumption.

After May we start to feel we can manage the orchard rather than the orchard manage us.

We are now into winter, officially it starts on June 1 in Australia, but this year it feels like it started in May as we have already had snow on the Bluff range of hills in the south of the State. It has been a weird summer and autumn. Our ash tree set seed in late spring ( not autumn) our camellia are in flower now(not spring) and the lilac has also come into flower instead of early summer. Oh and the narcissus are coming into flower. In other words, the plants are confused about what season it is. How that will affect them coming into winter and next spring, time will tell.

Now the harvest is in the cool room, the focus is on peeling as many nuts as we can so that we can use them for added value products during the coming months.

In the orchard the focus is cleaning up branches blown down by the strong winds we have been having and using the burrs as mulch to raise the organic status of the ground.

The sheep have ventured back into the orchard and will take up their job again as the orchard lawn mowers. Many of them are now pregnant so the flock will grow in size by next spring. The plan is to have around 30 sheep as lawnmowers on the property.

By John Stanley

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