We spent a good part of today out at the farm. Both of us had cameras and still, no pictures.
The first thing that we did was tidy up the orchard a bit. Tidying up in the orchard isn’t really like tidying up at home. Tidying up at home doesn’t usually involve a chainsaw and a wheel barrow… Last week, we’d pruned most of the apple trees to try to improve the air circulation in the orchard for next year. At the time, we just left messy piles of apple twigs and branches under the trees. This week, I spent a bunch of time on Thursday and again today with a hand pruner cutting the twigs into kindling that will fit in the tiny wood stove. D. had another idea. Some of the larger branches seemed to require a chainsaw, so with hearing protection, safety goggles and work gloves and his old steel-toed boots from back in his Navy days, he went to work with the chain saw, also cutting lengths of wood that will fit in the wood stove. Some of the apple wood is really hard and should burn well. Some of it is really punky and probably won’t last long. When I saw the piles of wood he was leaving on the ground, I retrieved the wheel barrow from the barn so that we could move the wood and get it stacked up off the ground and closer to the shack where it will be useful to us.
In the orchard, we also both got a chance to use the miraculous tool with the telescoping handle and the little cage at the top. I don’t know how many pounds of apples we picked today, but it’s safe to saw that we are done picking apples for this year. The apples we were able to get from higher up on the tree were a little prettier than the ones that we picked a while ago. Both of us also ate an apple right there in the orchard. D. said his had one bad spot that he had to discard and mine was good all the way through. Tonight, we were going to a harvest party at our CSA farmers’ place. Before we’d left home in the morning, I’d made broccoli slaw with broccoli that I’d harvested this morning, carrots and radishes from our CSA farm and dried cranberries. At the farm, I cut up a couple of apples to add to it. The dressing was an apple cider vinaigrette with mustard seeds and it was pretty good.
We’d meant to put down newspaper around the raspberries and grape vines and water it well and then mulch with some of the old hay from the barn and we’d meant to plant garlic today, but those tasks will have to wait until our next trip out. Things are definitely taking shape slowly and our priorities and ideas about what to do are evolving with the seasons and as we get to know the land.