Thursday, 21 February 2013

Winter travels...........

Well, it's starting to feel like maybe Spring is around the corner.  Our list is once again very long, and we have been working hard to get everything ready for another season.

This winter we were very fortunate to be asked to visit Australia and New Zealand to talk to the farmers/ producers there.  Our first stop in the Australia was about a 5 hour drive inland west from Sydney, AU to a place called Griffith NSW.  4 hours of the drive was through desert like country, very dry and barren.
I couldn't help but feel sorry for the animals grazing on the brown pasture.  Then all of a sudden you enter an area that has what seemed like more citrus and grapes than Florida or California.  What a beautiful sight.  Orange grove after orange grove, and wineries like Yellow Tail.  We were in heaven! 
We spent a couple of days with the citrus and grape growers explaining our soil amendment program that we use here in North America.  They were extremely receptive as the know how important Calcium is to their orange groves.

We toured back out to the coast.  What diverse terrain Australia has.  Then we were off to New Zealand for more meetings.  We flew into Christchurch and drove south.  I have never seen so many sheep in my life.  The countryside is very lush and green and the hill sides are covered with sheep, and dairy cattle and where there is some flatter land they use it for farming.  Greg met with several people in the south.  We also had the opportunity to see how they spray their crops and seed some fields.  They use helicopters.......wow that was something to see.
Then we headed towards the north island to meet some commercial growers.  I have never seen so many beet fields or that many carrots!  This particular commercial grower cans lots of sliced and diced beets.  They eat beets on hamburgers, and sandwiches like we do pickles.  Surprisingly delicious!

On our way back to Auckland we were able to visit a blueberry producer and see how the 100+ acres blueberry orchard runs.  It gave us hope and inspiration for our 45 acres of saskatoon berries.  With the help of proper equipment we are going to test out the fresh market for our berries this season.

What an amazing trip, and the people we met, some will sure to be life long friends. It kept us in touch with the land and what we love to do.  Made us realize that farmers everywhere face some kind of challenges.  

We look forward to this season, with offerings of some new products.  
Hope to see you all in July

Laurie

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