Our pal has a bing and rainier cherry orchard and she thought her crop froze almost completely this year, but as it turns out, she had a pretty decent crop. There is nothing like cherries. Fresh picked, organic cherries are heaven.
So much has happened in the past year that its difficult to know where to begin.
- Dug a 400' trench and put in a micro sprinkler system in the orchard. The ditch was dug with an excavator, but after the excavator left, we learned that the ditch, which would house the supply line for the new watering system had to be within 4" of fall each 20' . . . which is pretty darn near level, so there was a lot of shovel work involved. Nothing like starting the spring with digging ditches.
- Dug up and replanted 960 trees.
- There was some shoveling involved there as well.
- Spring was nuts. I found myself thinking, "Why was I wishing for spring?"
- Winter was dreamy, we skied and skied and skied. Andrew, the anti-ski husband even took up skiing . . . to our chagrin and surprise.
I'm happy to report that our new trees look amazing. Last year at this time, half the orchard was looking really bad. This year, the trees are flourishing and growing. We have abandoned organic for this season, in order to make our lives easier, spraying the weeds in the rows to get ahead of them (over competition for root space will suppress growth) and spraying the aphids as well, but after July, we'll start the 3 year haul to become organic again. Its been challenging this year to find expert agricultural help . . .
- New farm dog, "Summit," joined our family from a friend's farm who's neighbor wanted to kill him. He's a great pyrenese/border collie dog and he's the best dog I've ever had. He sticks to the kids like a nanny and chases away foxes, coyotes and deer.
- Ladybug larva on a plum tree. Next year we'll have to battle aphids with ladybugs and lacewings.