There will be no asparagus on the Christmas dinner table in Horowhenua - moisture stress has left the plants tired and sad. Most people have completed the final wire lift in vineyards across the top of the South Island and are into leaf plucking and foliage spraying.
Poem from the King Country
For years Dick Lancaster has been letting us know what's been going on in his patch for Country Life's Regional Wrap. Each week an email arrives with the latest from the King Country. Attached to his final report for the year was this poem...
Greetings from the King Country, mid hills of beef and sheep.
Dairy on the easy country, manuka on the steep
Bush remnants hiding deer and pig up the valley head,
Retired wetland, planted streams protect the watershed.
They say that bush attracts the rain that keeps the pasture growing,
And fills the water table up so creeks and streams keep flowing
So far this summer very hot dark clouds building yonder,
Then come evening, heavens break with lightening rain and thunder.
But weather patterns quite unsure this Southern oscillation
With hope and faith we plan our year here on farm and station.
With cautious tread we'll wait what comes, as nature has her way,
But here abouts the records tell it rains on Christmas day.
Farmers wishing confidence of prosperity next year,
Have toiled hard to get all done for Christmas and good cheer.
The shearing done, the lambs are weaned and many gone to sale,,
The winter forage crop is sown and silage in the bail.
Lambs and bullocks finishing, set stocked on flowering clover
Ewes and cows on rougher feed till Christmas break is over.
Now time with friends by barbeques for well earned beer and banter
And family muster here on farm to share and wait for Santa.
Happy Christmas from the Hinterland among the hills and streams,
And as your year ahead unfolds may you achieve your dreams.