If you trawl through the archives of this blog, you will see that in February and March every year, we do battle with the Queensland fruit fly.
For those of you not acquainted with this charming pest, let me fill you in. This pest reproduces by laying its eggs in maturing fruit. The eggs then hatch and the fly maggots develop in the fruit, ruining it in the process.
Once you have them, they are difficult to get rid of. Travelling around Australia, you will see signs prohibiting the importation of fruit into certain zones, especially in areas where fruit is grown commercially.
Here on the south coast, we have them. Boy, do we have them.
Dealing with FF is almost a full time job in summer, especially if you are trying to be organic. Making traps. Spraying "Eco-lure"splash baits every 7 days. Picking and disposing of kilos of fruit.The trouble is, if there is an orchard in the vicinity that isn't being similarly attended, all this work is in vain. and the bad news for me is that I have neighbours who I know pay no attention to their orchards.
The other day I was at the nursery and talked to the nurseryman about what else I could possibly do. I was considering going the big guns - pesticides - when the nurseryman said to me candidly, "If I were you, I'd take out the trees and replace them with varieties that mature before Christmas" ie. before fruit fly season.Harsh advice, given that we've waited 7 years for our orchard to get to this stage, but I'm starting to think he's right. If you grow things in exactly the same way as a commercial grower, why bother? Why not save yourself some work and buy what they grow?
AM is despondent but I sees the logic, I think. We may be chopping down and chipping some trees soon, and replacing them with some early maturing fruit.
Sigh. Put it down to experience.