Friday, December 30, 2011

Recovering the Shiraz Pots

Looks Like Nature Abhors Dieback
New Growth After Mildew Attack

I bought a "new" compound based on copper to fight the recent mildew attack on the Portable Vineyard vines,  notably, the Shiraz/Syrah vines. Since the first two sprays, separated by ten days as recommended, the old infected leaves and any new ones that have also been seen to be infected, have been removed by hand. This has been a painful lesson, as each vine has a few leaves... But what especially annoyed me last week was the rubbish collection service! The bin was emptied, but all the infected leaves and canes fell out as the truck emptying mechanism, or the operator, let leaves (and cat litter gravel and poo) actually spill over the street as it was emptied! Hmph!!

Anyway, it looks like the canes have enough energy to put new sprouts out on them all! There is still more to do, and I think a daily walk through the yard should keep the disease out!

Friday, December 23, 2011

poor old shiraz

This weeks losers
a new borrowed cat

Pinot Noir, not bad

Garage Foxey grapes- look at the berries!

Should get about 30kg foxey grapes

Cemetary for goners

Only Shiraz doing ok

Woeful Syrah/Shiraz, pruned all mildew infected canes and removed as many leaves as possible

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

looking for suggestions on mildew

If anyone has a treatment after mildew attacks the vines?

If you are up to date, then you know I have been treating the vines with sulphur and then copper the other day to fight off the Downy and powdery Mildew. I have not as yet identified which one, maybe ave both.

So have made the decision to prune the most infected canes or strip off the odd infected leaves.

The syrah/Shiraz is the most badly affected, and starting to look like no crop will eventuate at all. the clusters are nearly all affected, and looks horrible.

keeping them all together has been the worst mistake I have made this year for that variety. The Pinot and the Garage Grapes are doing fine, the odd spotted leaf or cluster removed here and there. Fingers Crossed everybody.

If you have some other suggestions, please let me know?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New family member

We have a live in cat

I slipped a suggestion to my sister-in-law the other week, noting that it was just a suggestion that she may not have realised could be pretty effective and help her out. A lot.

I could "board" their cat while they were away for a little while, other wise it would be a hard decision about what to do about the 16 year old male cat- Oscar. Poor bugger had been upended from Sydney to the country, then back to suburbia, then left "alone" some time of the year while they were OS-where her dad looked after him.  I think our 11 year female cat Fluffa should survive him. The gels loved the idea! So here is the temporarily live-in-cat:

Obviously an update...

Struck down again

Looks like we will have a poor harvest for the cellar next year,
the Vintage to be is half gone already- mildewed/marvined- after being warned last year. By Me!

The only up beat for the fortnight, no, one of them, was watching the Queen doco and where They had been and gone- and was glad I was in it almost from the start with Night at the Opera, when I was in 8th year, or Second Form back then... Really really enjoyed taht.

And having a meal and some liqor oot the NuHooseNuHoose meals and drinks- Initiation!
And some more here and there too.

Oh woe is the Syrah

Wish I had more attention to detail
Or just followed a plan.

I did not follow the hints of spraying as soon as or even just doing it asap anyway when it was hot and slightly humid, rainy even. Woe to the beginner.

Last week I noticed that the shiraz/Syrah plants were getting slightly discoloured.
No seeing the humid conditions, or where the clusters were, Missed Out the chance to avoid the most horrible occurrence I have seen here- Mildew. Either Powdery or the other one Downy Mildew. Just thought that some fertilizer was required...

Looks like I did not follow the protocols, but fer shure, will be to protect the rest of the yard from now on with a regular spray weekly at least.

Looks like putting them together was the worst thing to do, but they were crowded due to lack of room in the first place, maybe the car will have to be exiled to the street...

I have yet to find right advice, but if all the clusters are buggered, will have to separate the pots and do a premature prune, leaving some foliage and hope that new sprouts will occur so they do not all die off

So for the other newbies, here is today's so sad pics of the shiraz yard:

 Almost all the shiraz clusters are affected, less than a few mm in diameter, and probably will have nothing left to harvest.
Compare these pics to earlier. I think these two should have some fruit:

The Pinot is affected slightly, one plant particularly, but I have cut it out of the herd for the moment. keeping a close eye on them all now!

The  Foxey Garage Grapes are fine, the berries almost 1cm!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bah Humbug

Freezer check
Oh oh.

Looking for inspiration for the weegen menu.

Open freezer door.

Steak, chicken, mince, roast, bacon dim-sims... peas, corn, chips. Bread. Ice-cream.

What the? How much is in there? How Old too? And the "ones prepared earlier"?

Hmm, interesting. There is enough for a fortnight!

Viola- for your "edification", some meat products to be sorted and consumed...

I mean, four people, I am not buying a lot, but seem to be Not Cooking A Lot as planned at the start of the week! As the holidays are starting soon, I better get my ass into gear and turn out a few good meals, get some mates around, I dunno- Oh yeah, the last mass invite was a sham, three guests- at late notice too. But we did do a few homemades and had a cajun time! Thanks A-bell and Jen and AJ.

So the frozen pre cooked can wait for party- there's a few lunches. Some steak- and chicken- for stir fri, and the roast for another slow cooked Cajun/Mexican night.

Just gotta remember man! There is savings of at least 14 meals for four- at roughly eight to ten dollars per meal- say nearly $150 sitting there, not doing ANYTHING but consuming Power. Argh! A whole weeks groceries!

So egslaente, go shopping and ..member, remember, remem...

Slack, and disaster in the offing

Waited too long
Spray Schedule amuck

The leaves of the Shiraz/Syrah plantation were looking funny the other day- say three days. Added a fishy fertiliser the next day- a cap full with 2L of water per plant, [and have to get more]. Yellowey, spotty maybe from a distance. Did not look closer at the future crop... Mistake.

We had had the wrong weather. Rain Humidity. Mild nights.

This added up to prime attack time of the Mildews.

I had tried to wait for 100% caps and bloom, but there was a mixed bag of development through the yard.
Hence I slacked off the sulphur and insecticides pre-emptive strikes too long.

And the yellow signs on the leaves by yesterday, Friday, and suspiciously, grey signs on the clusters hinted broadly at TOO LATE YOU IDIOT.

A mixture was made up , and sprayed, as the forecast was no rain as such over the weekend.

Saturday- further inspection- A repeat of last years lack of close attention.

The reminders was there- low productivity goes with low attention to detail.

This is not good, for the yard or my future careers in anything. I wonder how I am managing bringing up children or even coping with growing older myself!

Anyway, the spray regime will have to be upped, and weather conditions monitored closely.

The Pinot Noir looks okay, as does the Foxey Garage Grapes. Fingers crossed. The same with the greenhouse cuttings- a good spray on them all  should do the job.


Hmm. Tight. Good. The Foos


Sucked into a FooFighters Concert.

So I was thinking I did the right thing a few months ago, buying some concert tickets for the 16yr old and his mate, seats at the December 2 FooFighters concert in the Big Smoke at the Aami Stadium
But boy was I wrong. They wanted the mosh pit, so the mate bailed out.

Pissed me right off.

So for the next few months I was on #2's back- get me my money! $120 is not a sneeze- it is about three slabs of beer man!

By the 1st december, no takers....

Talking about it to a mutual friend- A Father and Son Outing!

Riigghhhtt. Me and the boy going together to a Foos concert.

Suggested by SMS to #2.

No answer.

After school- "Yeah, good idea", cos I did say he could drive us...


Okkaay then. Organise the gels so the boys could take off.


So then I had to finish work early, grab #2 from school early, and get to the city by 6pm...

Worked dragged on and on...

Left home to pick #2 up, but had to return for the reading glasses... Off to pick Him up. And returned home yet again so he could FINISH packing things he did not pack in the car before school...

Arrived a little later than imagined, the Learner driver being booted out of the driver's seat at Springvale Rd,  then after panic attack about parking the car, as dropped idea of staying with #1 at the campus flat, set off around the MCG, over the railroad, and could hear the warm up bands from a mile off.

Walked all around the concert stadium - 359° - to get to our assigned row and was ready for Tenacious D. Who ever. But the Screens- Man, they were BIG!

"Jack Black?" I asked the expert, with shock.

OMG, am I out of the loop!

So that was enjoyable.

Then the show started in earnest.

OMG II- Out of the loop or what. Really this time.
I only knew a few radio hits, but tapped along anyway.
As far as it went, I would rate it loud.
Like Pink Floyd 1989 Adelaide, Springsteen 86 Melbourne and U2 in 84 Perth.
And Tommy the Movie, mid 70's...

The drummer did a Wall song, something I vaguely knew in the first bar, and then, OH YEAH, somethin' to Tap Along To!

Well, I reckon #2 enjoyed it anyway.

We have just arrived home, getting through the 11:30pm traffic jam and home by 2.30am, and here I am, looking at the $45 dollar concert tee-shirts at 3am and wondering, sometimes life is worth it.