Raspberry and Tree Planting Weekend

Every farm weekend involves more work than we can possibly do in the allotted time.  Instead of summing up what I’d hoped we’d do and didn’t get to, I’ll start off with what we noticed when we got there.  One of the lilacs was really, spectacularly in bloom.  The apple trees were blooming.  As was the “demon” honeysuckle.   With the cool weather and a little, but not all that much rain, the grass and everything else had grown like crazy.  We found the asparagus patch yesterday and Sunday morning, I picked what was ready to put in our breakfast omelet.  There was rain in the forecast Saturday, but it wasn’t raining when we got there, and considering how high the grass was on the driveway, in all the paths and around the house and in the orchard, D. set to mowing.  Eventually, the rain did come and he had to drive the mower back to the barn.

Pruning in the new side of the orchard it a little easier

I was pruning the apple trees in the newer side of the orchard.  It rained pretty hard for a while, but we have to work with the time we have, so I just put my hood up and kept going.  Later when the sun came out, the bumble bees keep me company.  I saw my first monarch butterfly for the year.  With the rain and since there was little to no wind, I decided it would be a good idea to burn the piles of old rotted apple limbs we’d stacked last fall and last year’s burdock stocks with seed heads and other debris that either isn’t good for the apple trees, gets in the way of mowing the orchard.  We took turns minding the fire and severing parsnip heads with the blade of a shovel and eventually, D. moved on to planting trees.  The some of the trees will form a wind break for the new part of the orchard and remembering the drifts on the driveway over the winter, we decided that the other ones could go on the north side of the driveway to eventually form sort of a natural snow fence.

We’d stopped for breakfast at the Pointer Café and then stopped through Terrill’s Garden Center across the road to pick up some tubes to guard the trees from deer and rabbits while they are still small.  We’d started working at about 10 a.m. and while I’d sneaked off for a few forkfuls of pasta salad and bread salad in the middle of the afternoon, D. only had a couple of pieces of cheese until we knocked off work after 8 p.m.  We thought about having a fire, but at 9 p.m. after the day we’d had, neither of us could really picture committing to being awake long enough to justify the effort that having a fire would take including hauling a 5 gallon bucket of water from the spring house to wherever the fire would be.

It rained during the night, but we woke up to a bright morning with a little over half a moon in the sky.  I went outside and could see and hear turkeys across the valley in our neighbor’s field which was planted a couple of weeks ago.  I think it’s corn again this year, but it’s so new that it’s still really short and easy to see turkeys, deer or whatever else might wander across the field.  More mowing for D. today and I cultivated the garden where the potatoes and onions are.  I was really glad to see the potatoes coming up since it was cold and wet after I planted them.  Of course, we’ll never know what is going on underground until it is time to harvest them.  The onions and leeks are still really tiny and hard to    cultivate around.  I think we’ll be fighting weeds there and everywhere else for years.  The garden, we have to till.  Other places, either fire or goats would do wonders.  This afternoon we planted a blueberry bush, over a dozen raspberry plants and two new grape vines.  It looks like one of the grape vines from the fall took and the other failed.

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