Apple Blossom And Gear Oil

 

Its been real busy around here, so this could be a long one….Where to start? I guess where I left off.

My big plans for the orchard where to expand the size of it and put in some irrigation, With the weather holding out and seeing some fruit trees on sale I started to put the plan in to practice . I planted more pear and apple trees , and two cherry trees which each had grafts of three varieties of cherries bringing us up to twenty one trees in total now.

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With some help from a rented trencher we started to put in irrigation for the existing orchard and the new plants . We used the soaker hose rings and looped them around the tree , but also put in a drip line directly in the root balls of the new additions to make sure they get enough water whist they get established. I tapped in to the main feed for the line of cedars (planted last year) and used a battery operated sprinkler controller to schedule sprinkler times / duration.

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My horse manure contact failed to deliver anymore, but I did manage to source some organic chicken manure from an organic egg farm just down the road. They where the nicest people and they have an unlimited supply of manure so I took 4 dump load trailers worth as we where starting to expand our growing areas. One thing about chicken manure is , you do not have to physically come in contact with it , just being close to it for a period of time will make you stink of it and the smell is hard to get off . It’s a case of shower and clothes directly in to the wash just from driving a tractor and spreading it, but it is great fertilizer.

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I plowed up two new patches expanding our growing areas by about 400% . Breaking my plow sheer bolts a couple of times and finally bending the brackets . Plowing is one of those things that looks so simple when you see someone doing it well but there is a lot more goes in to it than meet the eye and it takes a lot of practice. some time after plowing had settled I tilled up the field with our John Deere Tiller as I finished and went to park it up under the apple tree (which was in full bloom) I could smell the sweet smell of he apple blossom but there was also another smell which I had not smelt in many years but a smell that you ever forget (mostly because it is nasty) Gear oil …. I guess that all the tilling of such a large area was two much for it or that it just didn’t over winter well any way the gear oil was leaking. John Deere want $90 for a gasket so at least the tilling is done for now so I will just make a gasket when I get time ……. it does come in handy being an ex mechanic sometimes.

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We had a surprise visitor in the form of a beaver . I did not actually see him, just the signs he had been there with this chewed up cedar tree . I did not want this tree to fall as the way it had been chewed it was going to fall on top of one of the buildings so I had to fence it out so the beaver could not damage it anymore.

when I was trying to source bee’s earlier in the year I had put my name down for two beehives which would be ready mid may . After receiving a call that they where ready and had been inspected by the provincial apiarist , I went to collect them one evening . The beekeeper was an old German man who was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Of course by the time I got the home it was dark I had already placed and leveled pallets where they would be located so it was just a matter of putting them in place and opening them up ready for the following morning I sure appreciated the new lights I had put on the tractor.

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This takes our beehives up to five one of them already is at two boxes of bees and has a honey super on it and two more will be ready for honey supers this week.

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There are still lots of work to be done and some of the planting is done and growing , Potatoes, Buckwheat, Beets, Corn and there is a lot more to be done.That will give us lots for next time .

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Planting the Orchard

 

i have been talking about setting up an orchard on part of the land since we moved in and there is nothing like leaving it to the last minute when my nose is to the wire to get me started. we are putting in a perimeter fence and on the south line there is a beautiful big old cherry tree that over time had self seeded a bunch of cherry’s along the base , some of them are quite tall and i didn’t want to just waste them by cutting them up to get to the fence line so i decided to move them (plus it was an excuse to test out the backhoe). So i got started on my Orchard which just consists of some cherry trees right now but i hope to get to putting in apples ,pears , nuts and what ever else i can get my hands on that will grow here.

here are some pictures of the start of the orchard. the photos are before the stakes have been added

 

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