I am not an expert on pip fruits. The only way I will ever know if one is ripe for picking is when they fall onto the ground after a day of strong winds. So, I ate a nashi pear today, typical of the cultivar, grainy, but not much flavor, I truly prefer European pears. And there’s still the lovely Blenheim Orange apple sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to be savor. Hmmm… I should have slice and dice that into my yogurt. Too late now that I have slice and dice the banana into it. I love my raw organic probiotic yogurt 😉

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This is it, after a week of doodling. I swapped the alders for tree lucerne which don’t grow as tall. Hopefully, the plethora of trees planted at the back of the house would help to diffuse the Southerlies that slams into the house in Winter.

Also added in some more ground effects below the canopies, spring bulbs and comfrey. In general, the whole area is going to be sown with low grow wildflower mixes and chicken mixes. Or maybe not, and have the chicken run behind the house away from the main forest until the ground covers  are well established.

So far, it looks good, I will have to keep the Citrus in pots until the Olives are more established to be able to provide better frost cover for the Citrus.

The budget for the whole lot would be $1k max. Which is alright, as I already have most of the trees. I will do some propagation on my own for varieties that I can get my hands on.

Currently, I have 8 marianna plum rootstocks. I have access to Nectarine Mabel and Peachcot, which I can do t-budding this Summer. Hmmm, contemplating for a moment if I should get a double-grafted Moorpark + Trevatts, then I can do a double-grafted Goldstrike + Goldbar, which I have access to. Probably not, multi-grafted plants could be a wildcard in terms of vigor management. Anyway, I only need one of each Mabel and Peachcot, and come Spring, I would order some scionwood from Koanga Gardens and graft onto the remaining. I am keen on Red Leafed Blackboy Peach and River Peach.

Recycled the raised strawberry beds into raised vege beds, and then to build a 5mx1.8m mikroclima shelter for veges that need some form of protection and moderation from the elements. I am still contemplating on the final position of the t-frame system for thorny berries in pots, 2mx2mx2m, and possibly strawberries underneath, and draped with bird nets. The 3 vege beds will also have the option to drape mikroclima over them.

A very interesting question came up when I decided to restrict most o my vege growing into the 3x 1.8mx0.9m beds, and the mikroclima bed specifically for tomatoes and peppers in Summer with peas in Winter. The question, what do I want to eat most? What do I want to have 365 days of a year. Right now, my existing vege beds and doing the over-abundance thing, and I don’t really eat half the things I sow, so why grow them?

So, top 3 root crops I would like to have, !garlic, !onions, !potatoes, ?carrots. The ! indicates definitely, and ? indicates otherwise. Top 3 leaf crops, !brussels sprouts, !sprouting broccoli, ?leeks. Did you jaw just dropped because of the lack of any form of salad greens? Not that I am not a fan of salad, its just that I am not a fan of making salad. Top 3 legumes, !snow pea, !sugar pea, ?snap beans. There’s always a question mark about beans, I don’t really know my beans, but if I am going to eat one, I’ll prefer to eat them whole instead of shelling out. Top 3 vege fruits, !tomatoes, !corns, ?zucchini, ?peppers. I have 4 here, haha! Technically, I only need 1 zucchini plant, and I will probably shove it out there somewhere, but peppers, I will give it a try again next season in the mikroclima bed and see if they grow, my take is they need a real glasshouse in this region.

Talk about tomatoes, I like the small to medium size ones, and definitely no-no to the distorted ones, like Black from Tula and Cherokee Purple. My plants are under attacked by TPP, and the recent cold mornings down to 5dC is not helping, I lost 5 plants. Black Zebra seems to be most susceptible, Black Cherry too. Though, one of my tomato beds which is fully covered with alyssum seems to be very healthy.

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I have killed plenty of Camarosa Strawberry this year, in my vain attempt to plant them in upside down hanging planters. So, here I am helping to grow more, from what’s left.

Dug up the red and yellow raspberries too. The prickly things are starting to run all over. Despite it not being a good idea to uproot and transplant in like the hottest season of a year, it is in this case better done now than to wait till Autumn to keep things under control. As they say, before the shit hits the fan and fall into people’s mouth. They are now sitting in apple crates, waiting to go into the square pots which the pears are now sitting in, and the pears will go into the ground in Autumn. These things, are known to wriggle their way out under the drainage holes of pots! Luckily, my Yates pots are self-watering type, there’s no escape. Definitely don’t want them popping up all over the place and poking at people in unsuspected place, the lawn.

The boysenberries will come up in Autumn too, almost spineless, but since its a trailing type, it will benefit to join the raspberries on the trellis. The erect thornless blackberries and thornless black raspberries though are staying put, they are quite well behaved 😉

It will be very interesting to look back and see the rapid evolution that the Orchard Cottage has gone though.