This year we have bred Kohaku, Sanke, Showa, Chagoi and Shiro Utsuri which are now on average around 4-5 inches and in addition to this our later spawning of Shusui, Yamatonishiki and another Showa spawning which are around 3 inches.
The last of our nursery ponds containing Chagoi and Shusui was harvested yesterday and Mark is currently working his way through them and choosing which to transfer to the sales tanks and which to grow on in our heated indoor systems.
You would think that selecting Chagoi would be easy and whilst you don’t have to worry about pattern, the problem is that they are generally of such a high standard that the difference between those that we sell at this stage and those that we choose to grow on is on the whole negligible. Needless to say, those that we grow on will have the advantage of a heated environment in their early years which leads to better growth in the long run.
The Chagoi that we harvested came from No5 pond which is our largest nursery pond and they have had plenty of room for growing over the summer. You may remember, I told you about our Shusui spawning which produced so many fry that we didn’t have enough room for them all in the nursery ponds and which we put into No4 pond with the bigger fish?
Well they did really well in there and managed to avoid being eaten by the big guys so well that when we drained No4 down after the autumn harvest, we had what was pretty much a nursery pond full of Shusui to select through! We decided to put the keepers in with the Chagoi as this was the nursery pond with the spare capacity to take them.
When we harvested this pond yesterday there were, of course, not just the Chagoi in there but also lots of little Shusui. You can see the difference in size between the Chagoi which were spawned at the beginning of May and the Shusui which were spawned in July.
Chagoi always grow well and some better than others, you can see the enormous difference in size between the Chagoi which are all from the same spawning in the pictures above.
This year we bred from one of our own Ginrin Honey Chagoi to produce Honey Chagoi, Ginrin Honey Chagoi, Ochiba Shigure, Ginrin Ochiba Shigure and also the odd Cha Utsuri (did you spot the one in the first Chagoi/Shusui picture??)
In addition to running the farm, we, and particularly Mark, have also been heavily involved in our house build which is nearing completion. Last week he spent four days on a digger digging a trench for the pipework for the ground source heat pump to go in. As well as building the house we are also building a separate office which you can see in the foreground here. It will be finished in the same way as the house behind it.
The paving being laid here is in every room in the house and will help us to get the best effect from our underfloor heating. This is the last room to be done!
This is the back of the house which is all still very much a building site. The ground level will have to be raised yet and there is still a fair amount of finishing off to do here and there. I’m hoping that we will be moving in perhaps in a couple of weeks time (fingers crossed!)
Mark also managed to spend some time working on our settlement pond so that it works more efficiently. The reed bed that we were growing over the summer has been strimmed and cleared and many of the trees around it have been cut back. It may look a bit of a mess now but it will look pretty again by next summer. 😀
So, as you can see, lots going on at Cuttlebrook and still lots more to do!!