Its been an eventful week. My manager has flown off to a tropical island somewhere for a well deserved break leaving me in-charge of the fresh produce department. For 3 weeks, I will be going to the market to source the freshest produce at the best price and also to look out for good opportunities. I have got no problem with that, I am a shopaholic by nature. Then, I have to make sure I price them right so that my customers will buy them and not feel ripped off. All-in-all, I am quite comfortable with all that, and will let my inexperience play itself out. Boss always say, “your first loss is your best loss”. Boss also says, “always look after your customers, through good times, and bad times”. I kept them at heart. Our team has been most supportive during this period, everyone played their role and kept things ticking along. I am also trying to hold back from doing too much, as in taking on too many opportunity buys. At the end of the day, we will know how I fare when the weekly report card comes out. I’ve been in-charged in other settings before, so that’s no problem. To deliver desirable financial outcome, that I don’t have much experience on in this industry.

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Despite all that, and having to work an extra half day, means my weekend is about one and a bit less than a half, there’s still progress at the Orchard Cottage. This is still work in progress, that’s my small plants nursery, making used of four pieces of 100cm x 50cm wooden seed trays that I salvaged from the orchard, turned them into a rack. Drill some drainage holes, fit in sprinklers, hook it up to the timer, wrap the whole thing up with mikroclima, done! That’s next week. This is part of my tinyholder economic return plan.

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Part of the perks of having a cafe attached to the business, and me being almost organic, means that I have access to lots of used coffee grounds, and that I am able to use non-organic used coffee grounds without the scrutiny of the organic purists. That means all my soft fruits gets free food. That means my 10 citrus gets free food. That means I can make lots of coffee compost! And maybe get the worm farm cranking again with free worm food! This is definitely a “WOOHOO!” moment! Just imagine that, I take home 10L a day. I also have access to plenty of non-organic fruit and vege scraps too!

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Speaking of soft fruits. The baby Blackberry Navaho has been transplanted between the two Pecan trees. There’s 2 of them, so 3 steps from each tree, I planted them. Logging it here, so that I remember. A brainwave just hit me! So, this blackberry, is erect and thornless, and the normal way is to propagate the tip. Now, there’s another way. Buy a plant, and transplant it every year to every spot that you want a blackberry, and watch the left behind roots form new plants!

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Looks like I am going to have some Santa Rosa Plums this year!

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And some pears too I hope. If these are flower buds, I am in luck.

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Orchard Cherry showing green tip. Reason I called this Orchard Cherry is because I don’t know the variety. Simon, the previous tenant who took the tree from the orchard and planted it at the cottage wasn’t sure either. The only way to tell is for the cherry expert (me) to taste the fruit, provided the possums and the birds did not get to it first.

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That’s a mean looking purple asparagus.

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Tomatillos are the first to be upgraded to PB3/4. These plants are super duper leggy. Some distressing signals from the sprouting broccoli, their cotyledons are drying up and some still have not form a true leaf yet, that means the end for them, drop dead like “In Time”. Luckily I have sown plenty, so I have more than enough.

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That’s a view of Orchard Cottage at dusk, while walking Caesar. The view home is always beautiful and amazing, to see the cottage nestled among all those huge magnificent trees in the backdrop. Willows, oaks, macrocarpas. The setting winter sun simply set the willow twigs red ablaze.

Life is good. Dieter posted the graftwood for Roter Eiserapfel, introduced year 1650. My collection of existing pre-1700 apple varieties in New Zealand is quite complete. Provided I have a green thumb on grafting.

The citrus got some pruning today. So the experts says to prune them into a multi-leader vase. So, that’s what I am going to do. Having done some research on citrus hardiness. I have decided to put the Bearrs Lime in a pot and take it into the house. The Cara Cara Orange is going into its place in the hot corner. So, this is what I gather from John Seymour. Orange and grapefruit hardy to -7dC. Mandarin is more hardy than orange. Lemon more tender than orange. Lime is more tender than lemon. Done.

 

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