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TAS Country : March 10th 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011 Tasmanian Country 5 News Greta's garden a singular success BLOOMING BEAUTY: Greta shows off a spectacular dahlia. Pictures: JENNIFER CRAWLEY JENNIFER CRAWLEY COMPANION: Greta's pet sparrow Dicky Bum Tail. GRETA Nunn's garden is her life. Her home at Bushy Park is thriving with blooming roses, dahlias, blackberries and hops. Every centimetre of soil has been tilled. Every piece of fence is covered with fruit and flowering vines, and every vegetable row is brimming with tomatoes, cabbages, cucumbers and zucchinis. ''I've been here since the house has been here,'' Greta said. ''And I'll soon be 87.'' Greta said the house was built for her father, who lost his legs in World War I. She said he got around without a stick and still managed to tend to the garden and do other jobs. Greta said the garden had been a bit disappointing during the past year because of a lack of sunlight and too much rain. ''I haven't got any fruit because of the wet,'' she said. ''They got brown rot and that was the end of them. They didn't even ripen.'' Greta said she never got married because she could not stand the sound of a baby crying. ''It's a cry that I can't bear,'' she said. ''I thought it's not much good getting married if you can't have a family, so I was quite happy to be single.'' Greta joined the Land Army when she was 16 and worked in the local Bushy Park shop typing and doing the accounts. She also worked in the hopfields. Greta said she was happy working outside with a group of 10 women who pruned and dressed the hops. ''We still worked on the farm after the war,'' she said. ''I work outside all the time -- I love it,'' she said. ''I don't like housework, I don't like being inside, it's just a chore every day, same thing over and over.'' But she hasn't liked the weather this summer. ''It's been shocking -- the cold, wet weather has been disappointing and there haven't been many hot days,'' she said. ''I like the nights when we have daylight savings.'' Greta has always reared injured or abandoned wild birds. She reared two magpies that lived to 18 and 28. ''I've always loved birds. I don't like to see anything killed.'' Greta's family has always had pet birds -- plovers in the garden that couldn't fly, magpies and rosellas. And a pet sparrow, Dicky Bum Tail, has been her companion for the past seven years. ''I found him out here on the ground,'' Greta said. ''He was no bigger than my little finger and there wasn't a feather on him. ''He wasn't moving so I brought him inside, put him on the hot water cylinder and put a cloth over him. When I came back he had his head sticking up and he had his mouth open. ''He wanted to be fed, so I fed him. ''And that's how I come to rear him.'' Dicky thrives on a diet of porridge mixed with birdseed and cake. Greta does her own perms and drives into New Norfolk once a week to pay bills and do her shopping. ''I never sit down during the days,'' she said. ''I'm always doing something. If I sit down, I'd be asleep. ''I'm always chasing water around the garden, but I haven't had to do much of that this year.'' Honey growers stung badly HELEN KEMPTON HORRENDOUS SEASON: Southern Beekeepers Association president Peter Norris says the price of honey is set to rise. WIND, rain and cooler than normal summer temperatures have deci- mated Tasmania's leatherwood honey industry and retail prices are set to rise sharply. Bees do not fly in weather cooler than 13C or in wet or windy con- ditions, and leatherwood -- which is the source of 70 per cent of the state's honey -- does not produce pollen under 20C. Southern Beekeepers Association president Peter Norris said none of the four major honey outfits in the state's south produced any leather- wood honey last summer. And leatherwood production is down by 80 per cent in the state's north. ''It has devastated production with no leatherwood honey coming out of the south at all,'' Mr Norris said. ''And Blue Hills, a major producer from Mawbanna, recorded a drop in production from 100 to 20 tonnes. ''It is the same for every honey producer in Tasmania and an indus- try worth $6 million per annum will lose about $4 million in 2011.'' The next chance of leatherwood honey being produced is January next year. ''Hopefully we will have good honey conditions but it will be three years before we recover from this bad season,'' Mr Norris said. Honey prices are predicted to rise sharply in response to the dire season. ''Anyone with leatherwood will want a premium price to try and recoup some losses and because the season has been bad, supply and demand will drive prices up this year,'' Mr Norris said. ''Beekeepers are eternal optimists but this year has been a hard one to smile about.'' To add insult to financial loss, producers now need to buy sugar at inflated prices to feed their bees during the colder months. TASMANIAN ALKALOIDS Value Adding in Tasmania 2048615-08 After harvest clean up. Avoid future crop contamination by allowing poppy seed to germinate on the ground surface before deep ploughing or ripping. Your Field Officer can advise. EcoGypsum produces and distributes h quality gypsum in fine and ranulated form, allowing for light or heavy spread rates. Now available in Tasmania thru Agri Fert. ontact us on info ecogypsum.com.au high g remium Agricultural gypsum sustaining Tasmanian soils
March 3rd 2011
March 17th 2011