Ladies and gentlemen…it happened!
Our dream of a homestead has begun! We broke ground and planted all 10 apple trees!
We had set up a plan of how we wanted to set up the trees this winter, but once we got in the space realized it wasn’t going to work as well as we hoped. We had planned to place the trees to one side and have the berry orchard on the other in the same area, but when we measured found the space was a lot thinner than we had planned. So we improvised, measured out new spacing, and reorganized the layouts of the trees.
As we broke into the soil, having really no idea what type of soil we would be working with, and we were overjoyed to find we had between 5-9 inches deep of dark black loamy soil mixed in with some marbling of sand. It was PERFECT! We figured with so many years of this land being unused and untouched the grasses and organic materials had grown and mulched over and over forming a rich, deep black soil. We were overjoyed!
This plot had the most sand of any of the plots, several had almost no sand.
It was a lot of work, and late in the day to start our process, but we finished planting just before dark. We put close to 30 gallons (meaning filling milk jugs and various containers with water) on our trees by hand. We don’t have a well out at the farm yet and it’s 1/2 mile away from any water source. It was quite the work out but we plan on figuring out a better watering system soon.
We have a lot of deer on our land that would LOVE to eat fresh new apple trees. We didn’t have any tree wrap or fencing yet, but had seen a trick at a forestry museum where you staple paper over the branches to deter deer from nibbling. We tried that until we could get more permanent fencing. (Update: When we checked the next day it worked except one little branch where the paper fell off)
We planted 5 Honey crisp and 5 Sweet Sixteen. We have an orchard! Step one of starting our farm is complete!
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions