After a not so harsh winter break, and a fantastic holiday in New York City with our good friends Carmel and Craig, our batteries have been fully re-charched and we’re back in the swing of things for another season!
The unseasonably warm weather really got us moving starting with our apple trees! They all of a sudden came to life when we thought we had another couple of weeks to finish pruning them!
We managed to get it all done though. Grant and Lilly had a great time “camping” in the orchard while Ken and I spent several days finishing the task.
This picture makes me smile. The countless hours spent in this ten dollar tent (thanks Grandma!) were priceless. I hope that they will remember some of these fun times.
I have to admit that I always wonder if what I am doing to the trees will help or not. It really does seem counter intuitive as one of our friends pointed out. Taking snips of wonderfully tall branches OFF of the tree to encourage it to grow and make stronger limbs! I am learning as I go thanks to a few lessons early on from Phil and some good books and you tube videos. Time will tell but we do seem to be encouraging some lovely looking trees in the orchard. Some trees are getting so tall now that I just about need a ladder to reach the top branches even with the help of the telescopic pruning shears!
If you have never had the pleasure of this task, here are some the tools of the trade:
Even though Ken’s grandfather operated an apple orchard in Napanee for nearly twenty years, Ken would have been in school for most of the pruning days so pruning an entire orchard is an education. Every year is a lesson and proof of the previous year’s actions. Even though Ken has tried to get a good deal of pruning in, it is also time for taking the straw off of the strawberries!
Luckily, it has been relatively dry this past week so he has been able to get out and do it!
And there is a sigh of relief as there are some signs of life under the straw.