Fulfilling a dream, we planted our own mini-orchard of apple trees yesterday! Just four trees: two Stayman Winesaps, one Honeycrisp, and one crabapple (as a pollinator). It will be several years before they bear fruit, but I am already anticipating such joy from these! I look forward to pressing, drinking, and freezing our own cider some day. I look forward to the beauty of their apple blossoms in the springtime. I look forward to watching the grandkids pick apples. And then there’s pie!
Here’s the planting operation in full swing.
Max did 98% of the digging. One hole turned out to be mostly large field stones, much to his chagrin. Two shovels, a 6-ft. long pry bar, and two people were needed to get some of them out of the hole.
The instructions that came with them said to get them in the ground before they leaf out. For the crabapple, we were just in time.
I like the idea of keeping all our food at one end of the cleared area of our property (leaving the remainder for other purposes…games, entertaining, etc.), so we sited the mini-orchard near the garden and the new raspberry trellis. If you look closely, you can see the green deer fencing that surrounds the garden plot. The raspberry trellis is above the apple trees. The new garden shed’s site is just beyond that trellis.
This view is looking down at the apple trees from the deck. I staggered them, so each tree can be seen. I also didn’t want them to block our view of the hammock, which (in warmer weather) hangs between two trees (only one is visible in this photo).
And today, my new apple growing book arrived. I feel SO responsible. Like I suddenly have four new babies to care for. I read just a bit of the book today. In it, the orchard owner (shown there on the cover) has a picture of himself digging holes for new trees with his own golden retriever standing nearby. He captioned it something like, "Make sure your holes are deep enough according to your dog supervisor." Whew! At least we got that right! Feeling overwhelmed. Must study!