Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Our sixth day of the new year had been put aside for veggie gardening.

For days we had known that today would be the day for pulling stuff out, putting new stuff in, tying things up, weeding and planting and neatening. All week when I walked past the tomatoes and saw that they needed tying up I thought about Wednesday, when I saw that the rocket had gone to seed I thought about Wednesday, when I discovered that a whole lot of my seedlings had outgrown their plastic pots I thought about Wednesday, when I saw that the carrots needed weeding - yep, you guessed it, I thought about Wednesday.

And then when the sixth day dawned, so did the realisations that I hadn't done any laundry for a while and everyone had run out of undies, our farmer boy's birthday is on the seventh and we needed to go shopping to buy ingredients, Miss Indi is going away for a while and needed help packing and general encouragement, Miss Pepper slammed her hand in a door and needed round the clock loving,  Miss Jazzy needed help with dealing with Miss Pepper and then after all those distractions from the veggie garden - we discovered that if we didn't net the front two rows of the orchard the birds would leave us with no apples.

Luckily we'd netted a lot of the other rows in the weeks around Christmas and New Year, so we could get back into it quickly and finish it fast, but still not much gardening happened today. Maybe Friday.

After a few weeks on the nets we're a pretty well oiled machine. We each have a role and we do it well (and over and over and over).

Miss Indi drives the tractor.

Farmer Bren and my Dad are in charge of loading the rolls onto the machine, feeding the netting through and pulling it over the rows of trees to protect our apples from birds and hail.

My farmer boy keeps us all in-line on the walkie-talkie.

My Mum and I trail behind the tractor tying the nets to the trees using cable-ties.

Jazzy and Pepper sometimes come down to inspect our work and help with the cable-ties. There's a rule that anyone who stays at home has to clean up so mostly they're pretty keen to hang around.

Over the 15 seasons we've been here we've tried a gas gun, Cd's strung from the trees, some sort of reflective tape that made a noise in the wind, an electronic scarecrow, dogs in the orchard, disco balls, fake hawk kites and big eye balloons but none of it worked. Then we got a quote for $100,000 to permanently net the entire orchard but that wasn't feasible.

We started using this method of netting last year in desperation after losing so many crops to the birds. So far we couldn't be happier.

To be honest I always feel a bit torn when the netting goes on. On the one hand I feel relieved but on the other hand I much prefer the look of an orchard filled with glossy apples than one filled with veiled brides. But farming is not all about looks, is it.

Miss Pepper inspector is pretty happy too.

We had to come in a bit earlier than we'd planned because the blustery winds started trying to rain but that's not such a bad thing because we've got cards to write and a cake to bake for our almost birthday boy.

Did you have a plan for today?
Did you stick to it?
I wonder.

See you tomorrow lovely ones.

Love Kate xx


  1. My plan for today was make smoothies for the freezer, some balls, some fritters & organise new bank accounts. Everything is ticked off but the house is a mess ( it always is) & my toddlers are running naked in the back yard with the sprinkler. I should be sweeping the patio & taking the recycling to bin but I'm here reading your words. It's a nice place to be :)

  2. great post Kate-I wondered how you did the netting. Do you have problems with parrots getting caught in them? I gave up netting my trees (maybe my netting technique is faulty) as the parrots got caught and we had to hold them while they squealed (pecking us) and I had to cut the net from their claws..all very stressful-I haven't managed to reap any fruit from our trees.

  3. Is there a spider on one your nets? I have this ridiculous terrifying sixth sense when it comes to those suckers and spot them or sense them a mile away... I'm going to make the most lamearse farmer I know :-( (9th photo).

    Love how the whole family gets involved and the rule about cleaning up. Your netting methods look similar to how it's done on vineyards, they look amazing when there's fields of them - snowy like... I love your apple brides!

    One plan for today was going to bed early as I've been dragging myself outta bed for work all week... no tick there but did get some financial stuff sorted for our move, and started putting the feelers out to the family about finding a new home for our beloved Grans piano... we can't take it with us so I'm hoping another family member has room to keep it. So a couple of ticks there.... swings and roundabouts hey? Rarely goes to plan but eventually stuff gets done... good luck with the gardening and birthdaying x

  4. Hi Kate, we had planned to build sand castles today with motes and decorated with beautiful shells but the wind proved to be a pain spraying us with sand. So then we thought we would make a seaweed wall to protect us from the wind, lucky for this mumma mr 10 and miss 9 grew tired of that (I was doing most of the work!) then we went and visited daddy on the jetty and that's when miss 9 lost her hat to the wind and sea. After crying for way longer than was needed we decided to go back to the camper and watch DVDs and I could have a much needed cup of tea!! Love reading you posts!! Love Bec x

  5. Hi Kate, We net our lemon trees in winter to protect them from harsh weather. I know how you feel, I always hate to put up the netting and hide the trees, especially our giant lemon tree out front! But last year we didnt put up the nets and there was a freak snowfall which killed off all the harvest, so that taught us! P.S Love your idea of blogging every day in January, I hand't blogged for over a year but am now inspired to try your idea!

  6. And here I thought just pruning them and such was plenty of work! My hats off to you and yours having to net them as well! Plans for today and everyday this year in fact, to de-clutter, organize, even if it's just a couple of things a day. Soon it'll be time to load the greenhouse (tiny and homemade, but does the job)with rows of seeded pots. Add a few rooster to the freezer, make homemade soap, all just a few things that come to mind to do in the coming days.

  7. I enjoy reading how your family all works together to get a big job done. The trees do look a bit like veiled brides! :-). My plan was to run some errands today, but as the roads are snowy and icy again I've decided to just stay in. I did get some cleaning done though.

  8. Why is it that gardens can be so tricky to get too? I have the same problem here!
    I agree that the trees are more appealing un-netted but then you would miss the joy of the apples, and that would be worse :-)

  9. I caught twelve cockies in my apple tree the other night – not sure how much fruit we'll have left by autumn!

    Sadly our house sitter didn't water our garden at all while we were away in December. The fruit trees are recovering, thank god, but we lost the vegies and the trays of seedlings. I'm trying to decide if it's worth planting anything before it gets super hot, or if I should just build up some no-dig layers or a green manure crop and hold off on the vegies until autumn. I keep reminding myself that at least the pets are still alive … (The poor chooks and ducks all went broody because she didn't collect any eggs; by the time we got home they were sitting on nests full of eggs that had rotted in the heat.)

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  11. What a fascinating post. It looks very hard work but a well oiled, organised machine with all the family involved. It must be a bit sad to see the trees shrouded but great excitement when the harvest is revealed. The netted trees make me think of puffy clouds!

  12. I do think they look like veiled brides, I like that they can modestly grow their fruit under their veils, keep it protected and safe until you peak under and pick it. Xxx

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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