Imagine this on a lifestyle block. The entire property surrounded by rabbit fence. Old world roses, thorny raspberries and blackberries, rambling up the fence decorating it with beautiful berries and rose hips, perfuming it with the delightful scent of old world rose, and oh the lovely flowers and foliage! Right behind the fence of thorns, instead of a shelter belt of poplars or macrocarpas, stonefruits and pipfruits of any and every heritage origin, pruned to a lovely vase shape, vastly and chaotically planted to a 15 meter width, and companion planted with lovely natives and ground covers, creates a fruitful barrier to the outside world. And one can probably recycle one leader off the trees for firewood too! That’s just a thought, and exactly what I would do if I have my own lifestyle block. Not to forget I read about blueberry bushes lining the drive way on NZ Gardener!

*snap fingers*

We just got over grape harvest on Bone Hill Vineyard. If you have tried a bottle of Kaituna Valley Pinot Noir Canterbury (Bone Hill Vineyard) 2006, you will know how good the grapes taste even before they turn into wine! I bet they will make good vinegar too! Operationally, plenty went wrong this year, but it just reinforce the thought that how I love working at Kaituna Orchards. Coming from a multinational corporate background, my experience with things going wrong is everyone involved will go all out to cover their arses instead of resolving the actual issue, or just have endless meetings (some issues became a going concern that never get resolved).

Due to assumption issues, we did not attempt to order the SB1 bins from CHEP till almost the few days before harvest. The bins actually somehow show up every year before this without us doing anything. CHEP usually have all sorts of crates and bins ready as and when you need it, needless to say, they are short! Right at this point, my corporate mindset kicked in and I thought oh shit we are not going to be bringing the grapes in this year. Much to  my amazement, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, got on their game to make sure we have the logistics to get the grapes to the winery! To be frank, if this is corporate, the grapes will still be on the vines right now, fermenting.

That’s not the only good news, CHEP put in some pressure and got us plenty of SB1 for the upcoming Okana Vineyard harvest too! And as far as I know, we are the few vineyards this year that was not severely affected by botrytis.

Through suffering we find truth. Through chaos we find perfection.

Here’s an updated view on the tucker patch. I have put up stakes on each cultivation row and sow a variety of broad beans and peas to over-Winter.

Work in Progress: my strawberries cloches, just the base frame here without the double lids. I planted Apple Monty’s Surprise-m106 (back) and Apple Hetlina-m106 (front), prune to 50cm height, set up the trellis frame for training. This is in fact an integrated system with the cloches which takes up ground space while the trellised fruit trees take up air space. The ground is not going to be bare, but companion planted with low-growing flowers, herbs, and veges.

Now I know how fast an hour can go by with me just sitting there, stirring Bio Dynamic Preparation 500 and Cow Pat Pit in a bucket of water with a wooden stake. I cheated. I think you are supposed to prepare P500 and CPP separately. At least, I did stir it for an hour and no less. The stirring involves creating a cyclone, breaking it, and create an anti-cyclone, breaking it, and vice versa. The stirring gets easier and easier, creating the underwater tornadoes get faster and faster with time too! I sprinkle the preparation on everything green in the Orchard Cottage, even the lawn, and the weeds that have taken over the back of the house.

I spotted a white Borage in my wildflowers meadow! They usually comes in blue, but there’s a white variant available as well.

If you watch Game of Thrones, you will be familiar with the saying “Winter is coming”. Indeed, Winter is coming, we have had some light frost early in the morning for the past two days. The temperature sensor reads 1.6 degree Celcius, but the ground temperature would definitely be a lot lower! Its time to fill the wood shed up with firewood.