Wulura Farm Update Dec 2012

Wulura Farm Update Dec 2012

What’s happening on the farm?

Well as per usual it is a busy and eventful time at Wulura. Read on to find out why, or if you would like to read our newsletter and find out about our award winning wine click here.

The Vineyard

We have been very busy with canopy management in the vineyard. Each block must have the new shoots trained to the trellis system that we believe will produce the best quality, disease free fruit from that variety on that piece of ground. This involves around 2 to 3 months of constant work involving regularly lifting or dropping of wires in order to encourage the new shoots to grow in the direction required.  This year things were going along beautifully when at the end of November out of the blue a major storm hit our region. Along with most other growers in the northern Margaret River region we have suffered considerable hail and wind damage.

The last week has been constant monitoring and care in an attempt to minimise the damage done. Time will tell but grapevines have an amazing ability to recover from most things if they are given due care and attention. We can only hope that in a few months’ time last week will be a mere chip on the windscreen of the journey that will be another great vintage.

The Olives

The hail and wind also had an effect on the olive trees. They are thankfully much tougher than grapevines but a considerable amount of young fruit was knocked to the ground. We didn’t lose any trees but suffered the odd broken branch and the foliage has been left looking a bit the worse for wear. To help the trees to recover they have all had a small dose of a multi nutrient fertiliser. At this time of the year the trees have not long finished flowering and all the fruit has set. If you look carefully you can see the small berries that will, over the next 6 months mature into what we hope will be another bumper crop of the finest quality olives. As with all horticultural crops weeds and pests are an ever present problem. Over the last few weeks I have noticed that something has been eating the lower shoots and assumed that it must be a big kangaroo. However while inspecting the grove this morning I spotted a small mob of red deer. We see them from time to time in this area. I can only assume that like most ferral animals they are the descendants of escapees from a nearby deer farm.

The Cows

On the livestock side we are at the end of the green pasture stage of the season. This means sale time and calf weaning. We have sold all our steers and cull heifers and will now wean the calves off their mothers. This involves drafting the calves off in the cattle yards and then transporting them to the other side of the farm where they are kept in confinement for 5 or 6 days. At the end of this period they have lost their urge to find their mums and can be drafted into mobs of steers and heifers.  They will  be grown out to maturity next spring as restaurant grade Western Australian grass fed beef for the steers or mated to be future breeding stock for the heifers.

The cows spend a couple of days mooing at the yards calling for their lost babies but soon realise that it is holiday time and retire to a shady tree. This is the beginning of a few months rest and relaxation for mum before next autumn when she will calve again and the cycle starts over.

I look forward to seeing you all in the new year and would like to take this opportunity to wish all our loyal customers a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year

 

Brad Harnett

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