Building an Orchard

The potted trees above are this year’s crop that I grafted for Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen.  Last year we planted them directly into the ground, but I think the pots will work out much better.  They require attention the first few months, cutting off root suckers, training up bamboo sticks, and pinching off side shoots.  When planted in the ground at 20′ spacing this required hiking along about a 1/2 mile route to service the tiny trees, which were also subject to deer and weed whacker damage.  Having them in pots makes them easier to water, and the crowded conditions also cause them to grow up straight to compete for the light.

The appletrees are destined for the terraces on the left, about the center of the photo with kind of grey grass and the lone tree (this year’s planting is the green terraces just below it).  These terraces were cut by Blackie Wilshire before WWII.  The apple trees serve a double duty as a firebreak between the wild brush on the hillside and the cultivated farm. 

There’s something about grafting for a large planting like this, as I’m contributing to the history of the farm and the happiness of thousands of people that will pick and enjoy these apples in the coming years.  They will most likely outlive me; and so I strive to leave a legacy of both apples and a testamony of God and His creativity, kindness,  and redemption to the generation after me.


One Response

  1. Well said, brother!

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