In the wake of the devastating April 29th freeze, I prepared myself at the beginning of the season for a fruitless series of months. I had to turn off all of my senses, all my excitements, to ease the pain bit by bit. No markets, no picking, no snacking from the tree when working, no jams, no drippy chins post-peach. Nada. It really was the only way to handle it. But it's amazing what time can do to heal, and what time can reveal as it chugs along and life continues on.
After a tumultuous spring of amazing blossoms followed by a deadly freeze, the orchard is starting to turn a corner. Signs of fighting life after destruction are popping up with every block of trees. Peaches, pears, apples, plums, nectarines, cherries - some vast and some humble, there is at least a presence of each fruit somewhere on the orchard. I couldn't believe it! I slowly let myself imagine the aforementioned delights once again...
But alas, I still keep my excitement buffer on. We can only hope the rest of the season's elements will be kind enough to keep this positive trend going. Bugs? Hail? Disease? Birds? Bears? Deer? Porcupines? We've seen it all. And just because they've happened before doesn't mean they wont happen again. But, if we can make it over one hurdle, we can make it over others. Just as it was from spring to now, we can only wait to see what July, August, and September will bring. In the meantime, we'll take what June is telling us is possible and go from there.
|The beginning of a peach out of the blossom. Check out the white oval in the middle - that's the start of that pit you happily find after eating a delicious peach.|
|Are those plums I see?|
|Why yes! A handful of trees in the southeast corner of the block pulled through.|
|Finding the sunlight|
|Looks like that branch needs some thinning! An excellent sign.|
|The Galas came out on top as the largest surviving crop. I can taste the sauces, pie fillings, and dried apples already...|
The Garden Plot project I had boldly taken on is also showing signs of promise. Things are actually alive! And growing with every day, every hour even. Not many things bring me such happiness and peace than going out to the garden just to observe how everything's doing (between weeding, weeding, and some more weeding, of course). I talk to the plants, telling them theyre doing a great job...cheering them on as they mature and grow strong. Good thing only the birds, and probably Nick the horse, can hear me as I converse with vegetation. There are worse things in the world, right? Here is a selection of the crew:
|One of the first sprouts I saw come out of the ground. Baby Beet, look at him go!|
|Just ten days later he and his compadres are growing up fast.|
|Bush Beans! Check out the seed casing still holding on in the middle...|
The orchard has also seen other forms of new life...including our first hatched guinea of the expected 24. I have named it Mini Guinea, and yes, it is just as cute and small and awesome as it looks.
|Nick likes what he sees out there.|
|And I'd have to agree.|