Thursday, 19 August 2010

Welcome Wanda from Warnambool

A big welcome to Wanda from the Warrnambool RSPCA. She has taken on front of house duties from Barbie who sadly left us last November.

For those who have expressed concern over lack of posts fear not we have just been a bit busy clearing the decks and planning for the year in the garden.

Winter in the garden can seem to be a quiet time but many of you know just how busy this cool and [this year thankfully wet] spell can be. Paul Smith [his agent won’t allow images without written permission] our gardener, has also been a busy boy. Winter is a time to reflect and plan for the coming year and Paul helps us to put all our garden plans into action. Seeds are being ordered and selected, the garlic has been planted, spring seedlings are being wintered at Paul’s hothouse, all the fruit trees are pruned, new beds weeded and mulched, the olive trees need to be trimmed and suckers removed. Already the first shoots have begun to emerge on the sheltered fruit trees The asparagus has given us a premature spurt, the artichokes are away and the broad beans are nearly ready to flower. A couple of old fruit trees that have not recovered from the big dry have been replaced with new varieties of figs. The pistachios are due to fruit this year and Wanda has had her first Truffle hunting lessons.

But generally the garden has been asleep recharging for spring and summer. New compost has been spread. For the first time in ages we might be able to plant out the whole garden as the groundwater is well replenished and the dams are slowly filling. The plan for this year is a larger planting of melons: concentrating on small Ogden and Charentais. A whole bunch of new tomatoes are selected as well as our saved seeds. There was such a good response to the Tomatillo that they will also get plenty of space this year and I am determined to expand the ground cherries this year.

After so many years garden rituals are renewed. Rex has been busy rehabilitating all the berries but the Japanese strawberries still need to be moved to new ground. I never thought we would see the dams full again but this year could be the one. The olives are looking splendid but reluctantly I have to tell you about the Great Olive Disaster of 2010. Yes we have no olive oil of our own this year.
We spent 3 glorious days with mates in late April picking a bumper crop of over 500Kg of olives.
The olive harvest brings boozy lunches with great conversations catching up with friends while picking over the trees. The harvest signals the end of our year- bags are packed for Istanbul. The olive press is booked for the following morning--- all looking good. With the Kitchen and house cleaned I secured the tarp proudly over the crop and whizzed down to Melbourne to tie up a few loose ends and pick up the house sitter before flying out. When Diane got up in the morning to take the load to the press she was shocked to find the ute gone...stolen overnight. The cops are called and they tell us that another property about 2 Km down the road had also been broken into that night and another stolen car abandoned there, bogged by the side of the road. Now this car had been stolen in Geelong but the not so clever thieves had purchased petrol at Waurn Ponds and conveniently left the receipt in the abandoned vehicle. The police confidently assured us that they had their photo and prints and that they were onto it.....
With a rather bitter taste we take off. No news for 3 weeks when a friend emails me that there had been a small article in the Geelong Advertiser with a wanted photo of our perpetrator and the details of the ute. Four hours later another email arrives to say that the ute has been found in Ocean Grove with some rather mouldy olives in the back....

I think Mr. Plod could have notified the papers a bit sooner especially as they had the photo and details the next day. The car seems to have been there since that auspicious night.
The new growth on the olives reminds me that a year can wizz by and before you know it we will have new oil.

Shit happens!! There I’ve got if off my chest.

Joanna Zens portrait of Wanda from her groovy new phone.


Darby said...

Nice Pup, but I wanda why you named her after a fish?

Sunnybrae and all who sail in her said...

Because she's all rock and roll.

Jeremy said...

Bummer about the olive, but a cute little dog!!

Happy cooking!

Thermomixer said...

Good to see a new member of the team. Good to hear that you rescued her too.

Shit news about the olives. Farming! Having had on-the-run youth from detention centre trash the garage trying to steal a ute I fully commiserate.

At least there is rain !

Cath @ Moo-Lolly-Bar said...

How cute was that dog!

Anonymous said...

Joanna was WOWed to see her picture of Wanda on your blog!(Her words.)Joanna is really missing Wanda. We are wondering if there are any recent photos of her so that we can see how much she has grown?!;)