Week 26, Orchard Cider Year ’17: Solstice Update


It’s the longest day of ’17 and over A MONTH has passed since last Orchard Cider Year post ( #orchardcideryear on Instagram/Twitter), so here’s a  highlight reel of what’s been happening on Farnum Hill and Black Hill. (More photos soon in gallery. Uploading so slow.)

In May:

BloomHills1703 copy

Such a bloom. Also HAIL! Both kinds!

First, all hail, salaam, greetings to a fabulous bloom and spectacular pollination. (Black Hill Dabinett here.)


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Beauty + productivity = dreamlike days.  (Farnum Hill Wickson here.)

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New apples swelled pronto.  Then belts of short, furious thunderstorms trooped through.  One dropped tons of…  h**l, the hard kind, bad luck for fruit-growers to spell or pronounce full-out.

But astoundingly —  the h**lstones arrived more or less marble-sized, same as the apples. Ice and fruit bounced off each other, scant harm done!  Some leaves torn; some conversations under metal roofs drowned out; some heart-rates spiked; and so many personal deities — thanked again.




In June:

Planting 1701Rain rain rain, sun, rain rain rain. Growth. Planting. More rain, more growth.

Result? Our latest planting  ever, 3000 new trees in difficult mucky ground. But they look OK!  More rain came and settled the soil round their roots better than all our spading and stamping could.  Most of these new trees are already grafted to  bittersweet and sharp cider varieties – BUT


Steve, who once pledged never ever to plant another McIntosh tree in this life, points toward a few rows of McIntosh trees. NOT for apples. NO no no. For their excellent root-stocks, which will grow with the trees until – perhaps in ’18, perhaps later – we lop off the upper trees and graft on cider varieties. Fruit-growing is slow but there are ways to save years here and there.

AND – Our building hiatus has ended. Joe Barden and his concrete artists came through and made footings for interior walls. So the swell-looking outside will have an inside! Someday.

Concrete 1701

That’s it for now.   LDS

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