Sunday, November 28, 2010

Kiwifruit and Chickens

We're about midway through our kiwifruit season, which is not a good time to start a blog, but I think I've reached the point of "now or never."

I have plenty of excuses for going the "never" or at least "later" route - surgery earlier this month that I'm still recovering from; trying to retain some semblance of sanity while raising a house squirrel that can't be released until spring; finding time to give proper attention to our newest family member, a Goffin Cockatoo; refereeing several squirrel/cockatoo squabbles; all while continuing to stress to Rocky, our Border Collie, that the squirrel and cockatoo are both "babies" and thus off limits to his herding instincts and/or appetite.

Back to the kiwifruit!
On the plus side, our crop was excellent this year and the fruit was the largest we've ever seen! Customers said they looked more like potatoes than kiwifruit.

On the minus side, we lost probably 1/3-1/2 of the crop due to an early frost. We knew it was coming and would have had time to pick at least some of the fruit but we didn't have a place to store it. We only have room for about 6 bins at a time so all we could do was cross our fingers and hope that the weather reports were wrong. Wouldn't you know, for the first time this year the forecasters were right on the money!

The chickens are my project but luckily my hubby helps out with the daily opening and closing which consists of locking everything up at night in their "safe houses" and letting them out again in the morning. This keeps them safe from our local nighttime predators, such as skunks, opossums, raccoons, bobcats, and mountain lions. Plus, we have a friend staying here that does the majority of the cleaning, feeding, and watering, especially during the winter when the cold makes it hard for me to function due to Systemic Lupus and Reynauds.

With all this help, I know it must seem like I don't have to do much of anything with the chickens except love and play with them, but believe me, there is still plenty to keep me busy. More about that in the next blog.