Monday, April 13, 2009

The trees are in!

Oh, my! Do you have any idea what 16 children digging holes can accomplish? It is quite astounding. Of course, the big question is...Where does one find 16 children???

On Friday afternoon, I had 3 ladies over to my house to learn cheesemaking. My neighbor has been swimming in milk ever since her goats freshened and was so excited to pick up a little of the knowledge that I learned at Homestead Heritage. So, she came over with 2 gallons of milk and we invited 2 other ladies whom we fellowship with on Sundays and we set to work making a batch of mozzarella and then ricotta out of the leftover whey. It went really well. I was a bit nervous that it would flop, as it was my first time without an instructor, but it worked perfectly. I thought the ricotta wasn't turing out well, but by the time the whey had drained out, it too was perfect. And, it was a few hours of chatting with ladies, so that is always fun!

While we were in the kitchen (and keeping track of the 2 little ones, Abby and another boy about her age), all the other kids from our 4 families were outside digging tree holes. (Incidentally, by the end of the year, our kids will number 20 among the 4 of us! And that doesn't include the 3 who have left home and live out of the state!) With 16 kids ranging from 3 to 21, those holes were dug in a jiffy. And amazingly, they were dug quite well...each one was about 2 feet in diameter and 2 feet deep, which is exactly what I asked for.

Don arrived home from work early, after a really long week of trial work and very late nights, just as the last hole was being finished and so he got busy planting. We had 8 trees in by the time the sun went down and we had what just might classify as our latest dinner EVER...sitting down to eat at 8:45pm. We were back out in the morning to finish the last 5 trees up and now everything is planted, each tree has a small ring of hardware cloth (1/2"x1/2" wire mesh fencing) around the bottom 2 feet to protect from mice and rabbits and a circle of cattle panel to keep deer from nibbling the tops off. We will add some mulch in the next day or two, as we wanted to see if the disrupted soil was going to settle much before mulching.

In 3-5 years, we'll be basking in a harvest of:
  • Ashmeade's Kernel apples
  • Honeycrisp apples
  • Northern Spy apples
  • Montmorency pie cherries
  • Emperor Francis sweet cherries
  • Gold sweet cherries
  • Beirschmidt pears
  • Beurre Gifford pears
  • Alderman plums
  • Underwood plums
  • Superior plums
  • Crimson Snow nectarines
  • Reliance peaches
Excuse me while I mop up my drool.


Red Gate said...

When are you going to post pics of the garden and orchard? ;)

Missus Wookie said...

May none of your trees succumb to deer or rabbits... and all grow quickly!

sarah in the woods said...

Sounds like a great time with great friends. All that fruit to come - yum!

Nancy M. said...

You have some wonderful helpers! That is a lot of fruit you are going to have. I hope to plant some fruit trees soon myself.

oceans5 said...

Wow that is a lot of planting! I bet the kids working out there was really cute. Good luck with all of your trees.:)

OurCrazyFarm said...

What an exciting time! Just an FYI, cherry leaves (especially damaged or dry ones) are fatal to animals. Be careful where animals graze or have access to them. A quick internet search will bring up lots of info on it. We hope to get lots of trees in the ground this spring, too. Just have to decide which ones. Terri