Friday, 6 September 2013


Rabbits. They're a pest, and I already accredit gnawing on my fruit trees to them. I saw my first one a few weeks ago now, when I was out running and almost home. And putting a labelled sign on my currant bushes, I noticed this baby rabbit sitting a metre away. 

2013-08-15 - Animals - 01 Baby rabbit
A baby rabbit just sitting there
At first I thought I might have stood on it, as the ground had seemed pretty lumpy walking over there from the direction the rabbit was in. And the rabbit just sat there for about half an hour. But having walked over there every day to water the plants, the ground is just lumpy. Fact is, I would notice if I stood on it.

When I bought my first fruit trees I asked if I should buy sleeves for them, to protect them from rabbits and possums and what-not. The lady in the store said "nah" and some other nonsense about possums jumping four metres. But now that every so often more and more trees are being gnawed on, I've got a cunning plan to avoid paying for tree protectors like the sleeves.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


I don't know why, but I've always preferred boysenberries. Maybe it's just the fact boysenberry ice cream exists, and is so good. Raspberry ice cream doesn't, and strawberry anything is inedible after living in the United States where things flavoured badly with it are epidemic. And I wouldn't be surprised if I actually would prefer to eat proper blackberries, rather than these psuedo-blackberries, but blackberries grow wild all around here so there's not much point planting them.

There are two varieties of boysenberry which I've planted.  The first "Brulee" is apparently a spreading one that takes up too much space, and so I inherited it from a garden elsewhere.

2013-08-06 - Farmlet - 11 - Boysenberry variety Brulee packet front
The front of the "Brulee" label.
2013-08-06 - Farmlet - 12 - Boysenberry variety Brulee packet back
The back of the "Brulee" label.
2013-08-06 - Farmlet - 04 - Boysenberry variety Brulee
The "Brulee" planted.
The second variety "Tasman" was bought for $9.99NZ at The Warehouse.  It was basically a moist twig in a plastic bag.  Given you can get plants with branches in a pot for several dollars more at Mitre 10, that are probably more healthy, I think there are likely better options.

2013-08-06 - Farmlet - 09 - Boysenberry variety Tasman packet
The "Tasman" label.
2013-08-06 - Farmlet - 05 - Boysenberry variety Tasman
The "Tasman" boysenberry planted.
You'll note my hand-made label stick thingies in the photos. I'm not sure these will not fade with sun or rain, but location of plants and what kinds are also being marked on a map, in any case. Sure I could buy 10 copper things that will never fade for $20 or some such exorbitant amount, but that's just ridiculous.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

"Invicta" gooseberry

I grew up with plums and gooseberries. We had a huge plum tree at home, down the back of the yard. And my grandparents basically ate gooseberries one way, which was stewed. I think they sourced them from some other relative, who had a bush we used to pick at, when we would go visiting on school holidays. There's no occasion I've ever been in a New Zealand shop and seen gooseberries for sale.

Looking for a gooseberry plant at a local nursery and I was told about how all the varieties of gooseberries we have here aren't doing so well here because of mildew. And how the one which is perhaps mostly resistant to mildew, is the American variety called "Invicta". Also, this variety is supposedly a new one, and as such is under protection so that you're not supposed to take cuttings or grow and sell the plants yourself.

2013-08-06 - Farmlet - 18 - Gooseberry Invicta - label front
The front of the label.
2013-08-06 - Farmlet - 19 - Gooseberry Invicta - label back
The back of the label.
In this case, two cuttings were taken from the plant in the next photo. These can be seen if you look hard enough. They seem to be taking okay, and have small amounts of green growth. I suspect the rules that protect someone who has developed a new variety, are more intended to protect against other commercial selling, not people pottering around in their own garden.
2013-08-06 - Farmlet - 06 - Gooseberry variety Invicta
The planted bush, and two cuttings.