Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Høstens Vemod

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  • Hilary Stace, in reply to David Haywood,

    Truffles have a flavour which is not like anything else I've ever tasted. I've only tasted them once and it was memorable. It was very multi-dimensional sensation. But truffles take about 10 years to grow and I think you need a pig to dig them up. But if they did grow they would pay back the $50 in the first little nugget.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3142 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    truffles take about 10 years to grow and I think you need a pig to dig them up

    I've never had this problem with chocolate truffles, ever.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3886 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to David Haywood,

    Wow what an amazing forest already! May I suggest an early-fruiting (second or third week of January) Red Haven peach to plant about now, and in 18 months you will start to have crops of luscious red-gold yellow-fleshed peaches that do much better than many of the later variety, especially in dry summers. It's a good organic grower too - available from the fruit- tree bloke at the Riccarton market.

    Red Haven also has the advantage of not being on the tree long enough to catch the neighbour's brown rot spores to a tragic degree. (The nectarines are a good month later and nearly always rot before they are pickable.)

    Our gravenstein apple usually comes in a week before and, while not a great keeper, it's juicy, crisp and the very first apple for the season, before any others are in the shops.

    What have you done about the understorey? We planted comfrey around all our new trees, then wafts of cow parsley with borage, nasturtiums and tagetes. All of which we like the look of, and for the bees and beneficials.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2893 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    steven crawford wrote:

    I’m hinting about wanting someone with a licence to bring blasting powder for my next birthday party plus a turducken for dinner…

    I’m glad you added “for dinner” on the end of that sentence. Although “Blasting powder… plus a turducken” would certainly make for a memorable highlight to any brithday!

    Hilary Stace wrote:

    But truffles take about 10 years to grow and I think you need a pig to dig them up.

    We have several giant pigs in the vicinity of our house (pets of various neighbours). One can imagine these pigs making short work of digging up truffles – the trick would be getting the truffles off the pig afterwards. I spoke to a chap a couple of years back who was training a chocolate labrador as a truffle-finding dog. I thought at the time that it was a bit odd that he kept specifying it was a chocolate labrador.

    Lilith wrote:

    I’ve never had this problem with chocolate truffles, ever.

    But maybe I completely misunderstood what kind of truffles the dog was being trained to find? I’d be pretty keen on a dog that could pop down to the supermarket and forage for chocolate in the confectionery section.

    Hebe wrote:

    May I suggest an early-fruiting (second or third week of January) Red Haven peach to plant about now, and in 18 months you will start to have crops of luscious red-gold yellow-fleshed peaches that do much better than many of the later variety, especially in dry summers. It’s a good organic grower too…

    Our gravenstein apple usually comes in a week before and, while not a great keeper, it’s juicy, crisp and the very first apple for the season, before any others are in the shops.

    That’s extremely helpful, Hebe! As you may have noticed, I’ve only planted disease-resistant fruit trees so that I can avoid spraying (very happy to accept smaller crops in exchange for avoiding that horrible job!) I shall investigate both varieties; they sound as if they’d be ideal to minimize the winter gap in my crop production schedule. Do you think that the early crops would survive the late frosts that we tend to get on the plains?

    What have you done about the understorey? We planted comfrey around all our new trees, then wafts of cow parsley with borage, nasturtiums and tagetes.

    Nothing as yet, alas. We have so many pasture weeds (bindweed, thistle, yarrow, etc.) that any unmown bit of ground ends up metre-high in unwanted vegetation unless weeded weekly. At the moment I can’t afford the time for weeding and so I just mow under the trees. I’m hoping that by mowing (i.e. not allowing the weeds to seed further) I will eventually outlast the weed seeds yet to germinate in the ground. This may be complete fantasy on my part.

    I wouldn’t mind daffodils and bluebells under the fruit trees either…

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to David Haywood,

    I’m glad you added “for dinner” on the end of that sentence. Although “Blasting powder… plus a turducken” would certainly make for a memorable highlight to any brithday!

    I see what you mean. To clarify, the black powder would blow a Monterey pine as an alternative to chopping it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4015 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    sider with Rosie!

    I think you need a pig to dig them up.

    I believe Truffle hounds are now allowed in the ancient guild of tuber rooters...
    see:
    http://limestonehills.co.nz/

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    We have four nut trees from a friend that were part of a trial into growing truffles in NZ. Our trees were rejects because they didn't take the truffle infections.But I have noticed that one tree has had a lot more attention from the wild pigs that infest our property. Of course it is hard to say if that tree had truffles or more worms than the others, now that the bloody pigs have rooted all around it.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Umm......regarding the tool use by your children David. Not being unduly parenting over the fence but I have found safety glasses quite handy to keep two eyes functional.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1583 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Ross Mason,

    ot being unduly parenting over the fence but I have found safety glasses quite handy to keep two eyes functional.

    No worries, Ross! To quote myself from earlier:

    My only (mildly) serious accident was being knocked unconscious as an adult due to safety glasses fogging up. [Touches every wooden object in sight!]. P.S. You’ll note from the videos that Bob only wears safety equipment when there is an actual hazard, e.g noise, flying particulates, etc. However we’ve lately discovered an anti-fogging spray for our safety glasses that actually works, and so I’m now instituting a policy of always getting Bob to wear safety glasses while in the workshop (just to save anyone the trouble of emailing me about this).

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to David Haywood,

    Do you think that the early crops would survive the late frosts that we tend to get on the plains?

    We’re in town, in a damp spot near the Heathcote River, so gets quite cold and frosty – though not as frequently crunching as the frosts out at Dunsandel. Our fruit trees do well. I find frosts quite useful for cleaning up bugs, and essential for apricot trees. The baujade is a fine low-disease apple – bought a rather knackered sapling from Portstone’s bargain bin one year, planted it in the wrong place, and it gives large lovely apples every second year, though the tree itself is gnarled and pathetic.
    We have ballarat (wonderful cooker and often good eating, very late), Cox’s orange because I like it (but it gets manky), ditto for the Braeburn. Also fig Barnett’s Early (in the glasshouse), reine de bavay greengage (golden-green and honeyed). Ballarat is a healthy, easy tree, ditto the greengage. Another couple of apples that are unremarkable and I cannot remember their names.
    One high-health apple I would very much like is Monty’s Surprise.

    It looks like we may well be either replanting this garden or establishing another when our earthquaked house insurance finally gets sorted, so I’ve lost interest in planting any more. That’s a good thing because I’d plan the fruit trees differently: an orchard with a specific pasture mix and have chickens free-ranging for disease control and fertilising.

    Another thing we have been using for the last couple of years is EM for pest and disease management on the fruit trees. Very much recommended and very easy.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2893 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Hebe,

    I find frosts quite useful for cleaning up bugs

    Amen. I sometimes miss those balmy Auckland summer garden nights, but not the mass scrunching of molluscs underfoot. City of snails.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4585 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Hebe,

    It looks like we may well be either replanting this garden or establishing another when our earthquaked house insurance finally gets sorted, so I’ve lost interest in planting any more. That’s a good thing because I’d plan the fruit trees differently: an orchard with a specific pasture mix and have chickens free-ranging for disease control and fertilising.

    I do hope you get your insurance problems sorted very soon, Hebe. You really have my sympathy.

    And thanks also for all the horticultural advice. One of my former engineering colleagues claimed enormous success with integrating chooks into a small orchard (particularly -- and surprisingly to me -- with near-elimination of codlin moth damage). I shall be very interested to hear how you get on in the fullness of time.

    One high-health apple I would very much like is Monty’s Surprise.

    That's on my list to plant this year (I couldn't get it locally before now).

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

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