There are times when organic farming feels like the most wonderful profession in the whole wide world. When working for Mother Nature, growing delicious, seasonal, old fashioned produce with intent and love feels like the most honorable thing to do. It makes sense.
And then there's this.
A crop that takes an entire year to grow devastated in a few hours by a bunch of birds. No Cox's Orange Pippins for us this year.
I hope the greedy cockatoos enjoyed them.
Over the past 12 years we've tried hanging shiny, noisy things from the trees in our orchards, a gas gun, fake hawks, netting a few trees and probably a few more things I've forgotten to keep the birds away, but nothings worked. We've also had quotes written for netting the entire orchard but the cost is prohibitive and would take years to pay off.
Realistically, we'd be happy for the birds to take 10% of our apples. We live in a forest and that seems fair.
But this mess doesn't seem fair.
This makes me question everything. This makes me wonder about the hours and days and weeks and months spent growing those apples. The irrigating, the fertilising, the worrying, the weeding, the thinning and then some more irrigating. This makes me yearn for a regular job with regular hours and a regular wage. Something safe and predictable.
Sometimes farming hurts. All that hard work for the birds! And some scraps for Jo Jo too. At least he look happy with himself. I feel awful.
We're going to start picking some of the other varieties this morning, earlier than we intended but hopefully in time to save them from the birds.
And I'm going to enjoy the sunflowers. I can't believe there's only one week left of summer, I'm not ready to say goodbye just yet. Are you?
I hope you have a wonderful weekend peeps.
And do me a favour when you take a bite of a fruit over the next few days, just imagine the miracle that it took to grow it to full term and get it delivered to you. And enjoy it, the farmer would be so happy you did.