Week 6

On the Weekend SAM_2883 SAM_2885 SAM_2884 grape monoculture Bendigo



Monday room 3. Jo presented a very informative lecture on potting mix, potting mix ingredients, carbon footprints, sourcing of organic ingredients, and a whole heap of other stuff that my monday brain couldn’t process; the maths problems especially gave me a small nagging headache!…..looks like I need to make another App…..Jo gave us a number of problems to solve in regards to an introduction to the economics of nursery production.


SAM_2892 SAM_2891 SAM_2890


After lunch it was into the nursery to look at 3 potting mix brand products and OP own mix. The 3 brands being Tui, Buy Rite and Yates. We evaluated the brands against a number of measures. Then we made up 6 afalfa seedlings of each product and we will monitor their  growth progress over the next few months. We will then be able to determine which product mix performed the best and then compare each performance against the products claims.


As our day finished earlier than usual this would have been an opportune time to work on my Enterprise Report; instead I needed to pack and freight a painting to Australia, then work on my studio’s new ceiling installation, go down to Old Cromwell and close up and then finally I got to sit on my bum and drink beer…kind of a perfect day really!



Tuesday Bannockburn road,Radiation Frost = frost caused by dropping ground temperatures due to lack of cloud cover

Frost Fighting Cromwell

Summerfruit frost fighting

Frost en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frost


SAM_2905 Inspecting Frost water system for damage

SAM_2902 a correctly aligned end row spray

SAM_2903 vineyard frost protection system operating correctly

SAM_2895 orchard frost protection system being tested

SAM_2901 adjusting a spray unit

SAM_2897 spray unit operating correctly

The water based frost protection system is a separate watering system to the irrigation system. When there is danger of frost a field sensor will alert the responsible person to operate the system. The water spray “coats” the buds in an ice layer but does not freeze them. There is a thin air gap between the buds surface and the ice. This gap acts as an insulator. The system while being effective has a number of drawbacks. The huge volume of water required, an extensive underground infrastructure, and a reliable fail safe capacity (dependent on someone getting out of bed and turning on the system).

Air turbines are another form of frost protection.

Mobile air blower frost protection



I spent the afternoon studying the small machinery module on Moodle and then completed the online test. Got a score of 99. In reading up on the information in Moddle

I found an error in the OP  ROPS exclusion clause. The date of exclusion from requirement should read 1st September 1970 and not 1st April 2001…I bought it to attention of Trevor.ROPS mistake

The OP guys came round later in the afternoon and helped me cut down the old hoist rail that was hanging in my studio space. One big job done and a barbecue dinner and a few beers to celebrate!….

Field trip to Arthers Point. An small private vineyard established in the 1980’s (around the same time first plantings were established at Gibbston Valley) and has remained without change. As such it is arguably the oldest surviving original plantings grapevines left in the area. The OP Horticulture unit has looked after the vineyard in conjunction with the elderly owners. The steep schist fields over look the Shotover River, Arthers Point and out over the hills to the snow covered ranges. A beautiful site.


Before we began the pruning, tying on and pruned cane cleanup. The vines are not supported by wires. Two canes are kept from as low on the head or trunk as possible. These two canes are then tied to two stakes or to one stake only. There are 3 vineyard plots of Pinot Noir. The soil is schist and irrigation is natural underground runoff. There are numerous small streams throughout the property. The top vineyard the holes for planting were apparently “blown” by dynamite! Given the sites orientation etc ripening of the fruit can be difficult.


The weather was perfect.



Mission accomplished! Vineyard looking neat, tidy and ready for new growth.


Sick day….dam eye infection. Between you and me I blame my condition on the FB cat, but Suzie wont hear of it! My ears itch, my eyes are red and sore and I have dry scaly skin behind and into my ears….Im a mess and for all that Im still feeding it!


Cleaned up around my place. Did all the usual stuff like washing etc….except the etc became a washing machine logic malfunction…entertained my grand kids, duh actually they entertained me, had a really nice few hours with Claire sitting in the sun and with my daughter Katie.

Oh and while I had their attention they assisted me in off-loading my new aquisition:)); an old cast iron boiler that I scrounged for $10 at the dump:)….

Saturday and Sunday I worked on my Enterprise Report….and did some planting:)

SAM_2919 I picked up the old cast iron boiler from the tip; recycling at its best

The weather that was



One response to “Week 6

  1. Hi Pete…what a blogger you are!! Very fast on the uptake and cool to see/read/hear a different style. Your mind is on fire! Excellent Cheers Jo

    Liked by 1 person

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