Snow In November!

We  received quite a few phone calls and emails this morning asking how we survived last nights atrocious weather as the news agencies have picked it up so I thought it was good idea to update the blog.

The frost alarm went off shortly before midnight  so it was all systems go (or so we thought).

Just when we were about to crank up at 1am thick cloud rolled in and the wind picked up.  
Rather pleased about this until all of a sudden it started to snow!
That’s right, SNOW!
So for the rest of the night we were on edge as we watched the the snow fall and then the sky clear.
Every time the sky would clear we would go to crank up and then the snow would start again!
This cycle of snow and then clear skies continued throughout the night until 6am when we finally cranked up after the snow stopped  and the temperature dropped  to just below freezing. 

The snow that fell on the Orchard has melted away  but there is still a truckload of it on the mountain range as the photos I took an hour ago show.



Gale Force Winds, What Fun!

We had some gale force winds blow in today.
The Cecile Brunner Roses in front of the Fruit Stall got hit hard and ended up being bent over completely; hence I had to chop them in half in order to save them!
Mum loves those roses as she planted them in memory of her Grandad Cecil so it’s always sad to take the secateurs to them!
Yes, I do have a sensitive side!!

How Cute Is This!

Here’s a photo of my sister Ruby that was taken during the weekend.
She is holding Neveah, the daughter of Anne, who has been a family friend for 20 years since she was just a wee bit older than this dear little baby.
Mum (Sandra) remembers rocking Anne in her pram in the fruit stall whilst her parents were picking apricots.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Here’s a trip down memory lane, a photo of me and Ruby after a morning with Mum in the vege garden back in the Spring of  ’97.

Just a Wee Bit of A Flood!!

Just a wee bit of a flood in the Apples and Plums after 36 hours of rain!
Lucky for us the water is draining away steadily so there shouldn’t be any damage to the trees.


Sandra’s Worcester Sauce Recipe

Here’s Sandra’s recipe for Worcester Sauce.

2 kg brown or raw sugar
7 onions, chopped
3 kg apples, roughly chopped (don’t peel or pip them)
9 litres cider vinegar (white also acceptable)
3-4 Tb ground ginger
6 Tb sea salt
4 oranges or lemons, roughly chopped (don’t peel them)
1 Tb ground cloves or
3 Tb whole cloves
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tb molasses

Put all the ingredients into a large pot or preserving pan and bring to the boil slowly.
Simmer for about 3 hours.
Take off heat.
Then put a clean pot in the kitchen sink and a strainer over top.
Cup small amounts of the mixture into the strainer and rub the liquid through with the back of a soup spoon. Run the spoon along the bottom of the strainer to get all the thickening that hangs on!
This really makes the sauce.
Mix all together at the end of straining and then bottle into scrupulously clean bottles, using a stainless steel jug or a jug and a funnel.
Put the lids on when warm or cold.

Hobbs Orchard Update

Gidday folks

Time for an update on life here on the Orchard.

We, the Hobbs Tribe of Hobbs Orchard, managed to survive the winter months relatively unscathed.
I will admit that there were several occasions in which we almost froze whilst venturing outside to perform necessary tasks and duties but thanks to two wood burners (which ran 24/7) the house remained nice and toasty!

We didn’t let the sub antarctic weather stop us from getting out and about though.
As usual we ventured to Queenstown several times over winter (in between the snow dumps) and despite the fact that it was colder than a penguins rear end, we still had a loads of fun!

Here's me and Ruby trying not to freeze to death on a -5 morning!

You can check out our Winter Photo Gallery here.


Once the snow melted and the days began to warm up, the buds on the fruit trees began to move faster than a caffiene addicted rabbit so before long we were in full blown frost fighting mode.

Ah good ol frost fighting.
Yep, nothing says good times like running around an ice covered Orchard at 1am checking every sprinkler to make sure there are no blockages.

Funnily enough though, this Spring has been rather non-eventful when it comes to severe weather; a welcome change considering the last couple of Springs have been full of weather related turmoil!!
You can check out our Spring Photo Gallery here.

So apart from a cold winter and a reasonably normal spring (so far) things have been ticking over nicely here at the Hobbs HQ.

I’m going to be updating the blog more regularly from now on so stay tuned for future updates!

Wild Weather of Central Otago

Yes it is official, the wild weather of Central Otago is as wild as ever!

A week ago we had a massive downpour of rain and we had to quickly dig trenches around the Packing Shed to prevent a torrent of water from flooding it.

Below is an example of one of our emergency trenches!











After that wonderful event we thought the weather wasn’t going to get any worse for a little while longer.
That is until this morning when we awoke to this.











Snow on the Benger Ranges.
Yet another sign of the approaching winter.

Yes it is safe to say that we are in for some cold days!!
Thank goodness for that marvellous, combustable stuff commonly referred to as FIREWOOD!!!!











That’s all for now folks.

Stay tuned for more Hobbs Orchard news in the coming months!

We Are Closed

We are closed for the Season.

Thanks to all of our customers for another wonderful Fruit Season.
We look forward to seeing you all again next year!

In the mean time check out our latest photo gallerys.
Summer 2010/2011
Autumn 2011

Also remember to stay tuned for future updates by checking out the blog and if you just want to see how life is going on the Orchard, feel free to give us a call on 03 446 8585 or email us at

The Hobbs Tribe
Sandra, Alex, Sam & Ruby

Sam’s Guide To Planting Garlic

On Saturday I conducted my annual duty of planting garlic.
Yes I know it’s not the winter solstice yet but down here in the barren wilderness commonly referred to by many as Hercules Flat, I have found that by planting my garlic in late April I get a much better crop as it establishes itself before the freeze of winter sets in.

So here’s my guide (with pictures!) to planting garlic.

Firstly gather up some disease free garlic and carefully divide the bulb into individual cloves.

Next you organize your rows.
I plant my garlic in rows 40cm apart with the garlic plants spaced 13cm apart.

Take some short stakes, place one at the end of each row and then string up a tight line of twine between the two, thus marking your row.
Then take a small piece of bamboo (or some other type of narrow stick), push it into the ground about 6cm and then rotate slightly in order to create a hole wide enough to fit a garlic clove.

Take the cloves and place one (point upwards) in each hole deep enough to just cover with soil.
Having good soil fertility and regular water is important as a lack of nutrients and water will result in a substandard crop.

And so concludes this episode of Sam’s Guide To..
Stay tuned for future episodes on other gardening activities.