The First Experimental Acre
Our first 126 trees arrived March 4th, complete with directions for planting. Because we were just recovering from a deep freeze followed by rain and thawing, we opted to plant them 3 days later. Bob had already dug the preliminary holes in what we thought would be well-drained soil. Much to our dismay there were puddles of water standing in some of the holes. We're not sure if this is the result of the red clay holding in the soaking from the sky, or if there is water under the ground which is rising up. At this point we're taking an experimental attitude and hoping for the best. It took us 3 times longer to plant than we expected. By the end of the first day, with 3 of us working.. 4 if you count Sadie our dog who was there for moral support and snacks, we had only planted the first 42 (the Shinko's). And in the consecutive 2 days after, we managed to get in all of the 20th Centuries and the Hosui's. You wouldn't think that it would take so much to plant 4 ft tall sticks in the ground, but it was quite an ordeal. The soil started drying out on the second and third days, and all but the holes which were dug in the vein of clay got much more manageable. We have had some nice rain since planting which solved our issues of giving them an initial watering without a ready source of water on the property. And now we have some sunshine to balance out the moisture. Hopefully Spring will click in for real very soon, so that our experimental crop has a chance to flourish. I'm already visualizing round, sweet, crispy fruit. Whether we get it from these trees in a few years or the grocery store remains to be seen. The fact that I blessed each one as I put them in the ground, and that Bob (with his gifted green thumb) went through the orchard and touched each one after they were all planted, must surely count for something.