Week 26, Orchard Cider Year/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 here.) In May: HAIL! Both ways! Planting too. BloomHills1703 copyHail, salaam, greetings to a fabulous bloom and spectacular pollination. (Black Hill)           BloomWall1701 copyBeauty + productivity = dreamlike days.  (Farnum Hill)       HailApplets copyNew 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 astonishingly —  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: Rain rain rain, sun, rain rain rain. Growth. Planting. More rain, more growth. Result? Latest ever planting, 3000 new trees in difficult mucky ground ! But they look OK!  Because more rain came and settled the soil round their roots better than all our spading and stamping could.  Most of them are bittersweet and sharp cider varieties – BUT Planting 1701         Steve, who once pledged never ever to plant another McIntosh in this life, did plant a few hundred McIntosh trees . But NOT for their apples. NO no no. For their excellent root-stocks, which will grow along with the trees until – perhaps in ’18, perhaps later – we lop off the upper trees and graft on cider varieties to make the trees we need. ForChuck         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.
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