Tec 20 Feb

Term4 Week 06
November 13, 2009, 3:12 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Monday 16

The class gathered at Molynueux campus and as usual the Kiwi Contingent were well represented and all but had won the game of cricket by around 9.30am. We were to be discussing birds and the control of, we covered the types, from Starlings, Wax eyes, Thrushes and Sparrows. Agreed that the New Zealand bird natives don’t feature in the area. Agreed that the feeding times for birds was from 6.30am to 9.30am and popular opinion was a person was required and used 1000 rounds of ammunition per hectare. Let the cricket begin, me not a contender as the Kiwis do want a chance of another win and to maintain there winning sucess, followed by a BBQ lunch and that was well attended by Tutors and all that knew of the day.

Tuesday 17

First up was a resit of plant identification in room 4, for those that had been unsuccessful first time round, all had been setup and all go. The Indians take so easy and not so sure that they can be trusted to not be looking over your shoulder. Some of the plants were dried off so smelling not an option, and colours not present to give a clue, for me as a greenhorn in the flower variety got the grey stuff churning. Spent the rest of the morning in the computer suite catching up with those elusive assignments, trying to download off blackboard so they could be attended to at home later on. Numbers dwinding quickly a lot of the class not about, maybe a not show for most of them cause nothing aside from a get together on the inception of their arrival in New Zealand and how the course has been implemented.

Wednesday 18

The day of our practical exams, I got to start at 8.00am and so it was full on from then, started with unhitching a sprayer from the small John Deer golf tractor and taking it for a ride about the block and then ATV’s checked the fundimentals oil, air cleaner, petrol and tyre pressure. Irrigation setting up a low density pipe 500 rectangle and a lateral tube with a rotating sprinkler.

Thursday 19

The class met in room 4 with Jo Wakelin and Alex Huffadine and we talked over the year and what had been achieved, places we had visited and next year changes and various proposals. We then had a break for morning tea before having a general tidy up of glasshouse 4, the hardening off area and anything else that required attention. Glasshouse 4 was to see the majority of the vegetables be rejuvenated with a load of greens headed to Catherine’s chooks, the strawberries relocated, the Basil refreshed and new plants for continued us in the dining area.

Friday 20

The day for me was to see me heading down to Alexndra to meet with my case manager and to undertake a seminar in an attempt to get me into work, not sure why as thought that Steve Brown of Workbridge was to make contact with my case manager. Sent a text to Jim Blanche of Molyneux to try and set up an appointment to met with him this afternoon at 1500, he got back to me and we agreed to make it a date for Monday 30th.  All organised and time to relax before making my way to Elspeth street for the Graduation day ceremonies and a chance to catch up with faces that have featured through the year.



Term4 Week 05
November 10, 2009, 12:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Monday 09 

A day again on leave, had a meeting with WINZ @ 12.30 pm was to receive the royal treatment, chauffeured by Graeme in the Highway patrol car, must say something bout my driving ability. The WINZ experience was different but I guess that has to be if you are asking for assistance with the repayment of your flat-rental and electricity account. A day again on leave, had a meeting with WINZ @ 12.30 pm was to receive the royal treatment, chauffeured by Graeme in the Highway patrol car, must say something bout my driving ability. The WINZ experience was different but I guess that has to be if you are asking for assistance with the repayment of your flat-rental and electricity account.

Tuesday 10

 A mixed morning that was to start with Alex starting with Bees and then Roger Gibson having an interlude of the compost practical, that we all supposedly passed with accolades. Back with the bees and we were to meet with pollination, apparies, bee escapes, clones, capping layers, nucleus colonies and hive tools.

Wednesday 11

A morning that no one was to show till 9.30am, Sonny was as usual the first one to appear and drip by drip they drifted in. Steve Brown from Workbridge arrived and we went through the many forms of information he had to complete, my eye on cue raged at its best for an hour. All forms complete and Steve went off with a list of things to follow up on my behalf, would appear that no one has had my interests being of concern. The day was to be spent in the computer suite, a lot of the kitchen students having returned for the day to finish off for the year. Was to go out to Molyneux and meet with Jim Benck and talk over having  Molyneux  Orchard as my choice of company for my Enterprise report required for the culmination of my daily ‘Blogs’. Jim was happy for me to take photos of the tractors, he offered to get building plans,  and vehicles that are resident on the place 

Thursday 12

Planting trees shrubs at the ECCA house at Clyde after some confusion we were on the road at 0915.Sue Mort Lanscape architect was to meet us there, a rugged site lots of steep access to be negotiated. Was glad to be taking photos of the nearly constructed house and garden shed, all to be coated with mud and a straw mixture. Utilising Otago polytechnic students, all appeared to be under way, a little surprised with there method of gravel recovery methods, very demanding on plant. After a delayed morning tea we were to gather our tools and trays that had contained the plantings, saw that all the plantings were watered we madeour way back to Cromwell 

DSC00320The mudbrick house to be judged for the ECCA award, the roof of the house will be ‘Stonecrop plants that were grown at Cromwell Campus of Otago Polytechnic.

 DSC00322The garden shed associated with the ECCA house.

Friday 13

 The class met at the Bannockburn campus for thinning of fruit trees and discused chemical thinning and terms such as Carborayl, ‘Dinoseb’ (245T product) of years gone by, and that 4-65 leaves are associated with stone fruit grown at the block. Cherries and Pears have a natural shed of fruit, the thinning of fruit carried out by the class today was to avoid over crowdimg. The class worked there way through the stone fruit trees dropping what appeared to be vast quantites of fruit but given harvest time the benefit will be shown in the fruit size. Some of the class were to practice there experience with some of the plant such as tractors/airblast sprayer while the opportunity arose.

Term4 Week 03
November 5, 2009, 10:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Monday 26

Day one of work experience – and I was to call in sick, my eyes giving me heaps, will have to go back to my favourite hant of late, the optician.

Tuesday 27

Did get to spend the day with Trev, was removing suckers from the stone fruit at the Bannockburn block in preparation for spraying the weeds. Was five rows short by days end, had to meet my daughter late evening and so was unfortunate that I got so close to finishing.

Wednesday 28

At the block again and the weather was cold and miserable, Trev thought we would be best employed at the Molyneaux campus and was to spend the day weeding plants in the glass house 4.

Thursday 29

Spent the morning with Alex, filled the knapsack sprayer with Glyphosate and methodically went about the garden beds and onto the parking area which seems to attract weeds. The rest of the afternoon was a real bonus for me, I got to travel with Alex about the balance of the students. Was to visit students at Molyneaux, Jones, and another on Ripponvale road that I am unsure of the name, and finally out to Phoenix orchard.

Friday 30

A morning of spraying with the ‘Golden’ tractor and the ??? litre power sprayer, a little nervous but as Trevor said at the end of day boring and I guess that was quite appropriate. Tractors aint my fortee but you have to learn what they can achive and be aware of what they can achieve.


Term4 Week 04
October 23, 2009, 3:29 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Monday 02

A day on leave: attended the Optician, the master from Alexandra, I don’t appear to be combating the Conjunctivitis from forming in my eyes and is wearing me down along with my Horticulture studies. A day seems to last forever and my chronic eye sight aint helping.

Tuesday 03

The day was spent out at the Bannockburn block tractor driving using the ??? litre sprayer to attempt to ward off the weed nasties such as Stinging nettels (alias the common nettels). 

 Wednesday 04

My day was to be spent in vain, I was supposed to attend a meeting with WINZ for them to assisst me with payment of my winter 2009 electricity account, they had my meeting time set down for November 02, the day that I spent with the optician.

Thursday  05

Propagation day the last one for the year

Friday  06


Term4 Week 02
October 17, 2009, 3:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Monday 19

Irrigation Unit 12395 day 2 with Alex Huffadine, design basics was the flavour for today, we talked of the Cromwell water system at 70 pounds per square inch as the pressure and at the garden tap as being @ 40 psi giving a flow of 1-1.5 metres per second. Talked of friction losses and viewed a table  that we will be able to refer to, talked of 1 metre head loss being 14.2 psi and rules that should be adhered to 1/. Measure your flow being the water collected in a bucket for one minute, and repeat several times to establish an average. 2/. Measure your pressure with a simple catch can gauge tapped into your line. We talked of installing the hose with in the garden area, using a spinning jenny (wire type) to lay out the various runs and always using hot water to assemble the various elbows, bends and joiners never just bending the tubing about a corner. Talked of the fittings being first primed and the way to apply the glues and the dangers of inhaling the various adhesives.  I was to depart the class to pay a visit to the Doctor, I had been nursing a head ache all morning, the doctor upgraded the paracetimol to Ibuprofen and told me to stay clear of panadol that I had been using my afternoon was to be spent in bed.

Tuesday 20

The class gathered in room 4 with Jo Wakelin and we went over the format of the enterprise report that is to accompany the daily blogs (diaries). I was to acquire a copy of the requirements to expedite this report to find there will be sufficient typing to achieve the 500 words required. Spent the day in the computer suite trying to work my way through Unit 829 which has been eluding me for some time, not for the requirement to try and achieve but the absence of not having word 2009 has seen my efforts fail repeatedly. Sent a text to Jim Blanche asking if I could meet with him to discuss retrieving the information I will require to achieve the for unmentioned report. 

 Wednesday 21

One of those days that stated out in room 4 with a lot of the class either dragging the chain down Barry Avenue or had died over night, slowly they to Alex’s disgust they drifted in with a load of feeble excuses. That  was to be the format of the morning Alex was grumpy and rightly so!!, the majority drifted off to the computer suite to catch up with assignments. Still no response from Molyneux and may be rightly so, I have not been able to work all year and after the grubbing the IRD gave me from last Xmas hols I guess I deserve the stand-off. I countinued with my catch-up  with Unit 12395 Irrigation systems and utilising the internet and the references we were given was able to put reference notes against all that I could. My mobile was to erupt twice and so that chocky is getting close, I don’t mind when it has to do with efforts to get my heat punp, maybe summer months now but winter is on the move forward as I write this.

Thursday 22

Propagation day we were class less as in room 4 was being used for something food oriented, so straight to the potting shed. Catherine was in control and dishing out tasks so we took on her task, one  of many I was presented with a bucket and set about extracting weeds from potted larger trees. I then went on to weeding in the peonie garden, couldn’t help thinking was a very temporary measure as some of the Indians were talking so much jabber there mind was else here. All in all a very productive day getting work done that was set out for Friday and into the weekend, getting the perimeter hedge trimmed and looking good will be appreciated by joe public. They will learn that there is a kiwi way that we are proud of and it ain’t rip and bust, enough enough of that rambling. After a tidy up of the tools and wheel barrows we gathered in the potting shed and Jo set us on our way.

Friday 23

A good frost over night with wind mills and a helicopter in attendance creating the usual chaos. getting far too late for these conditions but I guess not totally surprised the weather that New Zealand has been experiencing.  The day was to start in a weird way, the Indians were to arrive at our second propagation day way late, I had arrived to have Catherine open the doors of the student potting shed and we set about gathering the signs and to start setting up for the advent of the senior citizens who were to arrive at 1200 noon. Eventually they were to arrive and all were assigned tasks for this to happen, some last minute weeding of plants  that were for sale, trolleys were loaded. I was deemed the Vegetable section, and to keep the stock up to the front to enable checking on the addition of new plants as required. Come twelve noon the gates were opened and there were people all over the potting shed area, the gates will be opened from another side of this area, for the plants that were extracted today it will be interesting to see what stock can be called on.

Term4 Week 01
October 6, 2009, 2:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Monday 12

Irrigation with Alex Huffadine we talked of our return to Term 4 and caught up on a news letter, Alex posted the results of the theory exams held during Term 3 and then we got in to irrigation Unit 12395 and proceeded to work our way through the overheads. After morning smoko and a call to the optometrist I had an appointment an appointment at eleven a.m, I met with a Lady optometrist and she had some resolve for my eyes which have been watering and stinging. After lunch I was to return to class and we carried on with the overheads, which during the course of had a walk about the campus looking at the various types of sprinkler varieties and the spray patterns they are capable of producing. We are to cover the various types and features during the coming weeks as well as calculations for implementing our design.

Tuesday 13

Day 2 of irrigation Unit 12395 we talked of a Low pressure system in that they require a small pump in the 10-15 pounds per square inch at approx $4000/hectare a value range. We discussed overhead impact sprinkler systems, popup varieties and travelling irrigators. After morning smoko we traced the water flow from the Kawarau river and into the Ripponvale irrigators, visiting various orchard operations down stream. After lunch which was accompanied with students from the Dunedin campus of the polytech we talked of irrigation systems until someone was alledged to be sleeping in class and so we visited glasshouse 2 and 4 to see the effects of a cooling down process using a using a water spray mist to achieve this. Then we moved on to “irrigation maths” to waken everyone back to reality and for the purists I guess that was to achieve that, a little daunting getting to grips with the jargon that was to evolve.

Wednesday 14

A tutorial day started with Alex Huffadine going over the Irrigation tutorial Unit 23995 and the assessment that he considered we should be able to achieve during the day. After morning smoko we had Roger Gibson going over unit 21555 and 21559 the weed’s unit asking for areas we required assistance for,  questions 07, 09 and aspects of the weed control plans for a vineyard were discussed. After lunch all were to dissipate about the Molyneux campus, I ended up in the computer suite with a group of Chefs Peter’s Asian students working on my irrigation and weeds assignments. My attempt to discuss my outstanding assignments with Alex Huffadine and my  short comings with my efforts to achieve ascertaining Word 2009 software struggled  to come to fruition. 

Thursday 15

Propagation day with Jo Wakelin, started off in room 4 then we migrated down to the student potting shed stopping off at glasshouse 4 en route to under take some weeding arising from a cock-up on Ravensdown fertilisers behalf. We then moved on to various work that will be required for Labour weekend and the Polytech plant as sale, trimming hedges, weeding of for sale items and rejuvenation of the shade house covering. A glorious day after a coolish start to the day, a drastic change from the rain of yesterday and the snow level dropping by the hour. I met with Alex Huffadine after smoko and explained where I was at with software for my Laptop, and by chance he produced Office 2009 which has been eluding me for some time. A few beers will be going his way at the first opportunity I have., I should be overwhelmed certainly takes a load of mind. Eveyone gathered at the potting shed where Callum was to deliver his Plant profile on Buxus ???, Jo kept things moving along by asking a few questions.

Friday 16

Grafting of stone fruit trees, a subject that we covered while Alex was on holiday and we had collected the bud wood to allow for this day when we would implement the actual grafting. Alex had the class write down what we recalled of grafting and the groups of people had two representatives present there recollections to the class,generally a good recollection of the terminology gathered and were awaiting  the theory into practice. The class were aware of Genetic modification and mind full that the class were sitting at the outer limit of this practice. The group recognised the importance of tagging the bundles of bud wood with good well labeled information of the type, date collected and presented in well wrapped with plastic and string and storage in the freezer. We got to witness one bundle that was due to be discarded because these factors were not adhered too. A  good rule of thumb was identified that a tree of ten to fifteen years old should be considered to be passed its use by date.  We were to put our knowledge to date to practice on apple and cherry root-stock within the block  and were to use the grafting tapes and make in incisions into the to be fruiting stock, unfortunately some body has souvenired Alex’s personal grafting tool that allows for the cutting of the tree modification. We had a quick weed of the raspberry plants that had been recently transplanted, got to witness some very poor examples of using a knapsack sprayer, almost to the point of being extreme.

Term3 Week 10
September 24, 2009, 3:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Monday 21

I called into Alex for him to excuse me from class a gain with Roger and a compost class which I have a record for missing out on. This cold/Flu bug is keeping me at a very low eb. My landlord has promised me a heat pump but trying to get the installation organised an absolute nightmare.

Tuesday 22

 Out at the Bannockburn block for a fertilisator class that would involve the plant and machines they have out there. Talked about a soil test Alex had  instigated us novices sat there taking it all in. Talked of ‘valaisation’ ?? = nuetrient removal = losses,  Fertilizator – input,  Compost (organic matter),  Mowing grass between rows,  Boron being short in C.O soils, Calibrate fertilizator sowers,  Petiole test for grapes @ flowering mid December, test uses youngest mature leaf, samples of 50 leaves,  Ten liters / hectare for Digester application.

Wednesday 23

The day of our term exams, all very tense awaiting Alex to hand out the papers, not a lot of conservation was some indication of the terseness. Eventually we got underway, Alex had given us the contents some day before hand, and true to form. Amazing where time goes, 1130 came up very quickly, I didn’t get to apply the correct answer for Plant water. Not a good day for my cold congestion, I was to finish with the anti-biotics and that had to be a plus.

Thursday 24


Propagation day, the class gathered at room 4, and eventually made there way down to the student potting shed, having stopped off at glasshouse one and four to  check on the progress of plants. They keep moving between one and four depends on the growth during the week and Catherine moving into glasshouse four to harden off. The polytech plant sale is looming and the majority of our potting and planting out is directed in this direction.

Friday 25


Propagation day 2 that plant sale is looming and the workload reflects this, a lot of weeding of plants to be put up for sale and a general tidy up for what will become the retail area. Repotted some asparagus plants, was to learn of the cultivation of a plant that I had growing as a weed some where on the section, of days gone by. After lunch we were to make our way up to the dry gardens that the Polytech had a hand in the instigation of beside the swimming pool complex, did some tidying up of grasses and weeding, and then out to the Block at Bannockburn to dig over the community garden. The last day of term, not for me it won’t I have many days of catching up with assignments over the holidays, not having my Internet in a functional mode at home I will be taking advantage of the time out.