Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Orchard - Update I

Well, it's been a couple of years since we posted about the orchard we have tried to start (if you click that link, pay no attention to the immodestly dressed person in the cowboy hat :) ). Each year except this one, for which we only did replacements, we have tried to put in at least a few new trees. We now have 35 fruit trees -- apricot, plum, nectarine, peach, apple, pear, and persimmon, 7 pecan trees, and 10 grape vines.

Here are the fruit trees:

Our Orchard
Our Orchard
Our Orchard


These are views of the fruit trees down the rows:

Our Orchard Between the Rows
Our Orchard Between the Rows


Here are the grape vines of the beginnings of our vineyard:

Our Vineyard


And our first little grapes! At this point, our plan for any grapes God graciously grants is to dry them into raisins:

First Grapes from the Vineyard


We haven't really received much fruit up to this point; but this year the Lord has granted some apricots, nectarines and peaches. This is our first year to have apricots, and they are the first ones to be ripe enough to pick so far:

Apricots on the Tree


Here is Sue gathering some:

Sue Picking Apricots


And what we gathered:

Apricots from Our Orchard


In order to preserve the apricots without canning, freezing or having to use a preservative, we put the apricots in the solar food dehydrator. Also, I wanted to save the apricot seeds to be used in moderate quantities for the health benefits of vitamin B17; so they are being dried as well. And, on the lower shelf you can see some plums we were given, which we're drying into prunes:

Apricot Halves and Pits in Solar Food Dehydrator


And here are a couple of pictures of the pecan trees. They really seem to grow slowly. We lost one last year too -- it had been growing nicely, and then one day the leaves dried up, and it just died; and so we replaced it with a new one. Also, in order to allow the goats to keep our main homestead area mowed (thus allowing them access to all of that free food), I fenced off the orchard area, and each pecan tree, as you can see here:

Our Pecan Trees
Our Pecan Trees


We thank the Lord for allowing us to plant perennial fruit-bearing plants; and we pray for His provisions from them for many years, if it be His will.

-- David

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is a funny picture of you in shorts and girl faced. I also liked seeing (elsewhere on your site) a picture of Michael in similar attire. You all have come a long way, and I know you give all credit to God for his provisions for you.

That is a beautiful orchard you have created. It takes a LONG time before a tree will yield fruit. We planted an apple and a peach last year, and they don't look much bigger this year. They need a turbo switch or something.

You should think about doing a podcast with Michael, I think it would be great. Come on, one won't kill you. OK, that concludes the arm twisting portion of this comment.

Thanks for all the work you do putting these posts together. My children and I have really enjoyed them.
- Todd

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hi Todd,

We always pray the Lord graciously grant the graces to live a more biblical lifestyle.

Glad you enjoy the posts, and may God be glorified.

We'll have to see about the podcast. :)

Thanks for saying hi.

-- David

Ryan Powers said...

Second the motion for a Siffordized edition of the podcast.

Ryan