Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A surprise in a box!

Today we picked the flowers on our own (both our partners were otherwise occupied), but as production is down, it wasn't too big a task.
I identified two pots that were not getting water. I had previously, it appears, cut the irrigation tube when I was doing some deleafing. MM decided to replace the tubing and in the storeroom
pulled down the box which was on a shelf. It felt a little heavy - normally the tubes are very lightweight. When he peeled back the lid, he found a possum sitting there.
Mr or Mrs Possum just looked at us - I took the photo and MM gently put the lid back on and replaced the box in his usual shelf. I think the possum would have taken a while to go back to sleep.

Production is improving

Despite the continual overcast days. Gerberas need sun to promote the blooming, but with none it really does slows them down. We are getting better production, but the stems are shorter, and it is not as much fun to pick them!

I spent a lot of time thinning out the copious leaves that have grown. The plants are very healthy and produce many leaves that occlude the sun/light from the crown of the plant. Also some flowers find it difficult or impossible to find their way up to the top of the plant.

It is distressing to find a flower with curly stem caught under the dense green matter. Some just give up and die, and the remnants can be found as one "deleafs" the plants.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sorry, no flowers.

While we were driving in the Gympie area a few days ago, I noticed that I had several messages on my mobile (cell) phone. It was Friday, and as we drove we moved in and out of good reception areas, so when the signal was good, I phoned to see what the message was.

One of my friends was after some Gerberas to give to a lady who has had a very stressful time lately. Health problems, and a stressed out husband didn't help, and he wanted to give her some flowers. As it was we were miles away, and we knew that with production down there was nothing much in the cold room anyway!

She works in a payday loans
office - and is often dealing with people who are stressed out by their financial difficulties and she helps them with a loan until the next payday. It is important to her that she sources quality safe funds for genuine people who are in need of funds urgently.

A wonderful woman, she had been able to help some very deserving people and he wanted to reward her. Sadly we did not have the flowers or the ability to help him at that stage.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

No sun = no flowers.

A bug has eaten away some of the stem - not good enough for the florists.

It has been overcast for many days. Little rain, and rarely the sun peeps through the clouds. And the gerbers have decided to "go slow". Our production has dropped dramatically. As well the Rutherglen Bug has appeared, so we lost a few flowers to it.

That's the way it is. It has enabled me to get on with some deleafing.

I met a lady when I was "scrutineeering" with the Federal Election, whose mother is in a nearby nursing home. We gave her some flowers to brighten up the place. I remember taking flowers often to nursing homes in the area. It was very time consuming for me - especially as they often expected me to put the flowers in vases. It took more time than I was prepared to give all the time, so we are happy to give the flowers to folk who call in and pick them up.

I have been planning to go to the markets this weekend - but with few flowers and contining bad weather, I shall reconsider, and maybe go the following week.

g t

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Photographer's Visit

Craig Taylor came to visit the Gerbera Farm yesterday. He and his wife were quite amazed at the variety of colours of the Gerberas and I showed him the Florist catalogue that we get from Holland each year.

I gave them some of the flowers, so he took them home. His photography is very creative, so I am keen to see what results. They have some product on one of their websites using his flower photos, so I am hoping to get some Gerbera product at some time.

I showed him the photo of the frog on the flower - one of those rare photos that has"right time, right place" about it. Green frogs are rare in the hot house, and to find one nestling on the petals of a flower was extra ordinary. And for it to wait while I raced to my car to get my camera was extra ordinary too.

The production of flowers is a bit low right now - I guess the plants are recovering from the last flush, and the facat that we have spent a lot of time removing excess foliage. "Deleafing" we call it. It is amazing how much the leaves grow and block out the light to the crown of the plant which results in poor flower production. It is a never ending job.

We are planning to go overseas in 2008 - and it occurred to me that to get to Holland from London is pretty easy and cheap. I'd love to visit one of the big Gerbera Growers in Holland. We are hoping we can schedule in such a visit. I'm quite excited about the prospect.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


As it turns out I have a new camera. I lost the other one last week, and while awaiting a new one from the insurance company I have purchased a "spare".

As it turns out, at the markets is a great photographer, Craig Taylor, who I met at the markets some time ago. His wife has now joined him with some photo products - watches, clocks, etc. and they want to photograph some gerberas, so will be coming to the farm in the next few days. So it culd be that "our"gerberas appear on some interesting products. Whoo Hoo!

To market, to market

Well, it is Sunday afternoon. I've spend the morning at the Manly Markets selling Gerberas. We had an excess in the cold room, and I sold them. It was an odd day, rain threatening at times, and one brief shower, but all up it was a bit of fun and I've made a bit of pocket money.

The markets are often busy before Christmas and there's no doubt folk were buying presents.

Certainly the flowers looked wonderful - adding colour to what is already a colourful market. I was on my own for the latter part of the day but MM did help set up and did stay with me until around 9.30 am. He's good with selling and did well.

We didn't take the marquee as he was unable to be there to help at the end of the day, and I would have struggled on my own, especially if it had been windy.

And I like giving away flowers at the end of the day- the last couple of buckets are giveaways.

Anyway it was a bit of fun.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I need more money

When we first started the Gerbera Farm we did sell some of our flowers and plants at a local market, but we have not done it for several years.

I am "unemployed" at the moment - I had a REAL job but it is no longer. So I have to do something to get some money. The grandchildren have been a bit slack lately and have not done their flower market out the front of their home, and there are plenty of flowers in the cold room, so I'm taking them down to Manly tomorrow to sell.

This week I had a long discussion with someone - about money and the lack of it. And it was an issue in the recent Australian election. So many folk claimed that they had no money, and despite the buoyant economy of Australia too many people were doing it tough. Our Prime Minister at the time John Howard kept saying that we were doing well.

My opinion is that I agree that we have a buoyant economy and that by and large people are doing well, but so many are overspending. Racking up huge debt on credit cards, living beyond their means, and then life is tough. I know. I don't have a credit card these days, and I live off money I have saved or earned. I'm decidedly frugal.

There is no doubt that there are many people in the US and Australia are finding it tough because of their debt. And without quality information they are getting deeper in to debt. Some are borrowing more money to pay off previous debts and increasing the problems for themselves.

I'm not to "pontificate" here - but it does help to have a budget and stick to it, and it does help to save some money "for a rainy day," and there are ways to get credit to help solve today's problems.

People need to be well informed about their credit choices and there are many websites that help people with comparisons and there are many that offer credit counselling. Before you get hooked into bad credit loans do some research.
Do your comparisons BEFORE you make a mistake.

Meanwhile, I'll be at the markets on alternate Sundays to put some cash into my pocket.