Monday 8 August 2011

What a Difference Some Rain Makes!

We've had several inches of rain in the last month. Not enough to end the drought, but it's been good steady rain on occasion and has boosted the orchard and vegetable garden tremendously.

Brugnons blancs (white fleshed nectarines).
Suddenly, we are harvesting nectarines - small, but not too bad. Our big old tree has a worthwhile crop ready now. I am amazed it didn't drop all its fruit like the other nectarine trees did in the dry.

Doyenne de Comice pears and nashis (Asian pears)
grafted onto the same tree.
The Doyenne de Comice pears look fantastic, of good size, but not yet releasing when I move them, so they are not ripe enough to pick. The nashis are small, like little golden apples. I don't know if they will swell up with the rain, but I hope so.

Ripe apples on our Ballerina.
Several of the apples have some ripe fruit already, and it is much better quality that the previous two years. There is relatively little disease or insect infestation. Time to make apple jelly!

Pêches des vignes
(white peaches that are ripe at the same time as the wine grapes).
The peaches are coming on, still hard, but no unsightly black spots this year, so I assume there has been no hail.

The white table grapes have burst and gone mouldy on the vine. The red ones are still green but looking very healthy.

In the vegetable garden we are at last getting decent zucchini. I've started digging the potatoes, but the crop has been severely reduced by the dry. The garlic failed and I've dug all the onions. One box of medium sized onions for cooking and a box of small ones which I will pickle. Nothing like the fabulous harvest we got last year. The chard (silver beet) has self-seeded widely and is now doing very well in response to the rain. I blanched and froze 1.2kg of it a couple of days ago. That doesn't sound like much, but believe me, it's quite hard work, and there is still more to pick.

At the moment the orchard is carpeted in flowering wild carrot, wood sage and agrimony and the butterflies are at last returning to my side of the fence. It's all a bit too straggly for a working orchard though and I am going to have to mow some of it.


1 comment:

Diane said...

How right you are, the rain has made a huge difference to the garden. My potatoes are about half the crop I had last year but what are there are good. I cut the lawn last week and it looks like I will have to cut it again. It seems like a miracle has happened LOL. Diane

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