Posts Tagged 'BBQ lunch'

Term-III, Week-1 (20 – 24 July)

Monday, 20th July: Soil

Welcome back to Polytech after two weeks holidays. I was working during my holidays. Term – III starts here. Weather is in favour  of us. Days are very clear and warm enough. No matter if there is any frost in the morning. Through out this term, we are going to study the topics like Soils, weeds, Grape pruning techniques, Frost control methods, irrigation methods, fencing techniques, marking out and planting, compost, firearm and its useage, Fertilisers and it’s applications and some important filed trips also.

 I have reached the polytechnic before time. All of our staffs like Alex, Jo, Trevor and Roger were waiting to welcome us. Principle Lecturer Alex is back after his long break. He is one of our energiser.  I had a petty conversation with all of them. Trevor was asking about the holiday works progresses. Theory exam result has been published in the notice board. Most us have achieved a  good score like above 75%. During this term, we have some new friends from NZ and Philippians. During this tem lots of events are going to be occurred in the campus. As a first step, we have a BBQ luch on Wednesday 22nd of this month. During this term, Roger is teaching us.

Lots of Soil

Lots of Soil

Roger started the topic – Soils. We all are very familiar with soils. We call them Soil, mud, gravel or dirt. But we were not aware about the properties of soils. It is a mixture of water, air, minerals and organic matters. All of these properties are very important in the structure of the soils. Organic matters holds the soils together and gives structure. It attracts and hold water. Supplies re cycled nutrients. It is a food source to support life. We know the important of water and air. It is the basic thing of all the living organisms.   Minerals are very important in the soils quality.  It gives a texture to the soils. It also release nutrients  when they broken down.

 Pedogenesis – Process of soil formation and development by soil forming factors: climate (mainly temperature and precipitation), parent material, living organisms (plants and biota), topography,

Going up to see soil

Going up to see soil

time, water and Man. Its creates horizons. O horizon and A horizon called top soil and horizons B, C and are called sub soil.  Soil is also have physical, chemical and biological properties. Physical properties give texture, structure, porosity, water holding and releasing capacity and infiltration to the soil. 

In the afternoon session, we went to Bannokburn area (fulton road) to see and understand the structure  of the soil. It was  a great experience to understand the horizons and such details.  This was a gold mining area during 1860-1940s. A good fun to walk around the mountains.

 Tuesday, 21st July: Weeds

 

Morning Cloud

Morning Cloud

Second day of this week. Yesterday’s walking has given a good sleep and wake up in the morning before time. The whole night was windy and mercury was above minus. In the morning, suddenly lots of clouds appeared and wind become strong and looks like to be going to be rainy. There was some warm fronts passing over through the south island. I took some beautiful photographs of the clouds. Roger has told that to collect some weeds and bring them to polytech. I have collected some on the way. Roger brought many type of weeds from his vineyards. Today’s topic – weeds and it looks little difficult to complete. A weed in a general sense is a plant that is considered by the user of the term to be a nuisance, and normally applied to unwanted plants in human-made settings such as gardens, lawns or agricultural areas, but also in parks, woods and other natural areas. Weed can grow in wrong agricultural place and interfere with human actuivites. Also it can compete for nutrieants, sunlight and air. 

 We have to do a written assignment, a weed collection, weed ID test and make a weed control plan. I started to learn DSCF1470some weed names and recognise them. Hope that I can manage it well with in a couple of months. Weeds are callsified as Annual, biennial and perennial.  Weeds like mallow, yarrow, couch, dock, hemlock, thistles, shepherd purse, thyme, chicory, lupin, clover and gorse.  In the second session, we walked out the campus, collected and identified many weeds.  Now I have to collect atleast 15 weeds, mount or photograph  and complete  them with in a month. 

There was a little shower in the late afternoon.  May be some cold front is coming near to here.

 Wednesday,  22nd July: Tutorial.. BBQ lunch!!!!!!!

 As usual, this Wednesday is also  a tutorial day.  I came to polytech little early. Because, I lost my files while working on yesterday. There was some maintenance going on the server. For recouping this loss, I came early. Alex  explained the  summery of the Assignment – Pest, diseases and disorders. Some of us have already completed and he  was helping

BBQ Lunch

BBQ Lunch (Click image for videos)

us to complete the same on or before the  new deadline. After the first smoko, some of us started to work with assignments and some others were working with their blogs.  Alex and Jo were sitting for a small interview with all students one by one. I always call this as ‘confession’. BBQ lunch was ready at 12.00 PM. Everybody gathered in the courtyard of the campus. Weather was very calm and sunny. 

 It was really  a great BBQ. Heavy lunch. Because of   yummy, some of us had  double lunch… It was an enjoyable moment. A smart get together of all the staff abd students. Thank you for catering staff and students for arranging a great BBQ.

In the afternoon session, I had my turn to meet Alex for progress evaluation. My academic programmes were up to date. We have to select an industry according the taste. I  am interested to work with any kind of industry like orchard, vineyard  or nursery. But I have some previous experience (more than five years) in the apiculture. If I get a chance to focus on this industry in New Zealand, it will be a great career pathway for me. Does not matter that, even if it any other industry. Hope that every thing will come true.

 Thursday, 23rd July: Pruning (grapes)

Friday, 24th July: Pruning (grapes)

Spur Pruning

Spur Pruning

I was really waiting for these days. Came to know from the time table that Euan Nicole, a great experienced personality is coming to teach us the golden rules of viticulture.  After a formal introduction, Euan has stated his class. Length of the canes, number of buds / nodes required in the canes, pruning weight,  size and kind of canes to select and how to manage the balance of the plant before and after the  pruning. Internodes at 65mm, thickness at 8 mm (pencil thickness), golden colour, no diseases and damages…are very important while selecting the canes. I was having many doubts in mind about different pruning systems. Why some do cane pruning and others do spur pruning, some choose single cane and others use two canes etc… As a summery at end of the topics,

 I have understood the following things like cane pruning is a process of renewal of old spurs from the vines. In small

Cane Pruning

Cane Pruning

plants, it is difficult to do spur pruning. Cane pruning is much expensive. Plants we do cane pruning have less nutrient storage in the woods. They are helpful for prevent wind damages. Most attractive point is that they are more productive than spur pruning.

 But in spur pruning, more wood is there to store food for new shoot growth. They are comparatively less expensive and more time savings. No blind budding in this systems. We  can easily manage them after frost and wind damage. Mechanical pruning is practicable with this system.

 Guyot is a system used to prune vines. It  is similar to cane pruning. In this system, One cane is used and with 14-15 nodes on them. While doing pruning, if there is no  spurs are available, it is best to choose  canes that leave the lest old wood above the wire. Cane pruning is very much technically important. Considering the replacement spurs is one important point. If there is any space between plants we can use the cane from the end of the spur to extend and fill this gap. But consider the balance and growth of the plant. Bud formation and fruitfulness will be based on the light during the bud formation, health vine during the bud formation and damage and disease of the cane.  

Grape vines

Grape vines (click here for Video)

Both of the days we have got  much enough time to sharpen these skills by various practical. First day we have done spur pruning on Pinot noir plants. Second day we have achieved the skill on spur pruning in the  Chardonnay grape plants. Besides Euan, Alex and  Trevor has also helped  to clear some doubts regarding the pruning. Overall  these two days have given a bunch of experience   to train and prune a mature grape plant. Now I am confident that, I can use this skills in the industry.    

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