We learned something new this week. Vineyard pruning is hard work after lime sulfur is sprayed on. Lime being Calcium Carbonate, essentially lime stone, being sprayed on the canes, is bad news for the hand and the secateurs. It’s like trying to cut stone. Our hands were sore within half an hour. I had to sharpened my secateurs with the file every 2 hours! Next season we are going to get electric pruners.

Taking a walk in the orchard this morning brings to my attention that the cherry buds have swollen to green tip. We will be spraying oil and pirimicarb on this week to control the aphids. There’s no aphids in sight, none has hatched, nor any eggs sighted, but according to modern agriculture, you spray, just in case, the politically correct phrase would be a preemptive spray. But think, if you have a Phacelia and Alyssum sward flowering right now, all the aphids predators are there, waiting to stuff themselves crazy on baby aphids, that will save you a couple grands on this so called preemptive spray.

 

I have a lot of reading to do. Being Chinese, my pursuit of ancient agricultural wisdom has invoked me to study ancient China civilization. After all, ancient Chinese have been amazing farmers feeding a huge population with intensive farming techniques. My past lives had me as a farmer and a scholar studying 天文地理 (astronomy and geography) as well as a foot soldier. All this fueled my desire to learned more about the ancient knowledge, being Chinese and finding myself on this agricultural country of New Zealand.

I went to Le Bons Bay yesterday to meet up with Colleen to have a walkabout around the old properties of her family. We are on the hunt for very old fruit trees and berry plants. We found this huge black/red currant tree, yes, a tree, it’s taller than both of us! It has gone feral beside an abandoned hut, and it is covered completely in fragrant blossoms, we are ecstatic! We collected wood of pears, apples, peaches, walnuts, raspberries, and so on. We checked out 2 properties and both are amazing with very old trees and a little river flowing through them, just amazing. I’ll poke the cuttings into sand come Wednesday when Moon is in Capricorn, a root day to promote rooting. Now I have them sitting in a bucket of mild seaweed juice.

A tired dog is a good dog. Last week I had Caesar follow me to work early in the morning where I ride around the orchard in a quad bike with him following behind at a jogging pace with the occasional sprint. He can keep up with me easily at 20kph! After that, he hangs around at the vineyard while I worked till lunch time before I took him home. He is a very sober dog for the rest of the day! I am starting to socialize him with the farm dogs, he is quite clueless not knowing what to do when I brought him up to meet Rachel’s dogs, even her sheep and cow is not afraid of him but the other way round!

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