We picked our Mayfire Nectarines on Friday and we’re most likely going to do a strip pick tomorrow weather allowing. As I am tying this right now, 30 knots of wind has bellowed on the Valley House for the entire day successfully discouraging me from doing any form of garden work. The gate is moving by itself with the help of the wind and two of my taller trees planted just by the side of the house was swaying from side to side more flexibly than all stars cheerleaders.

Fingers crossed we’re all set for the season. Pallets are out, crates are there, quad bikes serviced and fueled, packhouses cleaned out and grading machines are working, and all the things that go along with the madness of the season, I believe we’ll ride this through with our past experiences and some innovation and improvisation.

Our Rosann Cherries are the first to come on this year after we suffer a huge drop from the Earlise Cherries thanks to the flood which cause water stress. The birds are hammering away with huge flocks of starlings coming in zipping between the shotgun pellets. We’ve got two bird shooters now and Joachim will be on the banger bike tomorrow giving the birds a big bad boom every now and then.

We’re expecting to open the gate for PYO Cherries on the 19th December. Till then, the orchard will be buzzing about with pickers running up and down the trees, quad bikes carting trailers of fruit from the field to the coolstores, and the consistent humming from the packhouse machinery. Not to forget the sound of shotguns blasting the birds and the banger bike scaring the birds away.