It’s Early October - What’s Happening at River Valley
It is time for another River Valley update.
What a busy couple of weeks it has been! We have certainly gone up several gears in a short time.
Here are a few of the highlights of what has been happening (in no particular order).
Yes, there was a wedding at River Valley Lodge. While something I tend to try and avoid getting involved with, it was, all the same, a great day for all. The bride and groom and some of the wedding party went rafting in the morning then tied the knot in the afternoon under the riverside flowering cherry tree. This tree turned it on. It being cloaked in soft pink blossom. Beautiful.
Twenty-six new laying hens joined our chicken flock a week ago. We had been struggling to keep up with demand at the Lodge for our free-range eggs. The new arrivals should help with that as they come on to the lay, over the next few weeks. These new arrivals have their own house which will be moved around the Lodge paddocks.
At The Stables
River Valley Stables opened mid-September after the winter shut down. The horse team are back at home and enjoying lots of good grass. Tommy, our hoof trimmer and multi-day trekking guide, reckoned that they have all come back in with great looking feet, which is good to hear as we do not shoe them. New guide, Ayla, has joined Nicola and Autumn in the trekking team.
R&M At The Lodge
New carpets and linoleum have been laid in several rooms. Paintbrushes have been out and given some areas a good freshen up. A bit more to do yet, but the place does already look great and ready for a busy season ahead.
A steady stream of rave reviews for the meals prepared by Miranda and her team at the Lodge kitchen. When I currently look at our gardens, I always think there is not much left from the autumn and winter plantings, while spring plantings are not yet mature enough to harvest. Yet Miranda seems to be able to create one delicious dish after another from these offerings.
Talking Of Gardens
We have just finished erecting another tunnel house. This new tunnel house will allow us to not only extend our season, both earlier in the spring and later in the autumn, but perhaps, more importantly, make it easier to propagate more of our own vegetable plants. Presently we only average about one and a half rotations per garden bed per season. The aim for many of the crops we grow will be to lift this to at least two rotations per season. Having plenty of well-grown plants ready at the right time will be critical for this.
The gardens get bigger and busier every year, so our daughter Melissa will be helping me out in producing lots of fresh produce this season.
Lots of lambs, not only at River Valley but also on the neighbouring farms. It is a picturesque time of year. Frolicking lambs cavorting over rich green pastures. Around the district, docking, or tailing as it is also known, has already started. Many farmers are often looking for help at this time of year, so if your travels allow it, it might pay to ask about this at the Lodge.
The pace of arrival of seasonal staff has picked up. Ollie, a new housekeeper joined the Lodge team last week, senior river guide, Kirk, arrived a couple of days ago, Derek, another long term seasonal guide is back today. Second chef, Jordan, our acclaimed pie maker, will be back in the country next week. As we get busier in the kitchen, Catherine is spending more days back on the job, while her Mum, Kat, will be back in reception by the end of the month.
There are a bunch more river guides and others who will join us over the next three weeks, with most everybody on the roster by early November. For those of us who work right through the winter, it will be a pleasure to share the load with others.