Honeychick Homestead

Homestead, Health, and Happiness

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Around the Orchard – Spring

I’ve been sharing mostly about bees, but there are lots of other exciting things happening around here! We usually have our first apricot “harvest” in early May. I put harvest in quotes because our apricot tree is tiny, and it deserves a little more lovin’, yet it has still given us a few apricots each year. This year we got six apricots! HUGE harvest, right? Each one looked almost perfect, and had a sweet flavor.

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I Got a Black Eye…

Yes, you read that right, a black eye! The embarrassing part about it is, I gave it to myself! It’s been a month since Kim from Orchard Keepers was here pruning our fruit trees, and I’m still working on the clean up. Today, I was determined to get the rest of it done!

After getting dressed in my “tick proof” garden clothes (someday I’ll share a picture, it’s quite the outfit!), I dragged all my gear, including my new loppers out to the orchard, and I got busy cutting up branches into kindling. A few weeks ago, I did this chore with medium sized pruning shears, and it took forever! Today using loppers, things move faster, it made cutting branches easy. I was in a groove, and feeling confident I would finish today. Then, I had a little mishap with my new tool. I got my first black eye, and I gave it to myself! Continue reading

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Orchard Prune Day with Pictures

Thankfully our trees have provided fruit, even though we given them very little love, since we moved in. After attending the Fruit Tree Q&A, I realized they desperately needed a major pruning. I had no experience pruning trees or bushes, so there was no way I was going to do it myself this year! Good thing for me, there is a local company dedicated to teaching orchard maintenance.  Today, Kim from Orchard Keepers spent a full day pruning all of our trees! She let me spend the first couple hours watching and learning from her. It was information overload, but I took a few notes, and hopefully I can do the next prune myself!

She showed me how to identify one-year old wood, two-year old wood, and so on. The smoother the wood, the younger it is. She was able to give me a rough guess of their age. I thought the smaller trees were young; however, looking at the wood on the trunk, she thought most of the trees were 20 -30 years old. I was shocked! Based on their age, she suggested planting a couple new trees this spring. While that sounds exciting, I’m not sure if that’ll happen since I barely know how to maintain these trees! Continue reading