Summer action @ McCarthy Park!

Well, after some very changeable weather leading into summer, we have had a couple of weeks of scorching temperatures with four days in a row above 40 degrees Celsius!

We went out regularly to top up bird baths, rigged up a gazebo over the bee hives, and tried to stay cool ourselves. Despite the heat, we have had some great bird visitors including a Grey Shrike Thrush, Rainbow Beeaters, and Scarlett Robins, as well as all the usual.

Grey Shrike Thrush
Scarlett Robin
Rainbow Beeater

We even, amazingly, had an echidna!

Bruce, the pup, quite perplexed by a ball of spines!

Our insect visitors really crank it up in summer with the sunshine and heat, and it has been fabulous to watch the Blue Banded Bees and this fascinating stick insect.

With the warmer weather, (although those over 40 degree days are tough!), the aquaponics, orchard and dirt gardens have thrived and provided kilos of nectarines, peaches, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, sweet corn……….

Pumpkin palace- growing pumpkin vertically to reduce the snake hazard.
Luffa starting to take off!
tomatoes and corn thriving

Of course, with all that produce, a lot of preserving goes on! Our favourite chutney is Nectarine Chutney, which is also great made with peaches. We made so many jars of Nectarine Chutney though we decided to make some Peach Jam to give out as Christmas presents (and of course to keep a supply for ourselves!)

Yummy peach jam!

And finally, to finish off 2021, our first full year at McCarthy Park 2, the beehives are thriving and after a couple of poor seasons we had a great harvest of 24 litres of honey.

After spinning in the extractor, it is strained into a 20 litre bucket (or two in this case)
Once the honey has ‘settled’ in the bucket, we fill our containers!
Still a few air bubbles, but they aren’t a problem!

There was a considerable amount of wax cappings so this was cleaned, melted and strained to provide nice blocks of wax- the colours are amazing!

We use the beeswax for a variety of home products and remedies, including wax wraps to use instead of a plastic wrap.

And that is a wrap for 2021!