JUNE 1999 NEWSLETTER
CYCLONE Recovery - the
clean up is nearly finished
WEATHER REPORT - a very dry month
FRUIT - lots of Black Sapotes and Soursop
FARM ACTIVITIES - a new toy called 'Jaws'
RECIPE - Winged Beans with Sesame
BED AND BREAKFAST PROJECT - the
first sod is turned
CYCLONE RECOVERY- nearly finished
the clean up
The fruit trees continue to grow furiously and now the Breadfruits
are really bushing up so that their toothpick status
is no longer visible. Most of the cut tree stumps now have suckers
up to one metre long. For the grafted Abius, we are anxious to identify
the suckers ABOVE the graft which shall be allowed to remain, as
opposed to the suckers below the graft which we intend to remove.
The only problem is that it is quite difficult to work out where
the graft actually is.
We have finally removed all the fallen timber from the orchard
and stacked it in huge piles in the windbreaks. It has taken more
than 3 months of chain-sawing and carrying. A mammoth task so I
hope we dont get another cyclone for our lifetime. At last
we have time to start the "Bed and Breakfast" project.
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Facts and figures provided by Gail and Cliff Truelove at the Pilgrim
Sands Weather Centre, operating since 1982
May ended up being a much drier month than the previous 4 months
with only 124.2mm of rain falling on a total of 17 days. Our May
average is 324.9mm so we had less than half our average and the
2nd driest May since we began keeping records, 1997 only had 114.9mm.
Usually May is a wet, drizzly, miserable month with irritability
levels rising to match those during the build up to "the wet",
so it was lovely to have some sunny weather.
Temperatures were fairly stable. Hottest day was 16 May with 29C
and the coldest night was 21 May with 19.5C, coolest night this
year so far.
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FRUIT - whats flowering, whats
Picked our first few Abius which were eaten before they left the
orchard. The Black Sapote harvest is in full swing, with hordes
of ducks lurking under the trees waiting for the ripe fruit to fall.
Every honeyeater in the valley is dining off the trees and the falling
fragments cause ducks to stampede.
We have one Durian tree, which suffered about 50% damage in the
cyclone, showing flower buds which are right out of season
amazing if we actually have our first Durian in October but
dont count your Durians before they set. Lots of soursops
are ripening, one tree at a time. Coffee bushes are producing red
berries but still not enough to make more than a couple of cups.
And we have had a remnant bunch of Salaks to eat, a hangover from
the March crop. Very few Carambolas as the fruit sucking moth is
doing a lot of damage we will need to net the trees for the
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FRUIT TASTING whats
The fruit on the menu for the tasting is currently:
- West Indian Lime
- Breadfruit Chips
- Mamey Sapote
- Yellow Sapote
- Golden Passionfruit
- Black Sapote
- Custard Apple
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FARM ACTIVITIES a time
for feeding, mowing and pruning
A ton bag of organic fertiliser has just been spread, made up to
a special formula to meet the needs of our soil based on a soil
test. We have concentrated on pruning the Salaks and getting rid
of the suckers. We have been using "Jaws" a second hand
sickle bar mower that we purchased recently to keep the grass trimmed
around the Salaks, and it seems to be working well. We have also
tried using a hand mower what a nightmare!- for trimming
the grass in the Salak rows and this seems to work but is more arduous.
We had an email back from
a Salak researcher in Java, and he had some suggestions for
improving the fruit set on the Salak flowers. Most of our plants
are Balinese Salaks which have male and female flowers on the one
flower spike. The tiny male flowers are at the tip of the spike.
He has recommended that we collect the pollen from the Javanese
Male plants that we have, freeze it and spray it on to receptive
Balinese flowers. That this is a common practice in Bali and that
they grow Javanese plants through their Salak orchards for this
purpose. The fruit set is also influenced by the weather conditions.
Well keep you posted as to whether this new technique increases
our fruit set.
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RECIPE OF THE
The vegetable garden is back in full swing, and the Winged Beans
are flowering prolifically so here is our favourite recipe for Winged
Winged Beans with Sesame
- 300 gms winged beans
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
- 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
Cut the tops of the beans only use young ones that have
Cook beans until just tender in salted water.
Mix sesame oil, mirin, and sesame seed.
Drain beans and toss them in dressing immediately.
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THE BED AND BREAKFAST PROJECT
We had planned to launch into this project in March on our return
from our holidays, but the cyclone had other ideas, so it has been
delayed until now. We have done some research and checked out all
the brands of composting toilets that are in the local area (more
than 3 different sorts) but they all seem to have drawbacks, so
we are not sure what decision will be made. The site has been pegged
out and the grader blade was put on the tractor last weekend to
level the site.
The site is about 80 metres from the house and located on the edge
of the creek. It has been positioned so that you can sit on the
balcony of the cottage and look down and along the creek, as well
as getting the view of Mt Sorrow.
Digby went off to the wreckers to check out the availability of
timber to find that there was a new person running it, who charged
twice as much as the old timer who used to run it and the timber
was in a huge unsorted pile still with the nails in it. We need
to sort out our timber supplier.
Planned opening date watch this space will not be
December 1999 as advertised on the back of our business cards
maybe June 2000? You never know we might pick up some of
the overflow from the Olympics. I mean wouldnt you rather
be in Cape Trib than Sydney in July?
Thats all the news from Cape Trib for June
Alison and Digby Gotts