Tamborine Lavender News – December 2019

Another month gone and of course December means Christmas.  I hope you all enjoyed your break with family and friends – perhaps you went on holiday to somewhere?  This year for us was spent at home and was quiet, but we enjoyed the break.  Leading up to Christmas I found myself on a work site with my husband – on a roof helping out with putting on metal sheathing to air-con pipes.  And it was hot!  One day reached over 40C and it felt like 60C+ on that white roof surrounded by silver metal.  Wow…nearly killed me, but I survived and am here to tell the story.  I have a new respect for what my hubby does.  Not that it is always that extreme, but with a deadline looming he stayed the course and powered through.

We were set to attend our first market at a local venue.  They call it a mingle market and is held once a month in a new semi-rural development from 5 – 9pm.  I was all geared up, product packed, new gazebo and arrived to set up.

Well I wasn’t too sure about what was developing in the sky and told the organizer that I might wait a little until I set up because it looked like a right royal storm was on its way.  She laughed and said it will go around us, but I was still a little wary.  I parked under cover just across the road and rang my hubby and spoke to him about how concerned I was and while I was on the phone the wind came up.  And wow….it was really blowing and even trees were bending while the sky was eerily dark.  Then came the rain…heavy and forceful.  The few traders that had set up were in chaos, trying to protect their stalls and it was then that I decided to go home.  I rang the organizer to let her know and she told me they had decided to cancel the market.   Luckily, I had placed a tarp over the ute just in case. 

I drove home in heavy rain and parked in the workshop feeling extremely grateful I hadn’t set up.  Those poor stall holders who hadn’t been so fortunate.  I was a little upset as I was quite excited to attend our first market, but we really needed the rain.  A couple of days later I found out they were holding the market the following Friday – just before Christmas, so along we went.  The crowds were down abit, but the weather was perfect and it was a good introduction to my first market.  It was lovely interacting with the public and I received lots of wonderful feedback about the products and our stall.

Just when I thought it was full steam ahead after our  first market and receiving my first few orders on-line….the website… it broke!  When I say broke, I mean that our hosting site went down.  There must have been thousands of websites affected, but we didn’t get notified, it just stopped working.  One of our boys, Vinny, who is the computing wizard (has to be one in every family J) got onto it, but couldn’t get any information on what was happening so we had to play a waiting game for the hosting site to release the data so we could move to another host.  We were able to save some of the information and Tara came to the rescue once again.  So during Dec we had a website and then we didn’t and we couldn’t do a thing about it.  So we decided not to worry about it and re-visit in the new year.

During this time I started to become abit worried about the Lavender.  They just didn’t seem to be growing as much as I expected them to and wasn’t sure what to do.  I contacted our supplier Clive and after walking around the lavender chatting to him it was decided they needed feeding.  I sourced the nitrogen fertilizer from Landmark in Gatton and they were fantastic.  They said that there are farms that have never had to feed their crops before, but this year with the drought they have seen a huge increase in having to fertilise.  The bottom line is that when it rains it picks up nitrogen and Sulphur through the air so when rain hits everything, it is not just providing water, but also feeding everything.  When you are using water that is stored, eg. bore, dam, spring, it is just not the same.  So we set about with a slow release fertilizer to give the plants a boost.  Fingers crossed.  I know some people have had large losses with some of their plantings such as 50% or more and I was feeling pretty chuffed that I had only lost <1%.  The thing with Lavender is that it can be doing really well and then all of a sudden it can decide it’s “outta here” and just die off, so that is another waiting game.  I was also under the misconception that I should have had a small harvest this year, but after a little research I realised that what I was comparing to had actually been planted the year before – doh!  Let’s see what happens.

Christmas Eve night brought the best rain we have had in some time.  The storm the week before only produced 15ml, but to get some follow-up was fantastic.  We woke Christmas morning to have two big puddles in our new improved dam after receiving 52ml which is the most rain we have had in months!  The ‘puddles’ at each end and are deep enough for our Border Collie, Tillie to have a swim which she is very happy about.  Christmas Day was quiet as our children and grandchildren are all over Australia and this year had their own celebrations. 

New Years Eve we went to Brisbane and caught a City Cat Ferry all the way up Brisbane River and back where we passed lots of barges filled with fireworks in preparation for the night’s celebrations.  Then we booked into a Motel in the CBD and got to see the fireworks.  I imagine it would have been very busy at Southbank on the other side, but we stayed on the CBD side and it was spectacular and busy, but not crowded at all. 

During this break I also brought some golf clubs…….well that’s a story for January.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year that is filled with good Health, much Love and many Laughs.

And the journey continues………………….

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