Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Orchard - Summer 2014

We thought we'd give a little orchard update, since it's been a while since our last one from last year.

We have continued the process of laying down around 8 inches of mulch covering the entire orchard area. When my brother, Kevin, visited in April, another thing he helped with, besides the barn loft and moving goat sheds, was helping lay down some of this mulch.

Here he is unloading it from the mulch carrier. One person would unload while the other person dumped, and then we'd switch jobs:

My Brother Kevin Unloading Mulch from the Mulch Carrier


Here he is dumping some mulch around one of the fruit trees:

Kevin Dumping Mulch Around a Fruit Tree


And here he is, apparently having way too much fun! :)

Kevin Happily Carting Mulch


Once again, it was really nice to have him here to visit! This is burger lunch at the Owl Drug Store Soda Fountain & Grill downtown Coleman:

David, Susan & Kevin at the Owl Drug Store Soda Fountain & Grill for Lunch


Back in the orchard, these are our first peaches of the year!

First Peaches 2014


Since they all ripened around the same time, we decided to pull them all and dry them on our solar food dehydrator. We ended up with probably 30-35 dried peaches, thanks to the Lord granting them! The dehydrated fruit seems to be able to last for years in jars, as I recently ate some from a couple of years ago, and they're not too bad!

Peaches Dried Using Solar Food Dehydrator


And here are our nectarines. We had a couple of trees produce them, and since they've been ripening so slowly, we've just been eating them along the way. In previous years, we've had grasshoppers eat them down; but thanks to the Lord not this year.

If you haven't experienced it before, I can't tell you how neat it is to walk to one of your fruit trees, grab a fruit, and eat it right there. What a wonderful provision from God!

Nectarines 2014


Yummy!

Up-Close Nectarines 2014


Here are a couple of pictures of the orchard now:

Orchard 2014 in Early September
Another View of the Orchard 2014 in Early September


You can see the difference I believe the mulch has made, by God's graces, from that last picture vs. a similar one from last year. It is amazing how much the trees have grown just this year! We've seen good growth from ones we got fully covered in the Spring time.

2013 Side View of Orchard


Goats love to eat fruit and nut trees. :) Here is their handiwork on the left side of one of our peach trees. I do hope one day to put up a more permanent fence around the orchard, including chicken wire around the bottom to keep the chickens out so we might plant something perennial-ish in the mulch, like maybe sweet potatoes:

Fruit Tree Eaten on the Side by Our Goats


It's also neat to have trees big enough where God has provided that the birds have a nice little place in which to hang out together. Here's a little video of them in one of the trees, and them flying away when I got close enough:




We're so very thankful for the growth of the trees and the provisions the Lord has graciously granted from them!

-- David

2 comments:

bayougirl said...

Your peaches looked wonderful. I am glad you had a good harvest this year. We had a good crop at first, but a very rainy spring allowed brown rot to get most of them. We did get to eat a few, however, and they were delicious.

Blessings,

Jill

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hi Jill,

Sorry to hear about your peaches. For our nectarines, I think it was last year, maybe the year before, the grasshoppers got most of them before they were ready. Every year seems different, and nothing ever seems consistent. :)

But we thank the Lord for what He grants, when He does!

Thanks for saying hello!

-- David