Friday, April 22, 2016

Planting Our Apple & Pear Trees!


We are just on a planting roll! Earlier this week, I planted our two blueberry bushes. James was so eager to get the trees planted, that we couldn't wait for the weekend, as planned.

We thought.

And thought.

And thought s'more about where we wanted to plant our trees. You could call us over-thinkers. Yup, that's a good description of the both of us. 

We eventually decided on a very open area, with full sun, & plenty of room to add on. 
We are making good use of the 4 acres we have! The dirt is also very nice down here - black & moist. We put the trees 25 feet apart, as that is what James' uncle suggested, & he has 26 apple trees. I am so glad we're only doing 8. Originally, we started with wanting 2. Then, of course, James wanted 4. Then, on the way to the garden center, it went up to 6. Then, at the garden center, it became 8 & 2 pear trees. Oof-dah!

The pear trees were totally my doing. I just could not walk out of the store without them. The thought of being able to pluck a big, juicy pear from our trees whenever I pleased... it got to me. 

Hello, trees! And James.
Here's what we got:
There's my pears! Around here, we've only ever heard of people growing these small, hard pears. I told the gal at the garden center this, & she says these pears aren't that variety. They did have the small/hard variety there, but I wanted the big juicy ones!

And our apples. I asked the gal which apples are most similar to a Granny Smith, 'cause I love a tart apple. She suggested the Wealthy & the Haralred to include in our batch. We also wanted to try the SnowSweet & the Zestar!

Of course, James HAD to have his Sweet Sixteens - they are his favorite! And my mother (and everyone else on the planet) loves Honeycrisp apples, so we bought 2 of each of these trees.

Don't ask me how I came up with which ones got planted where. I began by thinking alphabetically. But I wanted the pairs next to each other... Anyways, we planted them like this: 
James dug the holes twice as wide & just deep enough for the ground to be level with the graft marks. We sprinkled some 10-10-10 fertilizer in the bottom first, & then set the tree in the center of the hole. We used the dirt that came in the tubs to surround the roots, & filled in the holes with the dug up dirt. James added a middle layer of 10-10-10, then topped off the hole with the rest of the dirt & a bit more 10-10-10 on top. (He's a little too into the 10-10-10...) 

It took us about 2 1/2 hours. James wanted to dink around with the trees some more, so I went up to the house to get dinner going (Pulled Pork (in the slow cooker) sandwiches with a broccoli salad & pickles...) Before I knew it, it began to downpour outside. I ran out to help him in any way I could. I passed the barn just in time to see him get his truck stuck in the soggy ditch. I mean, he buried that sucker. He was thinking he could just barrel out of there, no problem, but he forgot just how swampy our ditch is. He tried getting it out with the skid loader, with me driving, but it was a lost cause. Drenched, we got the lift & were going to use that, when Jim got that stuck. How does one get a lift stuck? By taking it down a steep, watery ditch. Now, both our truck & lift were stuck in the muddy ditch & we were sopping wet.

Our neighbor drove by just as I ran up to the house to text him that we needed help. He got his big tractor & saved the day. 

It was quite the event.

We totally owe him a case of Grain Belt beer. 

Thank God for friendly neighbors! 

And tractors.

And beer.

And apple & pear trees.

Okay, I could go on all day, but really, God blessed us with awesome people around us. 

All said & done, we got the trees in & they are nestling their way into the ground as I type. Their roots are spreading & stretching out & they are making our farm their new home. And we are so happy to have them. 
And yes, I already named them all & they all have a backstory. This here is General Patten. We also have his right hand man, Parker, Mr & Mrs. Honeycrisp (the mature, sweet couple), Bonnie Sweet 16 & Clyde Sweet 16 (the young, fun couple), Haralred (the jolly old man), Snow (White) Sweet (the sweet little lady of the bunch), Professor Wealthy, & Ze-man (the cool, hip, surfer dude.) Don't ask me where I come up with this stuff, 'cause I really couldn't tell ya.
Warm Wishes,

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