Running the orchard and vineyard is an immense task. On one hand you have to keep everything operational. On the other hand you have to remain compliant to everything that you have to comply with for the greater good of safe consumption for humanity as well as environmental sustainability. Then, on the third hand, you have to make sure the operation is economical sustainable.

God gave us two hands, where did the third hand come from? That’s me, the Assistant, the 2IC. No great journey is completed alone. You need a team, and preferably, one that creates synergy. Know the members of the team, their strengths and their weaknesses. When you have a 5mm hole, you plug it with a 5mm cork. When you have a tree to cut down, you get a chainsaw. Don’t use a 5mm cork to cut the tree down. In my honest opinion, I think that’s where one of my strength is. Whenever there’s a task that needs to be done, I instinctively know the suitable candidate for the task.

Both our Bonehill Vineyard and Okana Vineyard has completely been winter pruned. The job is done 18 days after the end of winter. The guys from Bleinheim are truly a bonus, already experienced in the job, which save us time in training them and getting them up to speed. Just some effort to get the quality of the job up to par. With that, we bid farewell to 6 of our casual staff at the conclusion of the most pressing job. We had a open, trusting relationship which makes them highly dependable, and the entire work environment pleasant. Once again, I say thank you!

Most of our cherries are now coming into bud burst, or popcorn, or white tips, whatever you call it in horticultural terms. Some trees have even commenced into early flowering stage! Pat has already started to put the nutrient-fungicide-pesticide cocktail on to them which our consultant Earsncy has planned for us. Fingers crossed we remain on top of our spray program this season and turn a reasonable crop.

I’ve thought of a tagline, “We do not export our First Grade fruits, they are for domestic consumption only!”. Seriously, I think the way forward for a sound country is to be self-sustainable. When you are growing peaches on your land, why are you importing them from another country when you can’t even sell everything that you have grown locally? C’mon, import some durians and rambutans instead, you can’t grow them here!

How do you eat an elephant? Cut it into small pieces and eat it one bite at a time.

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