This week has been nice and warm. Gusty and windy at times, one of the apple trees almost blew over but I managed to stake it in time. Seems like pip fruits are not as wind hardy as stone fruits.

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Rainfall this week 9.5mm. High of 30dC and low of 1.4dC. The temperature at the Subtropical plot has read a degree or so higher than the primary station, likely due to it being sheltered from the wind of the North, and more baking heat.

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The subtropicals have all been planted, mulched, and mister setup for each plant.

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Australian Ladyfinger Banana. Very sweet small fruit. Tall, hardy. Productive in Northern NZ. 5m height.

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Goldfinger Banana. New Honduran hybrid. Very sweet, tangy, curved fruit. Hardy and robust. Best flavour of all. Black stem, broad leaves. 3m height.

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Rainbow Valley Paw Paw. Outstanding female mountain pawpaw selection by Joe Polaischer of Rainbow Valley Farm, Matakana. Sweet small fruit, few seeds; uncharacteristically delicious for a mountain pawpaw. Eat raw (skin too) or stewed, in jams, sauces or pies. 4m height.

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Cherimoya Perla. Bred by the Austin brothers of Kaitaia, and the flavour is dominated by a definite pineapple tang. 4m height.

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Yellow Tamarillo. Pure-bred, original mild flavoured yellow tamarillo. White seed. 2.5m height.

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Wild Tamarillo. The original species from Ecuador. Stripey yellow spindle-shaped fruit. Beautiful flavour, less acid than the red form and more complex and rich than the yellow. More disease-resistant species. 2.5m height.

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Passionfruit Sweet Granadilla. Large, gold, sweet fruit. Blue flowers. Handsome vine. Long-lived.

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While we were here at the subtropical plot, which also happens to be in the duck area. All the foraging crops have gone to seed and they are so much taller than me! Plenty of food for the ducks when next season comes around.

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As for me, some broccoli shoots have started to show up. I’ve also been harvesting snow peas for lunch, and ate half of them before they entered the kitchen.

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And I ate my first delicious homegrown strawberry.

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And another off the watering can.

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Now you see it.

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Now you don’t!

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These are Lapin cherries. Will I get to eat them before the birds do?

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Roses have started to flower. This is the Glamis Castle.

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Leander will be my favorite David Austin rose.

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Amazing bloom by Sheila’s Perfume. It’s partner, Red Piccadilly has sadly died, and I am looking forward to replant Perception in its spot.

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I bought this Mammy Blue on impulse purchase. The original intention was to plant it in place of the Red Picadilly, but changed my mind after that. Then, I saw this old tree stump with a hole in it, and chiseled away, hacked a larger hole and plant the rose in it.

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Down to more serious business. My apple grafting project has showed good success. Both grafting in the nursery and in situ at the Belgian Fence has yielded 70% success rate. However, I must note that they are growing stronger and more advanced in the nursery due to a more controlled environment.

Some utter failure, Crabapple Golden Hornet, Crabapple Jelly King and Apple Golden Pippin which is 100% fail. Luckily, all the bought in scionwood have taken.

Now, what do I do with those extras?

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It gets more and more colourful week after week. I’m still waging war with the hedge mustard, I’ve attacked half of them yesterday, and will do the remaining later.

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The Orchard Cottage this week. I dropped the lawnmower at Mario’s yesterday, it has a very bad cracked on the chassis, and he has managed to a a patch up welding job on it, picking it up later. I’m thinking of changing the wheels on the lawnmower, not sure how it works, but I had a feeling that they need larger wheels for the rough work I am making it do. Its the same concept as driving through a pothole in a compact car (small wheel) as compared to a larger car (larger wheel). I have sped through potholes in a rental Camry a long time ago and I can’t feel a bump. Come again next week, maybe supersized wheels.

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