Friday, 26 December 2008

The rhythym of the plums

When we were first shown around this place we were shown a lot of fruit trees which had a very high wire frame around them to allow netting. That first summer there were no fruit on the trees, since they hadn’t been pruned for about 3 years. A fair proportion of the wire frame was destroyed when the yellow box tree fell on it.

Last year, after a reasonable pruning (mostly deliberate, but certainly aided by the descending tree) we got a bit of fruit, but so did the possums and parrots. It was our intention to net the plum trees in particular but this has turned into a job requiring incentive.

The incentive arrived on Christmas morning in the shape of a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo sitting in our biggest garden tree munching on an unripe plum. Should it have turned up later with its relatives we could have lost the lot in about 10 minutes. So the netting task commenced on Boxing Day.

During the course of this exercise we (Frances and I) realised several things:
  • Next year we will prune more vigorously to reduce the height of the trees;
  • We will do the netting at or before blossom time so that we don’t knock off so much fruit to rattle off my head onto the ground (hence the title of this post); and
  • The English language is very deficient in obscenities – I was getting very repetitive as the green plums rained down.

Despite all of this we managed to get the net erected so as to cover both plum trees while reaching the ground all around. Although the ground had lot of plums on it, there were a sufficient number on the tree at the time of typing.

In addition to this there were a few other development on the fruit and vegetable front:

  • A very good serve of strawberries and raspberries were collected;

  • The final lot of currants (mainly black, but a few red) were picked; and

  • Frances bandicooted our first spuds of the season. (For the benefit of the marsupially-challenged the bandicoot is a small mammal which scrapes around on the ground to get at the roots on which it feeds. Thus scrabbling around with your hands near the base of potato plants - as opposed to digging up the whole shebang - is known as bandicooting.)

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