Term 3 – Week 7 – Weeds & Firearms

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View of Cromwell from the old reservoir

This week we continued studying weeds. Roger took us on a weed finding field trip, a walk up to the former Cromwell reservoir that is above Lake Dunstan. The view from up there is great and there were lots of interesting weeds I had not seen before.

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Richard showing off an old Teasel seed head

On Tuesday we went over the second weeds assignment, which covers developing a weed management plan for the Bannockburn vineyard. I’ll need to factor in the time of year, the stage of the crop (i.e. bud burst or pruning), weather conditions such as frost, what sort of weeds are present and if they are problematic to the vines or not.

Then there was the weed identification test. Roger laid out 20 weeds around the room that we had to name. At first I had a bit of a blank (oh the tension!) but I ended up getting 17 out of 20 right. Need to study up on those last three!

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This week there was also the firearms module. There was a class on firearm safety and then a day at the Central Otago Pistol Club. I had been looking forward to it since I saw it on the timetable at the start of the term. It didn’t disappoint! I wouldn’t want to actually shoot an animal, but the target practice was fun. It’s also good to know how to check if a gun is loaded and how to deal with it safely.

Basic rules for firearm safety:

#1 – Treat every firearm as loaded

#2 – Always point firearms in a safe direction

#3 – Load a firearm only when ready to fire

#4 – Identify your target

#5 – Check your firing zone

#6 – Store firearms and ammunition safely

#7 – Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms

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In propagation this week we were sowing onion seeds. I planted 40 punnets of Pukekohe Long Keeper onions. They are the normal onions you get at the supermarket. Jo said that in her opinion onions are some of the best veges to grow in your home garden because of the chemicals most commercial growers use.

We also pricked out some trays of parsley seedlings into pots. The plant sale is getting closer and closer!

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Left – onions in the greenhouse to germinate. Right – parsley seedlings.

Last week’s weather. Look at those temperatures! This week we had a a cold snap and there is more snow up on the hills but I don’t think it will last.

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