Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Looking on the grape ...
Viniculture is relatively new to this area - the last ten years have seen a huge growth in the number of vineyards. The process is more or less hydroponic, using water pumped from boreholes to a water table which rose when Lake Dunstan was created. Sometimes nutrients are added to the water by a pump, and we saw how important the supply of water is - where a trickle hole had become blocked, there would be a withered vine with shrivelled fruit. We learned that some growers will give fruit which has dried out "the JC treatment" which involves soaking the fruit overnight in water till it regains its size. You can work out the "JC" connection.
This afternoon I returned to the mineworkings at Bendigo - with my camera. You can see the results by clicking through to Flickr on today's pic. We walked from Welshtown to Logantown via the Aurora battery site - a wonderful walk through Manuka shrubs and thorn bushes, several of which were concealing lethal mineshafts. Rabbits were everywhere, skittering over the dry earth as we approached. The wind was strong enough to be cooling and the views were to die for. A great hike.
Tonight it is chilly - the wind has moved to the South and the forecast is for showers - and temperatures tonight of 5 degrees. Just like summer hols in Scotland!