I’ve been disappointed by our ‘orchard’. I use the word loosely (hence the inverted commas), because when you talk of an orchard, one imagines rows of healthy, lush, shade-providing trees heavy with fruit. The reality of ours is a few rows of struggling, often sad-looking trees spending all their energy fighting off the wallabies, rabbits, bandicoots, and now chickens. ‘Give us a break’, they seem to be saying. We’ve tried. Plastic bottles, sliced up the side and wrapped around the trucks of some of the trees, wire guards surrounding others. The Orchard Rescue Plan is a frequent dinner-time conversation at the moment.
Even the mulberry tree was near destroyed by Dudley the goat. He ripped off and ate half of it before I could get to him. I ran, yelling, scolding, cursing, to no effect. I dragged him back to his paddock while he continued to happily munch on a branch. The mulberry tree has never been the same since. Continue reading