After weeks of mild weather, winter returned with a howling fury this week, sending temperatures plummeting and frigid winds sneaking down collars and up pant legs to chill us to our bones. Brrr. We’ve been wrapping numb fingers around cuppas each morning before bundling up and heading outside to work on the farm.
In spite of the cold, it’s a great time for working outside. Hauling fruit trees, digging holes, and pruning trees are splendid ways to get the blood moving and warm us from head to toe.
And the early morning light is pure magic.
I love walking over the farm before starting work. Watching the sun rise over golden fields, illuminating each petal and leaf as it inches higher, is balm to my soul. My thoughts settle, breathing slows, and whatever the day holds is much easier to navigate.
The last 5-6 months have been intense, and I’ve had little to no time to focus on farm projects. I missed it dreadfully and am so glad to be in a new season where I can focus on our home and farm again.
This week I’ve been in the orchards and my tree nursery getting over 30 fruit, flowering, and palm trees ready for planting.
Palms, magnolias, and Virginia Creeper are going in around the chook palace to provide both beauty and shade. Later I’ll under plant with mint and lavender to deter mice and rats.
Today I went to the nursery and weeded all the trees that were waiting in pots and bags to be planted. I hauled them to the Chook Orchard and Big Orchard and got them set out on the spots where they’ll be planted. There are sugar plums, red blood plums, and mystery plums, peaches and snow apples and Old World breed apples, cider pears and cider apples. I’m so excited to see them in a few years covered with gorgeous fruit ready to be turned into delicious preserves, ciders, wines, and desserts.
This afternoon I grabbed our big branch cutters and shears and started the massive task of pruning all the fruit trees. After several devastating hail storms earlier this year, there was a lot of damage to be pruned away. They’re looking rather pitiful at the moment, but after pruning for a couple of years now, I know that a good pruning will result in better growth for the tree and better fruit production. They’ll be back to their dignified selves in no time.
Tomorrow I’ll be back to digging holes, armed with a 6-foot crowbar, sturdy shovel, and muscles that are feeling much better after a day off from digging. I can’t wait to get the last of the trees planted, watered, and ready to flourish this spring.
Now it’s time for a hot shower, a glass of cherry liqueur to warm my bones, and a book to read while Bear watches footy. 🙂