Saturday, October 20, 2007

Repairs are done!

It has been a costly exercise - the electrican had a lot of work to do to not only repair the damage by the small fire, but there was a lot more wiring to do, and we've had a new switchbox and new lights added at the same time.

We are still throwing away lots of flowers damaged by the Rutherglen Bug, and we still have to spray several times a week, but already the blooms are improving. At least we have enough for our florists, and this week we gained one new customer which is good.

Today I took some time to give the plants a haircut - we go through the hot house with hedge clippers and cut off the excess foliage that hangs over the pots into the aisles. Later, when I have time I will do a good de leafing, to ensure that the sunlight easily gets to the crown of the plant.

When there is excess foliage the bugs hide under the leaves,and it takes longer to get rid of them. But deleafing is a very timeconsuming and back breaking job, and quite disheartening as one is never finished. When you get to the end, you discover that the leaves have started to grow back again.

I took a bucket of flowers to our Bayside Women in Business Luncheon yesterday and most folk took several bunches home. FREE.

We enjoy giving them away - it certainly brightens people's faces!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fire, Fire!

Another disaster struck! On Monday after I had left the property, my husband and daughter were continuing to work.

Suddenly there was a spark, smoke and fire. For a long time we have been talking about fixing up the electrical wiring. I won't say who was going to do it - just one of the team - but as usual, time is our enemy.

Luckily there was someone there at the time and luckily too that we had a fire extinguisher there. There was a dramatic rush - and soon the fire extinguisher was doing its work and the fire was put out rather quickly.

What would have happened if no one was in the work room when it happened? No doubt the whole workroom, and adjoining stables would have burned, and maybe the cold room too.

So it was very fortunate! And now an electrician has been in to rewire the workroom, and soon we will be a little cash poorer, but a great deal safer.

Now the bugs

Well, after several weeks of really high production, the bugs set in. Somewhere near the hothouse must be a host tree that the Rutherglen bug, and it has found it's way into the hothouse and despite the frequent spraying they have multiplied dramatically and damaged the flowers.

So one day perfect flowers, and the next damaged flowers. Dramatically. Production down 70%!

But that is life in the "farming" business. On Monday I picked out hundreds of damaged flowers which would never make their way to the markets. Picked and destroyed. And more spraying.

What a disappointment and we've learned that often when we are so high in spirits about something, that we are setting ourselves up for some drama. It seems to work all the time.