Reviving the Orchard

Every spring i begin with a certain amount of fruit trees and by the following spring i have less. The winters are difficult for young trees to survive. I made myself two rules. Nothing citrus or tropical. No mandarin, lemon, or avocado trees. Also, nothing so young that its roots wont be deep enough to survive the winter. No 6 inch trees. They have to be a formidable size to give the tree a chance. With these two rules in mind i began attempting to revive the orchard from the state it was in following the last two winters. I hadnt replaced any of the dead trees because i was in school and making minimum wage. Now that i had a paycheck i could fix what i had been putting off. It was time to get to work. As a side note, i finally researched which trees need two different varieties to produce fruit and realized i would need two apples and two pear trees. I had one pear tree and zero apple trees so i would need two apples and one pear.

Many of the trees i had planted in the orchard during the past three years had died during the winters. The ones still alive were sprouting leaves and attempting to emerge from hibernation for a new spring.

Over the course of 2 days i dug 5 holes. It was not an easy task with chronic fatigue and rheumatoid arthritis. My fingers ached from grasping the metal bar and the shovel in alternation for hours while i dug and my knees were screaming “we’re not holding this position anymore” but i was plenty angry about my recent encounter with the man at the local garage who figured every woman should have a husband and that husband should be responsible for deciding what he was going to “let” or not let the woman do. I was tired of being told i needed a husband and so there was a part of me that needed to dig 5 holes in 2 days, to prove i wasn’t a delicate flower and didnt need a man to do for me because i couldnt do for myself.

I dug 5 holes because i had bought 5 trees and needed some place to plant said trees. With the addition of these 5 trees i would only be missing 1 tree from the collection that i wished to have on the homestead and that tree was a persimmon tree. The nursery had fuyu persimmon trees but i was looking for the other kind. The kind that produced persimmons you had to pick and store in a bucket until they were nearly rotten and filled with orange pudding-like sugar paste that had to be eaten with a spoon. They said they would carry this kind of persimmon tree in autumn and put me on a list of people to get a call when the shipment had arrived. I will have to dig one more tree hole in the fall. For now, the digging is done.

Honeycrisp Apple
with dirt
Fuji Apple
with dirt

After i was finished with the trees i added a few other green things to the property as well.

Tradition: one hanging plant for the bees and hummingbirds

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  1. Men that are the “little lady can’t do anything” and/or “that’s women’s work” types are not worth a damn. But then I also quickly (about 2 seconds) tire of women that, “I’m a girl. I’m helpless and I like it that way.”

    I had a pomegranate tree at the old house. When it blossomed, it was a hummingbird “magnet”.

      1. My pomegranate tree was from a seed and the seeds were brought from the mountain regions of Kurdistan-iraq-Iran where there were ski areas. I’m hoping my sprout (now about 1/4 the size of the one in your picture) “remembers its roots” with regard to cold weather.

        Oh, on the hopefully humorous side….I remember telling my daughter that the only thing a man can do more easily is “comfortably pee on a roaring campfire.”

        I went on to say that everything else was “don’t let men, or women, tell you that you won’t be able to do it.”

      2. I hope it does well. Hopefully it will get its roots established while the weather is still nice.

        That is a rather humorous visual and very true. It does give me a sense of peace that there are women out there growing up with fathers who are imparting their wisdom and skills rather than roadblocks.

      3. The tree is in a large pot right now. Yesterday I put it out in the sun for a few hours and now the old leaves are shriveling, but there are a lot of leaf buds showing up. so I think it will be okay.

        Some things might be easier for many men, nearly always because of strength, so the trick is to impart a problem solving mindset……”how to use brains and finesse to get the job done.” 🙂

        I would consider myself a failure as a dad if she was one of “those helpless women that ***NEEDS*** a man”.

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