Olive harvest 2005 disappointing

We harvested all our olives on June 18th. Lovely warm day. Total of 18kg of fruit, well up on the handful of the year before, but well down on the 50kg I was expecting. The birds – despite some noisy bird-scaring gear – had obviously been busy. I took the fruit to Athena Olives in Waipara, to be thrown into the pot. No Limestone Hills oil this year, but unless we have some sort of climatic disaster in the coming year, I’m confident we’ll have some next winter. Next on the olive grove task list: pruning and fertilising. I’ll do some light pruning at the end of July, and give each tree a feed in August.

2 thoughts on “Olive harvest 2005 disappointing

  1. >bird-scaring
    Got enough wind for “hawk kite” use? A friend who grows chestnuts and hazelnuts in Minnesota swears by them. Big lightweight kite — goes way up high, and from it dangles a fake raptor.
    Apparently quite convincing.

    He said after the birds and beasts that raid their trees started to get acclamated to the fake hawks, and so became careless, real hawks decided this was the place to go for an easy lunch.

  2. Wind? We have wind. In spades. A Chinook-type thing called the nor’wester: gives many of my trees a most intemperate lean. I’ve got some pix of that already transferred over from the old site. One of the header pictures for On The Farm (there are five that rotate randomly) is a “norwest arch” – the characteristic wave cloud of the east coast of the South Island.

    Funnily enough I was looking at hawk kites at our local agricultural supplies store yesterday. It’s the time to put nets on vineyards (ours is done already because of bird depredations in the pinot last year), and so out come all the fancy scaring devices. I have borrowed a few from my neighbour at Waipara West – my favourite’s the rotating owl that clanks and flashes.

    But one of the best ways is to utilise our own hawks – we have lots of australasian harriers, buzzard-sized things, wheeling around – by shooting rabbits (no shortage of them either) and then pegging the corpses on fenceposts, belly up. Irresistible. The aforementioned neighbour constructs large bird tables on his fences…

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