Thursday, June 19, 2014


Smells so green,
And sky's so blue.
Sping has sprung,
And now me too!

The initial frantic work pace of the first few weeks prior to spring, has ebbed to a nice steady pace.  Either that or I'm in shape now, after digging 600 feet of ditch, for the onslaught of continual work in preparation for replanting 956 trees.  Re-entry is always a little rough and going from chillaxing with four children to shoveling ditches wasn't any picnic.  I found myself reminiscent of last year, when we were so excited to plant an orchard . . . this year thinking . . . why did we want to do this again???  And might I add, not to harp on the ditch digging, but it was dug to within 3/4 of an inch fall every 20 feet.  Which is practically flat, no joke.  Hence there was lots and lots of digging, surveying, digging, surveying, repeat.  When your Foreman is 'Digger' Bill and your farm hand is Rusty, the job will be perfect, you can bet.  My dad can really dig, for a geezer.

The initial trench was dug about three feet deep with this mini-excavator, piloted (for pretend) in this photo by Julian, who is not mildly obsessed with mini-excavators and any other type of "cool" truck or machine.  After returning the borrowed excavator, we figured out the specifications for the ditch and began our shoveling ventures.   Rewind a second . . . the purpose of the ditch is the supply line for the micro emitter system we're installing to replace furrow irrigation, which will save us lots of time and effort in the field.  Furrow irrigation here isn't necessarily wasteful, as in other more arid desert climates (all the waste water flows right back to the river) but it does add salts to the waste water which causes problems further downriver.
Here, my dad and I were digging at our main hydrant to decide where to tap into it.  My dad is the business.  He can build/do/plan/make/execute anything, which is oh so handy.
 Here is 450 feet of ditch, prior to leveling the fall to perfection.

 Here are the trusty helpers, who very much enjoyed playing in the ditch.

After fitting the main lines and supply lines, more shoveling to shade the pipe, cover it with dirt so that a freak rock doesn't crack it when backfilling with the tractor.  Our soil is literally rock-free.

After all that hard work, I took the last couple days off to just be a mom and enjoy the kids.  The apricots are blooming and to me, there really isn't anything more beautiful than a blooming orchard of apricot blossoms.  Apricots are the first fruit trees to bloom in our area and although I've grown up see in them bloom every year, they still take my breath away.

 In added efforts to save the apricot harvest from possible freezing temperatures, this grower has added smudge pots this year, which are like little propane heaters for just about every tree.  This orchard has frozen the past two years, so we're really hoping for a harvest this year.
 The bees are happy, finally having something to eat after their winter hibernation.
Spring can get crazy, but don't forget to take in all the beauty of spring.  Its everywhere.

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