Week 18, Orchard Cider Year

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OCY 18 OUTSIDEMay 3, OUTDOORS: In past photos you may have seen neat rows of cut branches centered in aisle after aisle of pruned trees – that’s Fitz’s way.  Another way: move through the pruning, then come back later and line up your brush with hooks and pitchforks – like Otis and Luke on a wet Tuesday. Why bother?  So that a tractor can pull a flail chopper straight over all those cuttings, leaving mulch behind it.  (Before the chopper method came along, all that wood had to be dragged out of the aisles).

OCY18 InsideMay 4, INDOORS: At the end of rainy, raw Wednesday, Steve and Fitz are sipping cider and plotting some horticulture.  Specifically: a new block of little trees planted last year must eventually bear fruit as bountifully as possible.  Well-spaced branches on each tree are critical.  So S & F are deciding to go through the whole block and carefully notch every tree’s bark just above where they want each new branch to sprout during this growing season. It works, but it’s work.       LDS

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