2013/14 spring and summer has seen the most prolific growth. We are now having to prune and cut back huge branches otherwise we will have a jungle! The gathering leaves are being spread around the compost bins and areas around the several gardens for rich mulch. Bags of pine needles have been given to place on the garden pathways.
The young apple trees were heavy with fruit so much so that one branch broke with the weight of its 85 apples. Many apples were stewed, then frozen and buckets of apples were given away. The pear trees produced the most delicious big pears and the crabapple trees caused the making of crabapple jelly…a first here. The fruit of one tree was gifted to the birds to devour.
At the end of March we were given six silky bantams. Within a few weeks one had died and four were clucky so now we have
eleven delightful bantam chickens wandering around the paddocks. They refuse to use any sheds and persist in sleeping at night in the trees. They make great little tractors as they scratch around under the trees and pathways in the garden. Woe betide them if they start eating any garden produce though!
Our organic eggs are sold which is a great help in contributing to the upkeep of wheat and the necessary maintenance of the hen house. The laying older hens are in the yard and hen house in the sanctuary (back paddock) and four of the younger layers are in the mobile hen house in the side paddock being free range from lunch onwards! They are also learning to tolerate the newly arrived bantams.
Five of the last years lambs and the young ram were sold which has reduced the flock to thirteen. As more ground has been taken up for trees and gardens there is less pasture for a larger flock.
This week we will be welcoming a St Peters College group to the marae and we have been asked to share its history and the Catholic history of Invercargill after which I will lead them around the Basilica giving its history. It is so good to be able to share some of our Dominican history (with the first convent in the south being on the same complex as well).
A small Dominican family group has begun to meet at Korimako once a month to our delight. Some of them came one Saturday and worked for three hours in the sanctuary weeding, digging and mulching as we cleared the garden ready to let it lie for the winter.
Autumn blessings to all
Judith Robinson op