Hello to all our followers. We are pleased to present our 2nd newsletter. Thanks to all of our followers who have reacted so positively to our first newsletter, it is always good to get some encouragement!!

Weather 2nd quarter 2015

We depend completely on the weather and this dependency has caused some grief over the past few weeks. Although April and most of May were far too dry and stormy, we had a few spectacular rain storms in late May and early June which gave us 60mm of water in 2.5 hours! The flowering process went very well though, with lots of flowers, and the small olives are growing well. The past few weeks have been very hot (over 35 degrees) and the heat makes work on the fields hard.

What have we been doing the past 3 months ??

April to June is relatively busy time for us. In April we checked all the irrigation system and started cutting grass (we cut the grass, but leave it on the field in order to fertilize the fields) and cleaning the woodchips around the trees. The last bit is hard, back breaking work, but essential, with special shovels we take out all the weeds growing in the woodchips, allowing the soil to feed the trees rather than the weeds. Most farms use herbicides for this job, we just do it the old-fashioned way (we have a lot of indications that the old fashioned way is making a comeback).

The last two weeks of June were spent on the getting ready for the hot summer season, with two main priorities :

  • Getting ready to fight the fruit fly Our one main concern in summer is the fruit fly, we defend us against this pest by spraying a chalk/water mixture over the trees, “hiding” the olives from the flies. This requires a lot of preparation and set-up, which is what we just have done. More about the olive fly in the next newsletter.
  • Getting ready to prepare the farm against brush fires Our summers are very warm and very, very dry. Most years there are brush fires around the farm, and our only defence is a lot of firefighting equipment (including an old fire truck), and training. The first exercise showed us that perhaps a bit more practice is required!

Renewable energy at Querubi

In summer we use a lot of water for irrigation, pumping the water from our bore holes requires a lot of electricity. Since we only irrigate in summer and that is the time when we have the most sunshine, it was easy to decide to build a large solar energy system, powerful enough to run all the irrigation pumps at the same time. We have been working on this system for nearly 2 years now, and this summer is the ultimate test. So far the system holds up very well, but we will spend the rest of the summer analyzing the system and its output. We will keep you updated, it is a rather exciting project!

Looking forward to reporting you good news in September !!!

Willem

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