Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Orchard, Learning to Cast

Reclaiming the Orchard

My uncle Bill's boy is spending the week out at our farm. I've taken the opportunity to work the little feller up on the hill in the evenings. We worked on reclaiming the old orchard last night. Wow, what a job. I don't know when the last time was that anyone even noticed it was there! Its been neglected for so many years it resembles a jungle more than an orchard. Whoever planted it would cry if they saw it today. It looks like everything else in our county, run down and forgotten. The old barn at my inlaws is now so far gone it probably can't be saved. Its a shame too, the old draft horse stalls are really neat and the details of its design tell stories about the man who built it. Soon it will join the ash heap of history. In 20 years or so no one will even remember what it looked like. Did it have 4 stalls or 5? No one will know, few will even care. Why are we so quick to forget our history and our roots? Why don't we care for those things left to our generation. We have lost more barns in our parents generation than in all the previous ones, I think. Anyway.....We have started cutting out all the junk trees and brush. We fight back the vines and thorns and trim back the dead wood on the old fruit trees. It will take more time than cutting it all and planting new, but its a matter of principle now.

Learning to Cast

I spent my lunch time yesterday teaching little John how to cast his fishin' pole. The little boogers catching on. We plan on going on his first fishing trip this week. I heard him ask his brother Noah if he wanted fish for his supper. I've got a feeling that we will be eating whatever he catches. Hope it ain't a creek chub!


At 4/19/2005 8:32 PM, Blogger Valerie (Kyriosity) said...

Tsk, tsk. You misspelled draught horse. ;-)

At 4/20/2005 7:03 AM, Blogger Matt said...

No worries, Scott. It can be spelled either way.


At 4/21/2005 9:19 AM, Blogger abigail said...

We used to enjoy its yearly fruits before Grandpa died, clambering up to a comfy crook and filling our bellies until Mom called us to task and made us help. I know the last time I rode Apache through it before I got married, it was overrun, and I am so glad that you guys are tending to it. Your children (and hopefully grandchildren's children) will enjoy the fruits of your labor!

You said cleaning up the orchard will "take more time than cutting it all and planting new." Is that even with factoring in maturation time before new trees would be able to produce? Will the original orchard yield well for you when you are finished, or has it been too untended for too long? I ask out of ignorance, which is a good reason to ask. :)

Enjoy your fried creek chub. I'm sending Leah a recipe today for Beer-battered Fish and one for Chicken and Mushrooms in Ale. (Make that Beer-battered Chub and Chub and Mushrooms in Ale..)

At 4/21/2005 11:47 AM, Blogger reformed farmer said...


Old neglected fruit trees are hard to bring back. It takes years. I am saving as many as possible. I am also planting some new ones. Some of the old ones are pretty bad. Thanks for the all the cooking with BEER stuff. I can't wait to try them.



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