After we got the crossings kind of finished this weekend, it became my priority to to get the orchard going. Mom and I took everything in Jeremy’s truck and made it to the top of the hill. After working hard to figure out where I wanted everything planted, I used my little hand tiller to try and dig the holes.
This was sod, not yard sod, but cattle pasture sod that was just torture to try and get broken up. As I got each hole dug, Mom would put the plant in, cover it and give it water. That was interesting because on top of the hill there is no hydrant. She took an ice-cream bucket, McDonald’s cups and pop bottles to the drainage ditch and filled them. It’s a good thing she found so much in Jeremy’s truck to fill up 🙂 or it would have taken many more trips for her.
After getting all thirty holes dug, I switched to setting posts. I got the basic outline done, but it was obvious I needed to find a lot more posts. After working all afternoon, we went back down the hill and called it a night. Brandon was my helper the next day. We finished setting posts and started the electric wire. I ran out of wire and figured out what else I needed to finish the beginning of the orchard.
After we finished getting the posts in, it was quite obvious that we didn’t have anything but my “blind in one eye, blond in the other” vision to guide us. I guess, I can just fit a couple more plants in here where it zigs and zags.
Dad went shopping for me, and I got to finish things last night. I no longer had a truck to borrow to get me up the hill. I took the truck to the bottom of the hill. Then I put the brand new 1/2 mile roll of 14 gauge electric fence wire on top of the post, drove the truck home, and walked down to the bottom of the pasture. I carried it across the pasture, set it on the post, climbed over, got it across the ditch and then carried it up the hill. When I arrived there, I gasped for air for a few minutes and then set about finishing the fence and watering the new plants.
I confess I did call Caleb and ask him to bring me a glass of water. He told me it would have to be in the backhoe, which I said was fine. I’m not sure he thought I was serious because I had to repeat my request. When he got up there, he was kind enough to help me finish up, and I was grateful to send the rest of the wire down the hill with him.
I have decided I need to find a better way to get up and down the hills. I’m hoping I can find some kind of utility vehicle to haul things around. It would also be nice this summer when I am trying to go back and forth from the house to the north part of the farm where the trailer house is. I’ve put Caleb to work on this job. Hopefully, it doesn’t take too long, but as beautiful as the hills are, they might kill me.
We planted five apple trees, three each of five different varieties of grapes, six blueberries (seen above), and four blackberries. I still have a dozen raspberries on my deck table that I need to plant. Hopefully, my next orchard update will show neatly mown grass with vigorous trees, bushes, and vines.