Over the winter I began saving the net bags from our bought oranges. It seemed such a waste to just throw them out and I was sure I could re-purpose them somehow. I think in the back blocks of my mind I had already allocated a use for them but that day of use was still a long way off. Our own orchard has not yet even been planted, let alone bearing any fruit, so my collecting these net bags (in hopes of protecting our future harvest from the possums) was somewhat premature. There will be plenty more orange seasons before I really need to use them but for now I am giving them a trial run.
Our neighbours along this fence line moved in not long after us and promptly began drawing plans and seeking council approval to build a shed. A pretty nice shed I might add and one in which we had no objection towards. It has actually contributed to our privacy and one day we will get around to painting our side of the dividing fence and growing something over it which will certainly improve it's appearance. Once upon a time, well before we came along and even before the previous owners immediately before us came along, the land next door was a part of the original property that we hold. In fact all three of our neighbour's properties were a part of this one. Suburban land parcels were substantial back in the day. Fortunately for us, the subdivision that took place all those years ago was done very tastefully.
So, there I was this morning out the back watering my 'baby', when I noticed those poor little adolescent fruits sporting great big nibble marks. The future of our neighbour's nectarine tree and the apple tree next to it was a little uncertain at one point during the planning of their shed but, being as avid gardeners as we are, they too were keen to do all that was possible to keep the trees unharmed. Access to these two trees is a little tricky from their side and the greater amount of foliage and fruit actually overhang the fence and drape over our side. Maybe they secretly wish to be a part of our future orchard and want to come hang over at our joint...? I hope so because I don't mind them one little bit. They are most welcome to hang, drape, shade and sway merrily beyond their boundary. Our neighbours said to us a while ago that they would do what they could to care for the trees from their side and we would be free to harvest and enjoy the fruit from our side. We, of course, responded adamantly that we would share it with them since that is what friendly folk do and technically they are their trees.
Seeing those nibble marks sprung me into action though and my first thought... ...where did I put those orange bags? The laundry of course! And just on a side note, I am going to show you a photo of that room soon. It's a disgrace! Really! And I need your help to inspire me to do something about it, but we'll wait on that just for a bit.
With surprising ease, I found those bags stuffed in amongst the seedling trays, eggs cartons, newspapers and an old battery operated owl that glows red eyes and hoots a rattly chocking sound whenever any movement passes within range of it's sensor. It was offloaded onto us after being a disappointment to it's first owners and actually proved quite effective in one of our previous vegie patches from long ago. Maybe by next year I'll have a use for it here and hopefully it will still work (?).
Using these orange net bags is an experiment and I'm not sure whether they will be as effective as other pest exclusion bags but as far as a thrifty and readily available alternative I figure they are worth giving a go. Fingers crossed!