• Apple Blossom
    The Orchard

    Outlasting Spring Cold Snaps

    This past weekend we had 4 days with consistent temperatures below 30 F… in May. Sure a frost over night but snow fall and freezing temperatures come on. Wandering the yard today you wouldn’t know it had just snowed. 80 F sunny and the apple trees have started to bloom. Nature knows what it is doing, looking forward to watching them grow and hopefully a light harvest of multiple varieties. As for the cherry blossoms, they could care less that it was freezing out time to get a net so the birds and squirrels don’t eat every cherry like they did last year.

  • The Orchard

    Spring Blossoms

    Spring doesn’t truly come until the trees start blossoming. The cherry trees have been first in the past few years but with the nectarine and plum trees now taking root they look to be the early bloomers. So glad that we can enjoy nature in our very own yard.

  • The Orchard

    Apple Picking – At Home

    One of my favorite activities every year is taking the family to go apple picking. It is the main reason we have a yard full of various fruits and berries. This year’s apple crop contains the singular Red Rome Beauty and what a sparkling red apple it is. I can’t think of a better way to spend the first day of Autumn.

  • The Orchard

    Ripening Red Rome Beauties

    Tick, Tock, Tick Tock, the clock goes slow for these beauties. Early October is their scheduled ripening period so there is still a whole month to wait… I’m keeping an eye on them and don’t think they all will last that long. Tempting…

  • Keeper Notes,  The Orchard

    “Late” Summer Pruning

    I try not to prune anything in the autumn and since it is still summer took the time to quickly clean up some branches. I’ll have to remember to do a quick prune in May/June to help ensure no energy is wasted on shoots that restrict airflow or head back to the main trunk.

  • The Orchard

    A Glimpse of an Unfenced Orchard

    Every other month the grass gets a little too crazy in the fencing so we need to go through the process of taking down the fencing. (untie, unstake, move) Mowing, cleaning the mulch (weeds) and trimming any suckers sprouting from the roots. The upside? I get a short glimpse of what it will look like when I no longer need all the fencing to ward off the deer… many many years from now.

  • The Orchard

    Red Rome Beauties and Crimson Crisp

    This years apple bounty is exciting. It’s been 2 years since we originally planted our little orchard and having any apples at all on what started as whips is utterly fascinating. This year all 6 of the apple trees flowered but between the cold snaps and weather fluctuations only 2 of the trees formed fruit. This year I thinned the fruit early (reducing the number of growing fruit in half) not sure if it paid benefits or not but there hasn’t been any shattering like we saw last year. The Rome Red Beauty has a good dozen apples that look good enough to eat. They actually fully ripen in October…

  • The Orchard

    A Harvest of Henson Cherries

    The Henson Cherry bushes were a bit of the splurge when we planted the first year. The color was what made we grab them, with the caveat that they would also produce cherries! Not that I’ve ever had a Henson cherry or know what they taste like. Well that question is now answered. We had our first harvest of cherries from the bushes… and the verdict is they remind me of concord grapes. When ripe they have a nice tangy sweetness but the texture is very pulpy. Which is 100% how I remember a concord to taste. Looking forward to future harvests where I can turn these into a pie,…

  • The Orchard


    Our First Apples?? Only time will tell but there are over 2 dozen pollinated Red Rome Beauties growing. We may get some shattering this year with the tree only being 1 year old (since planting) but it is great to see some fruit forming on even one of the trees. It’ll also be interesting to see how this tree grows comparing to the other ones as it will be putting energy into the apples on top of new growth.