Archive for April, 2009

Week 9 & 10( 13-26April) Holidays – Works……..

 
Akarua
Akarua

After Eight weeks study,  two weeks holidays came.  As we decided earlier, everybody was ready for the Holiday work. During this Holidays, we got a wonderful opertunity to work with one of the best and largest vineyard in Bannokburn area named AKARUA. Around 100 acares in the size and well established and managed Vineyard. Ms Gillian Wilson manages all the vineyard and vinery. Following on from a career in horticulture and landscape architecture,  she took the opportunity to pursue a long term interest in wine and retrain in viticulture in 1993. After completing a Masters degree with a research programme that investigated flower development and fruit set in grapevines, she had completed six years of viticulturalmanagement with vineyards in Gisborne and Hawkes Bay. Itb was a wonderfull experienceto work with her creations.

Monday was a Holiday  and we all were at home. some of us were engaged in doing Botany assignments. Tuesday morning we went to Akarua. Ms Gillian introduced all of us to others. She announced the staructer and systems of grape picking in her vineyard. Some people choosed for Bucket Washing in the evening and some others selected for Bucket Picking and loading in the Tractor. I really astonisged while seeing the well and systematical arrangements of the grape picking techniques.  Fist couple of days, the picking was really horrible for us. Some of us got back pain, others had neck pain and even paun in arms and legs. But after couple of days work, we managed to succeed all these.

Pinot Noir is Akarua’s major grape verity. More than 80 % of the Akarua vines are Red vines. They have some small portion of PinotGris and Chardonnay verities also.  We all started with Pinot Noir. Real stuffs… great attractions.. Most of the plants are aged between 8 to 12 years. 300-500 meter long rows. Straightand slop grounds. Some times we were picking with two bays. some times it was one bay each. On an avarge 30-45 kilograms of grapes from one bay- Good stuff?????-. Their was some special instructions from Gillian for the grapickers.  No Pink  Grapes, No Shoulders, No other Verities, No Bird bited or virus / fungus affected grapes. 

While picking, we noticed that some plants in the rows were severly affected by differnt viruses. Colour changed leaves, irregularities in growth and another easily identical signs. In some other places we noticed that very poor crops in some plants. I have asked some people from the vineyard about this irregularity. But answer was not clear. But I think that it may be becouse of some probloms in the pollination. Because most of that all plants were either in a corner place or windy place or too leafy or much water contained area.  Depend up on the situations we can imagine that, in some how there was no enough pollination occur ed in that plants.

We have got some chances to do some Net Clippings during these picking season. Two days picking were finished before time and we went for that. It was an opportunity to see and understand the systems using for keep the birds away from the vineyards. It is an Electronic device makes different kind ofsounds  similar to bird sounds. It works from 12 volt DC and this DC source, battery charges by the sloar panels. Technics behind this system was very simple. Noice from this electronic device will make big disturbance to the birds coming to the vineyards and they will fly away from that spot.

Vineyard

Vineyard

During this picking season we had an experience with frost.  Three to four days we experienced that. One day, temperature gone down up to -4 o Celsius. While reaching the vineyards, all the wind machines were on and it all were running up to 9.00 AM. It was really horrible to work on that mornings. Chilling chilling…….. Somebody was telling that it was a first experience during last 10 years, increased number of frost during this season. Experts can answer these…

 

 

More than 30 people were on for the picking the grapes. All of us go for lifting the nets first, then start the picking. Most of the time we kept the filled buckets behind us. Depend up on the SUN direction, we were choosing the side of the rows.  Some people were riding ATVs between the rows to distribute the buckets. Tractor will Trays comes every rows to collect the grapes we picked. Some days we have picked 10-12 tonnes and two days we have broken the record – crossed 20 tonnes- . Some days were long and closed at around 6.00 PM.

Grape Picking

Grape Picking

As announced earlier, their was a small Bar Be Que and vine tasting on Friday24th April. It was a Golden Opportunity to taste the Akarua Vines. Real stuffs… real enjoyments…. Ms. Gillian Wilson invited all of us to see the Akarua Vinery. How they make vines from the grapes. Crushing, storing in the tanks, punching process, OAK barrels, storing and other process. Lot of things are to be learned..

Saturday, 25th April, ANZAC Day, Myself and some others went to Bannokburn Cemetery to pay our tributes.After that we all went to  Bannokburn Coronation Hall and paid our tributes. There was around 250 people were present their. This is a real moment tp pay our tributes to our freedom fighetrs.  In India, we have great memories for the war soldiers – INDIA GATE and REPUBLIC DAY.

India Gate

India Gate

Our holiday work is over on Sunday with grapwe picking. On Sunday we were picking Pinot Gris..

Overall, it was a real practical experience to learn, understand and experience vineyard technics, systems and differ net cultivation techniques.  Still miles to be covered…

Advertisements

Week 8 (06th – 10th April)

Cardamom

Cardamom

Monday:-

Second week of Botany classes. There was little rain in the morning. We were on time and class started at 9.00. Different kind of plants with roots were on the table. Topic was “ROOTS“. Root function such as absorption, Anchorage and food storage.  Type of roots – Tap roots and fibrous roots. When I was a child, i was very keen to observe the roots of  Coconut tree. After the monsoon season, i had notice so many new white & Little brown colored roots. Most of these roots were having some small hair kind things on the end and top end of the roots had a cap kind difference. Now the time came to understand all these items. Real knowledge ( but its too late) for tomorrows. While cultivating Rubber, coconut, cardamom, pepper, ginger, turmeric, vanilla, some kind of orchids and anthurium, I had noticed all these difference. This class helped me to understand  various root functions. How plants intake water and nutrients, what plants do with water, what is osmosis, function of root cambium, how they dissolve chemicals and root tissues. Semi permeable membrane was a very interesting thing.           

Ginger

Ginger

If I am right, the modern technologies which we use today all are from the copy of these tree functions. Eg. We all use Reverse Osmosis Water purifier system to get cleaned drinking water. The technology we use in that system is exactly same from the plant system. Membrane is the functional  part in this RO System. Root pressure, capillarity and transpiration pull are Horse Powered Technologies to pump this filtered water to the top of the plant.

Food Storage in plants were also very intersting subject. It covered all the basisc and specialised storage stems like

Turmeric

Bulb– Storage is in  swollen leaf base- eg:- Onion and Lily, Corm – Storage is in swollen stem base – eg:- crocus, gladiolus and cyclamen, Stem tuber – eg:- potato, Rhizome – storage is in underground stems eg:- Iris, Specialised Storage Roots – Tap roots rg:- Carrot and parsnip and some store in their Tuberous roots – eg:- dahlias, anemone and ranunculus…

It was raining in the evening and Jo dropped us at our place. Thanks for her help.

Tuesday:-

Botany class continues,…….Previous day Jo asked everybody to bring atleast one flower each..  Select these areas to see the text.On the way to class, Sajimon take out some old memories from his sweet collections.. While he was in School, he used to bring one beautiful Rose flower everyday to school to give  someone special for him.  Sreekuamar had another story. One day he picked some flower for his someone special. but unfortunately their was a Honey bee in that flower and while handing over the flower, that honey bee kissed his girlfriend…….. just imagine, what happend….

We all collected two flowers each. Jo had a collection of flowers on the table. We covered the points like  sepal, pedicel, petal, receptacle, anther, stamen, style, stigma, ovary and ovules and its functions. Monoecious plants and dioecious plants and its difference.

Runway light

Runway light

Pollination:- Is the transfer of pollen from anther to stigma of a flower.  Pollination methods like – Wind pollination,  pollination by animals/ birds, pollination by explode, Polination by water / flood etc…, difference between self pollination and cross pollination  and many more….

After the pollination, fertilization occures and pollen tubes use enzymes to digest the style tissues and grow down to the ovule. Ovary wall swells and become a fruit. Ovule become the seed.

 

 

Pinapple

Pinapple

 

Someone was asking that, in cashewnut trees why the seed grows outside the fruit? Some others was asking another doubt, why pinapple fruit always carry the plant on top????

 

 

Wednesday:-

Botany class continues….  last class. almost all the topics covered.  We all were busy with completing the assignments. Jo was really helping us to clear all the previous day doubts. Drawing was the difficult part. it consumed  lot of time.. anyway, it was a great fun to do the drawing along the study…..

Thursday:-

Nursary day. all of us were on time. it was the last day of this semaster. very cold weather. Class room was comfort with heat. After the introduction, we went to the Nursery. Sophora microphylla seed was readdy to get scratched. We all become small group and scrached the seed in the sandpaper.  Becouse some seeds need different kind of process to germinate. Some need Stratification (Chilling) and some other need Scarification (Scratching). This Scarification  use different methods like Acid, sandpiper and Hotwater treatments.  For stratification, store the seed on 0-4 degree celesus for 2 to 14 weeks. We done scarification methode for Suphora microphylla (send to sandbed- under mist-greenhouse) and stratification  for Castanea sativa ( Sweet chestnut) send to fridge 0-4o celsues

After the lunch, Alex came with Easter Eggs and Easter Wishes.  Jo announced the semsester end and all of us were readdy to move little early. Some employers asked Trevor to pass the message that some  work (grape picking) is waiting for us. We all rushed to their… Holiday started with work…..great week.

Friday:

Good Friday, a holiday.  Trevor, Jo and Alex have arranged many Bikes for us. On Thursady Trevor has announced that on Friday, Bikes will be get ready on Friday. We went to the Bannokburn Road campus at 11.00 Am and done some primary maintance services and collectd the Bikes. Thanks for arranging Bikes for us. Trevor, it is agreat help.

Week 7 (30th March – 03rd April)

Monday:-

Cricket enjoyments, BBQ taste, grape picking thrill and Queenstown & Wanaka trip moments are over. Monday morning came. One thick in sized handbook passed to all.  Unit22177 & 22178, Plant Biology Support Notes. As usual when we opend the handbook, their were only few images of flowers, leaves and fruits. We passed comments each other that “What Botany, this is nothing to learn, Simple…” But all the expectations were in only incorrect positions. Jo started her lectures as usual. She was so serious on that day… later on we came to know that, her breakfast was not so tastey as she expected. 

She told us that,we are going to study the plant biology such as Cells, Tissues, Meristems, Buds, Stems, Roots, Water and Nutrients, Food Storage Organs, Leaves, Flower, Fruits and Seeds.

Plant Cell

Plant Cell

 

It was really great hours to learn the details like the ways plants grow. Number of Cells ( by cell division) and Size of existing cells.  The Process cell division is called mitosis and its happens in meristems. We have gone through the cell components like Mitochondria, Chloroplast, Vacuoles, Cell Membrane and cell wall. After noon, we all were engaged in doing the Assignments ( Specially the drawings – Plant Cell). We all were went back to our Primary class actvities like drwaing and painting…. thanks for these great moments. If I say frankly, this Botany is really indigestible now.  If i was in the school, its all fine.  can understand easly and will workout well. sometimes i was really feeling sleepy  in the class.  I am sorry.

Tuesday:-

Botanay classes continues with new topics..  We have covered the topic Stems & buds.   Nodes, Internodes, stems types, stem functions, Herbaceous stems, woody stems, Difference between dicot (dicotyledons) and monoct

Plant Meristem

Plant Meristem

(monocotyledons), primary growth, secondary growth, Anual rings, methods to calculate the life of a tree by counting annual growth rings etc..  Growth Zones – Meristamatical growth and and related  points were really useful. Apical meristaems, lateral meristems, epidermis, cortex, cambium, xylem, pholem, vascular cambium, pith, stoma & stomata were  covered on the day. Jo was really well prepared to explain all these things with many sample collections. Sometimes i may think that the chances i missed in my life to learn the science. really a knowledge bank….. thanks for sharing the knowledge… 

I was really really thinking the plant activities like how plant grows, how plant makes flowers and fruits, how the wood become hard, how intake the water, how  them make food and survive etc.. But these Botany class started to give me the answers one by one and now  i think that we may need more botany classes to understand all these functions thoroughly. Sometimes i had doubts abouts some points and we all discussed each other and  get it clarified with Jo.  Many thanks to Jo for  help us in all these curiosity. Day ended with drawing many images in the assignment book. End of the day their is a question from Alex that “How is the Botany Classes”. 

There was an anouncement from Jo and Alex on Monday that, Tuesday their will be a Cookery class  at 3.30 PM. Jo remembered us again the same on the day. All of us was waiting for that. 

 

Cookery Class

Cookery Class

Cookery Class: Time 3.30 PM. Everybody is ready to learn cooking Master Chef     Mr. Alex Huffadine and Dummy chef Ms. Jo Wakelin were ready for the “Operation on the fly”. Cutting, chopping, washing and cooking. All these were directed by Master Chef and Dummy Chef. All included Starter, Main course, Salads, Sandwich, Burgers, Pasta,  Curry and some desserts.  After some initial works like chopping some brockley and onion, most of us were tired. They were ready to get all served in the  table. Final, our chefs cooked and served all of us. What a “Star Level Dining”.  I was remembering in mind that one common usag in my my mother tongue. The meaning is like, “Eat first, then learn”.  Select the area to read the text

Our student representative, Maju was really a represesentative for all the activites on that day except tasting the food.  Later i asked Maju that how he got all these experiance. Answer was simple. he is the last person always having dinner at his home. He is always late from the office. So, that is his duty to do all the dish washing jobs  as a punishment to him. Real experience!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday:

 Third Botany class of the week. All of ous were adjusted with subject. Leaves – day’s topic started as usual. Petiole, Vein, midrib, blade, axillary bud, leaf base, node and internodes were explained well. It was little comfortable.  Then the topic extended to photosynthesis, transpiration and respiration.  What is Stoma, stomata and guard cell. How stomata works and its function.  

 Photosynthesis   = CO2+H2O > C6H12O6 +O2 

Respiration = C6H12O6+O2 > CO2+H2O+Energy

 

B'day Wishes

B'day Wishes

There was a special instruction (request) from prasant in morning that do not reveal the spaciality of the day. Becouse April 01st  is his birthday ( Only for family and friends – officail B’day is different). Happy FOOL’s day (sorry, B’day) to him.
 
Thursday:
Kunzea ericoides

Kunzea ericoides

As usual,  a day for nursey training. After the day’s introduction, we went to the nursery. Seed sowing, seed germination,  seed planting, weeds collcetion and some other nursery activites.  All the actvites were done by small  groups and we were doing seed sowing of Kunzea ericoides.

Johnson was a realy hard worker during the day. He has done weedcollections well. His father send him for Engineering.  But  he did not intested in Engineering and turned his carrier to Horticulture.
 
 
Friday:
A day on  Bannakburn Road campus.  All were wearing winter cloths well. Chilled wind cold waves around. Temperature was 0.6 degree and  sprinklers were dancing on the top of the grapes. This was our first experience to see the frost fighting. For me, this temperature was not too much and i just went out to see the the techniques. Class started at 9.00. Warmed class room. Alex & Trevor grouped and assigned many works to us . Some people went for Tractor with sprayer training, some others were on ATV, one group was on  Lawn mowern and some others were doing the  weed collection and cleaning of the campus.
saffronMorning section I was working with weed collection – specially with saffron – . Sreenath and Kin with me. Alex told us that, be little careful while doing the weeding in the small saffron plants. It is little tricky to  segregate saffron and grass in the initial stage. Somebody from my group picked out may  saffron plants wrongly. I placed back all that. After Lucnh,  we were on the Tractor and learned some new techniques. I was helping Maju to do some wooden work, Sajimon came with Piece of metal. He does not know that  the piece is from which part of his machine. He was working with Lawn mower. You can imagine that What happened with him………… While making a wooden box for the frost alarm, Maju was telling me that he is planning to buy one frost alarm kind machine to fit at his home. But his alarm should whistle  only on the high temperatur, like a heat detector. He wants to get alerted his wife’s angry while he is away from the home…………. I suggested a wind machine at his home…….. Cooollllllllllllll……………….
Week seven is over with lot of new knowledge and experiances………. All of us were ready to adjsut the time  on Sunday, and happy to get one more hour to sleep.
 
 

 

 

Week 6 (23rd-27th March)

Monday:

“How is the Weather TODAY, JIM”  “COOOOOOOOOL…. chances for rain, cool… no frost….” . All of us were on time  for Monday class. While looking the time table,  i really though that the subject “Weather” will be simple to understand. Alex started  the classes  with simple introduction and evaluation of level of understandings.  Gradually we all started to realize the theoretical side of the the weather. It was a great hours to understand all about weather systems like Low Pressure, High Pressure, Cold front, Warm front, Stationary front and Occluded front. All these information were really worthy for us – students from India- . We never depend the weather forecast for agricultural activities, because there was strong climate conditions in all over the states. When reached in New Zealand, started to experience different weather patterns. Now we are also getting capable to do weather forecast in New Zealand.  Topics like Warm front, cold front, different clouds, wind speed and wind directions were also very very useful. Now we all are sure that while go to our  place, we can also predict something about day to day weather experience.  While covering the topics, we achieved some knowledge of  different weather monitoring systems like Weather forecast stations, using Anemometer for measuring the wind speed and  Pyranometer for measuring the solar radiation. While talking about Anemometer, Johnson were asking  more about this equipment because he wants to know that is this  meter is really use full for measuring the “wind speed” from his “Girlfriends”. Prashant wants to know that “is really worthy use full for measuring “Solar radiation at home”. I was familiar with some type of clouds. But name of that clouds were unfamiliar.

cumulonimbus clouds

cumulonimbus clouds

Eg. Cumulonimbus clouds….  and if it appears, their is more chances for heavy rain…. Overall I can say that the topic, “Weather” was really  use full for all of us  and looking deeply for its importance in the carrier path.

Tuesday:

Some of were in high pressure and some others were in low pressure  while coming to the class, beacouse previous day’s weather was still working on the head. We all were discussing that sometimes today’s frost may give little chill for all of us. But the topic, “Frost” was not so cold. Radiation frost and advection frost were totally away from us.  Alex has done his best to make us understand all these including, how radiation frost occures, what is advection frost, how can monitor  and forecast frost, didderent frost control methods, how frost will affect the crops, what are the common practises to control the frost, how can reduce the risk of frost at vineyards through some best practices like suitable site selection, advantages of having a water bank near the site, selecting a site sloped to North direction can have what advantages during frost season etc. Differnet kind of frost monitoring methods were really helpfull. Oh, sorry to say about Dew Point Temperature.  He helped us to understand  the useage of Thermometers and Frost Alarms.

frost-alarm3

frost-alarm

 

Prasant was asking me to tell Alex about Johnson’s  point of view for using the frost alarm. As per him, this frost alarm will really destroy his sleep, if frost occurs at his vineyard. Because he is planning to get married soon after completing this course. Maju assured Johnson that he can store his number instead of putting Johnson’s number in the Frost Alarm. But no one else knows Maju’s intention other than me.

During lunch hours, Rob Luke was with us to improve our language skills.Really really usefull moments.

Wednesday:-
Frost fighting was successfull. Everybody was happy  while arriving the class. “Good morning ….. ” came from Jo. Blue coloured hand book – Unit 829- was redy  for everybody. “Demonstrate knowledge of Plant Nomenclature”.  We got lots of informations about botanical classification and plant naming. Why its wright in italic shape, how to write these names by hands, what these name highlights, what’s in a name, international code of botanical nomenclature, name chaing  formalities, basic botanical naming rules, cultivars, Hybrids and different  botanical families.
botanical-classification

botanical-classification

Kingdom
Division
Class
Order
Family
GenusSpecies
Sub species / varieties / cultivars
We learned that their are some codes that control the naming and renaming of plant. (a) International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (1978)  called “The Botanical Code” and (b) International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (1980) called “The Cultivated Code”. Jo has helped us to complete the assignment for this topic on the same day itself. We found all the informations from Liabriary and internet. eg. Plant name= Ginkgo biloba, Plant is = species, Common name = gingko (maidenhair).All of us submitted the same on that day itself. Really useful informations……….. Thanks a lot for Jo Wakelin.
Thursday:-
A Cool day and We all were on the way to Nursery. Photinia ‘Red Robi’ was waiting for us. very nice guy,  what a beauty to see him. Much enough to attract a beautiful girl. We were little jealousy in his beauty and taken  sharp snipps cut him
Red Robin

Red Robin

many peaces.  Several node cuttings -softwood, semi hardwood & hardwood –and dipped in rooting hormone and placed in the tray. Then placed all that trays under mist + heat bed in green house.Trevor and Jo were directing and assisting all of us in all the ways. After that we some of us made 1 Cubi. Mtr. Standard Mix. After the lunch a group of people were in Hydro phonic and some others were busy with preparation of a Graden. Sreenath and Sajimon were asking Trevor to get some CAN (27%) for their body building. Jo was assisting in gardening and Trevor was in Hydro phonic. Wonder full nursery experience.
Friday:-
Everybody got up  so early.. becouse  it was a harvest day. We  driven to Bannackburn Road and reached before time.
Grapes

Grapes

Everybody was so happy on that day. Harvest, BBQ Lunch, Cricket (New Zealand Vs INDIA).  Jo’s prediction was little wrong. No rain in the morning. Started the grape harvesting  before 9.00 AM. It was really interesting, all of us enjoyed. First time in life, we picked lot of grapes. This was a really usefull experience for us.  Including staff and some other students from the polytechnic, we were around 35 people and picked nearly 3000 kg fine quality grapes with in 3 hrs.
BBQ

BBQ

Bar be que was ready before the expected time. Everybody enjoyed the lunch in its best. Thanks for Jo Wakelin and Jo Brun for prepare and serving the BBQ.  Most of them forgot about the cricket when they stared to take the BBQ. Maju and myself were reminding people about match. While having the lunch, JOY talked Maju to ask Alex to postpone the match. He was little tired after having many sausages.

INDIA VS NEW ZEALAND – special kiwi rules worked out (Sorry, i am not a sports correspondent). Sebastian was on Guitar and leaded the songs. We singed our National Anthem before the match and it was a great experience for all kiwis. India won the tose and elected batting. Everybody played well. Cindy cathced the ball and made Sreenath OUT. She was just standing  on the ground  and sleeping. suddenly something came in front off her. she thought it an apple and took.  Later on she realised that was a Wicket.  Coolllll…….As we planned and decided before we have given a chance to our KIWI friends to win the match. We want others happy.
Queenstown

Queenstown

 

One week is ended with really fun, enjoyment and lot of knowledge. On Sunday we had a trip with Alex to Wanaka, Arrowtown, and Queenstown. Wonder full trip. Beautiful  moments. Fun, food, shopping and knowledge.