After I have spent 3 months away there is a distinct change in the land that one barely notices with more frequent visits. It's great to be back though, and it rains for 3 nights in a row, soft autumn rain, the air is warm and inviting, breaking into calm warm sunny days. After last years bush-fire summer and hot autumn, this year is very green and moist. The peace is without compare. At times it seems such a silent place, yet there are moments when it is alive with a multitude of bird song, cicaida's, frogs, wind in the trees and the soft cascade of the creek ever present.
Laurie, Kle and Quinten have done an amazing job while I was away, a new track section to the ginseng area (the mature ginsengs bearing heavily with berries), several hectares of blackberry sprayed with great success by Laurie (the Rust didn't take, but now there is hope for native regeneration), the final wall of the house finished off, and some landscaping on the garden…In the lower veggie patch there are masses of tomato, zucchini, tarragon, basil, watercress and weeds, weeds, weeds!
The trees have mostly all flourished, the primary orchard seems generally happy, although we lost the quince and figs due to planting too late. Only 1/2 the grapes have taken, they are noticeably susceptible to collar rot, and none of the passionfruit survived summer, they require a permanent shade shelter it seems. Rasberries and hazelnuts have struggled but are slowly establishing, however feijoa's and junipers are very happy. The zone 4 tree orchard has happy walnuts, olives and truffled oaks, although some caterpillars are vigorously munching the English oak leaves, I have emailed the truffle man to see if he has any suggestions on this.
The native re-vegetation project is working well. All the trees we wired from the wallabies have bloomed, and there are more and more self-seeded blackwoods and eucalypts popping up all the time all over the property. Soon we will have over a hundred new trees established. Once wired they grow at over twice the rate they had been. The ridge planted natives are also surviving with minimal casualties.
Autumn and winter are upon us, time to plan more projects.