2017 Harvest

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Apple pruning time

Beginning of March is usually the time for apple pruning. Honestly apple pruning is one of the jobs I hate. It's somewhere between potato planting and weed pulling in summer heat. Pruning itself would not be difficult if I weren't dwarf size and my apples weren't too tall for me. Out of all my apples I can climb only one of them, the rest have first branches way too high so I avoid trying to climb them. That means a lot of tinkering with tall shears.
Usually I manage to finish it one week. This year it took me a lot longer, but the reason were not my apples.
The reason was this crazy weather we're having here.
I decided to do my first pruning on February 27th. Like always apples have a lot of suckers on top of the tree so it took me ages to remove everything.

First few days Srećko was helping me with all my work.
When I say helping I mean he was running around the orchard while I was pruning. Still we had a tiny problem with this arrangement. I had to keep him on a leash because he is able to find every single crack between ground and fence and run away.

I managed to finish half of my orchard and then after one rainy night I woke up to this.

We had winter with no snow and now in March we got 10cm on heavy wet snow. Of course this kept me out of the orchard for almost a week. Then when we finally got some good weather I was sick for a while and again I couldn't do anything. This week I finally felt good, or let's say good enough to finish my work. In this 5 days since the snow went away flowers woke up so now my orchard was full of pretty colours. With first primroses also came first lungworts which I didn't want to stomp so I collected the ones that were in my way and saved them for drying.

I managed to finish all my apples today: I came home and then in just few hours again all hell broke loose. I was in my living room when the sound of sand started making noise outside, only it was not sand, it was hail. Luckily there is nothing growing of blooming right now except few early flowers so we won't have any damage even though the street was completely white even few hours after the storm. Only crazy Srećko didn't mind  the storm, we was running up and down catching hail balls. Nero as was hiding in the house as always.

 With this kind of weather and cold soil I think my first vegetable varieties will wait until Easter passes. There is no point in sowing peas and carrots now.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Missent to Canada

Last year Dewberry from Slavic garden and I started our little spring seed exchange tradition.
2015 exchange went smooth without any problems. This year was a bit different. My seed package took ages to get here. It usually takes max 10 days for mail to get from Poland to Croatia. This year 27 days. By the beginning of March we started worrying that my package ended in the hands of some mail thief... which wouldn't be a big surprise knowing that huge amount of packages gets stolen somewhere between Croatian main post office and local offices.
Luckily my package got here on Friday. It was not opened and all my seeds got here.

The package again contained huge amount of tomato seeds so now with new 40 varieties I'm up to around 120 varieties of tomatoes. I should make an alphabetical list of all my tomatoes one day so I'd know exactly which varieties I have, although I can say that only by looking at the package and the name I'm still able to remember if I have the variety or not.

So if all this seed waiting ended well why am I writing this post?
The reason is located on the package envelope.

Apparently my package took a road trip and instead of going to Croatia first went to CANADA.

 I'm unable to understand how someone can mistake Canada for Croatia. Two countries on two different continents. Even more knowing that both Poland and Croatia are in European union and have different laws and prices when shipping packages than to other countries in EU. Just looking at the stamps and price of the package should have been a clue my package was not meant to end in North America.
Also I can't help but to wonder what would happen if someone opened this package in Canada. European laws allow us to send and sow all the seeds that are available in all EU countries. But to Canada? There are many flower varieties that are allowed here but considered dangerous and invasive in North America. What would happen if our packages contained that kind of seeds?

I guess next year we'll be writing "Europe" on our packages. Maybe then it will not end up travelling all thousands of km for nothing.