Sunday, September 30, 2007

Again another record

It is amazing. In nearly five years of business with the Gerbera Farm we have never seen so many flowers. And good ones too. It really is all hands on deck for picking - especially on a Saturday. We pick on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, so the flowers have had an extra day to mature when we pick on Saturdays. It was planned of course as all four of us are generally able to pick, and process the flowers. There's no school on Saturdays so there's no rush to take children to school, and sometimes if we are really lucky they come and help.

At 7 years of age, and nearly 5, they are pretty good at most of the chores on the farm, but their issue is they have such short concentration spans. However, bribery with money does help!

They have their own flower stall and each week they manage to create over $120 for their money boxes.

We are lucky that we are able to sell most of the flowers - though there have been some discarded. What a waste! We have been able to sell some to the wholesalers, as it is still cold down south, and we have not had the flush of flowers that often occurs from the southern growers in Spring.

And the wholesaler likes ours too - which is good.

Spring is always a time when we have issues with bugs, and the little brown moth still inhabits the hothouses, so regular spraying is necessary to keep on top of that, and the Rutherglen Bug has appeared again, so today's spraying might demolish a few of them.

Each Saturday we record our pick on the whiteboard and three weeks in a row we have celebrated our record pick. It is rather fun - but exhausting, and now the hot weather is upon us, we will have to get up earlier to escape some of the heat. It really is hot, humid and exhausting when the sun comes up early with a lot of heat in it. And the sweat pours off us!

Luckily we enjoy it all for the most part.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

We broke the record again

Again we broke all records - and had a superb pick again. It is wonderful to stand in a sea of flowers, and by the time we have picked and processed all the flowers we are all exhausted.

The grandchildren have many flowers to sell on the roadside. We are even thinking of going to the markets like we once did, but it is hard to take another day out of our already busy schedules. We are still thinking of that one.

We haven't had rain for 3 weeks - though the humidity is high at times, and we still have to spray for botrytis and powdery mildew. Glad it is not raining as those diseases would be worse. We have only the occasional plant/flower suffering at the moment.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The "flush" continues

We had a record pick again this last Saturday breaking all records since we started the business. Quite amazing really. When we walk into the hot houses there is a sea of blooms before us - it is quite breathtaking. We do have a few "seconds" - those flowers not quite good enough for the market but suitable for putting in a vase at home.

As it turns out the southern states are still much colder, so we are able to sell most of ours here in the local market which is good, especially as the cold room is now full - and we pick again in the morning.

Fortunately there are some big deliveries to be done in the morning as well! I will not be picking very much tomorrow as I have a function to attend from 8 am, but I will rise early, and go dressed in my business attire, to pick.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The flowers are blooming madly

This morning was a big pick. We had all four of us working, plus the two little girls at times, and we worked like trojans. I mean, there were just so many flowers to process. Spring has certainly sprung. K and I worked until 11 am as the other two adults had to leave. It was a very exhausting four hours of picking for us!

Eventually the flowers were all processed and put in the cold room ready for delivery on Monday - but on Monday we will pick again, and probably have the same huge number again.

Oh, all too much. Well, it is spring, and we do expect a flush at that time. But this is a big one!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

September 1st - Spring has sprung

What a site when we arrived this morning for our usual Saturday pick. It is September1st - the first day of spring, and the flowers certainly showed that they welcomed the warmer weather. Our production had tripled since Wednesday.

It was a vast sea of colour this morning that greet us! More work of course, but it was great to see it. With the warmer weather not only are their more buds and flowers, but there is also more leaf matter, and so our regular deleafing program has to start. NOW. I did some this mornning, but (a) my back was aching - it was back breaking to do all the picking, cupping as well as de leafing. (b) I had an appointment.

It was nice to be able to give flowers away, and I did so when my friend came for lunch. We really do enjoy giving them away!

MM sprayed for bugs again - there are few left, but it does take a while to get rid of all of them. In fact it is hard to get rid of ALL. Some hide under the leaf matter and escape the poison!

So the spring flush is on it's way!