Yes. I am now in a relationship with Sally!

She is the infamous tractor of Kaituna Orchards. One day while driving this nameless tractor, it dropped in on me that I should name her Sally. Rumor has it that it cost more to keep her going than the purchase price. As we are in a situation where a brand new tractor is not an immediate possibility, I will just have to build a good relationship with her and coax her to get the job done without much hiccups. Now, I might just name every other things on wheels in the orchard…

We have a cold wet spell yesterday, I am stuck indoors. Finally, there is a reason to start baking again! Its the first loaf of bread I have baked in a long time, I have lost my original recipe and had to look it up on the internet for a reasonably simple one. This wasn’t the best, in fact, I think this is worse than the first bread I have baked in my life. Next time, it will be better.

After the rain stopped temporarily, I went out and clear away the other annuals that serve as a Winter blanket for the roses. The cornflowers and poppies, very lovely in their own right, is stealing all the limelight off the roses, as if they have not had enough in their wildflowers meadow. A firm hand with no remorse does the trick.

General Gallieni (1899), tea.

Ispahan (1832), damask.

4 out of 6 of the straggly strawberry plants are alive! One of them literally sprang back to life! I hope the other 2 is just taking a rest beneath the surface before rising from the dead again.

Looks like I am all set for Summer. My first plantings of the 2 brothers are coming up nicely. They managed to survive the late hail and frost, tucked away neatly under a blanket of frost cloth.

Broad beans are the top crop for Spring 2012. I have sown Broad Bean Superaguadulce and Broad Bean Dwarf Early Green, both from Kings Seeds and they came up beautifully. So full of vitality, they just take the beating of hail and the freezing of frost, from Autumn, through to Winter, in to Spring! The birds and slugs and little bugs have so much respect for the broad beans that they literally leave the plants alone! I am so proud to have this triumph under my belt, knowing that I can confidently sow this crop next season with pretty much a guaranteed harvest.

I cleaned out one of the five rows to make way for the tomato plants that I am going to put in later this week. I finally experienced my first glut! Without being a glutton, I gave them all away. Bio Dynamic broad beans.

Out of pure curiosity, I bought myself a bumble bee nest, so that I have something physical to copy and build myself more. Might make some to put all around the orchard too! Bumble bees are like farmers, they work whatever the weather. Honey bees are like orchardists, whenever the weather turns wet or cold, they stay home and put the jug on.

Oh my Caesar lost his balls, Ee i ee i oh! I had him neutered on Friday, just about 28 weeks old. I thought of waiting till he is 9 months old but decided against it when at 7 months, his testosterone is driving him feral.