Monday, April 30, 2012

Mission Orchard Accomplished.

Some of you may know we spent last weekend tucking hundreds (440-ish, to be more specific) of fruit trees, mainly apple with some pears and cherries thrown in, into the brand new North Branch Orchard.  The week preceding orchard-fest was a marathon of using, breaking, borrowing, and repairing equipment: tractors, chippers, plows, disk harrows, and our bodies.  It was a close shave, but by the time a crew of about twenty showed up to lend a strong hand on Saturday morning, we were ready for them.  Here, after a cute opening photo of our newest lamb, is a series of photos from the orchard-planting party, shot mostly by Chris Yentes and MK Shapley-Quinn.

Lamb #2 of 2012, a hefty little guy

Orchard Prep Checklist
Step 1: Graft trees, grow in nursery, dig and store in basement.
Step 2: Plan a fenceline. 
Step 3: Fell all trees dead near or leaning towards fenceline.

Step 4: Haul off logs and chip brush for mulch from felled trees.

Step 5: Put chips on high bush blueberries.

More chipping.

After step 6, plowing and disking the orchard site, comes step 7: planting party!!!

Women labeling trees.

Tree planting lesson.

Trees ready to go in the ground.

Tyler doing last minute disking in the orchard's Moody plot.

Cousins sleeping.
The crew on cider break, day one.

Last tree goes in the ground!

Victorious!  The crew, day 2.
Thank you so much to all who helped with this wild endeavor.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April Fool's and beyond

Friends, Neighbors and Family!

Three short weeks ago, on April 1st, 2012, the Gawler parents arrived to set us and our barn roof straight.  Equipped with safety gear of all kinds, they inspired us (once again!) to be more cautious on the job--and more lighthearted--as John whipped out the milk room roof while Ellen landscaped and cooked a hearty meal.
The bare essentials of metal roofing personal gear: hard hats, safety goggles, fire extinguishers and first aid kits.
Barn roof rescue squad and OSHA inspectors

Our newest calf, a bull, born to the second Canadian Jersey

Onions & Elsie on March 31st

Onions on April 3rd

Seth's grafting set-up

Our enchanted farm!