Grain Rain: Floating weeds appear

October 27th, 2011
by Jo Law

The abrupt change from a 30.8ºC maximum on Monday October 24th to the cool maximum of 16.4ºC on Tuesday 25th was the talk of the town. And on Thursday 27th, the weather forecasters at the Bureau of Meteorology took industrial action over stalled pay negotiations. The campaign included a one-hour work stoppage and a protest rally. The forecasters’ union representative, Nadine Flood, explains that the pay rise offered is below inflation and an earlier offer included cuts to sick and carer’s leaves. Another representative, Alistair Waters, says the usual move by the Bureau staff ‘demonstrates a degree of concerted anger’.

The presisting cooler weather allowed me to snatch a bit of time to construct a compost heap out of the overflowing cut grass, soiled straw, and fermented lurcerne. Hollis was distracted by the ripening mulberries and greedily ate the fruit off the tree with his purple-stained hands. Harvest in the bottom bed is now underway. The soil will need time to be reconditioned for the summer crop of tomatoes and basil. A big spinach crop was harvested today to be made into Madhur Jaffrey’s Mughlai saag (spinach cooked with onions).

Meanwhile, the grain harvest continues in ernest around the country. Other farmers are nervously watching the weather as Carnarvon mango growers anticipate a reduced yield with a 40% fruit drop this season; and the crops in south-east Queensland’s Granite Belt were destroyed by a hail storm. The primary school students in Burdekin are having better luck with their giant pumpkin crops with the fruits each weighing around 70kg.

One Response to “Grain Rain: Floating weeds appear”

  1. 1 Mike
    October 28th, 2011 at 18:11

    On this day, myself and a group of landcare volunteers began clearing lantana from a gully at Riversdale on the Shoalhaven River. We used cutters and glycol 460, a supposedly safe chemical. A little later another volunteer arrived with 40 red cedar seedlings in the back of the car; so four of us broke off and spent the rest of the morning planting round the creek, the site of earlier remedial ‘weed’ control. As our supervisor remarked: “the sign of a healthy society is when people plant trees that they will never sit under the shade of”……