Week 20, Orchard Cider Year

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OCY 20 OUTMay 19, OUTDOORS:  This was a nice-looking 5-acre orchard bearing several different heirloom varieties, not all cider fruit, till Steve decided to plant for more efficient future cider-apple production.  The photo is boring on purpose. Fitz will have a slow day plowing the whole field at less than walking pace, jumping down whenever a plow-stopping rock jumps up.
After light harrowing, the ground will be planted with a green manure crop.  Fruit trees grow better and faster after patient soil preparation — a fact that can drive back-yard orchardists crazy.  Charming blossom photos? Maybe in an extra post.

OCY20 INMay 19, INDOORS: Brenda, helped by Otis and Luke, has been cleansing the crew bunkhouse.  (Brenda is not feeling photogenic.)  Tomorrow an inspector comes to ensure it meets the standards set for living quarters by the H2A program.  H2A allows all-important Jamaican crew-members to come here, and to hundreds of other farms: agriculture in the eastern U.S. would look small and drab without the skill and strength of Jamaican seasonal employees.  Here, mostly the same (spectacularly effective) men have returned year after year, some since 1993.  As individual people, we and they agree on our mutual good fortune under the circumstances.  But we also agree: the history, politics and trade restrictions behind those circumstances are of course not so nice.       LDS

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