Of Peach Trees & Other Things

Of Peach Trees & Other Things

This weather has been terrible for our garden! We’ve had rain (and lots of it) virtually every day, which has precluded planting, tilling, digging, etc. Fortunately, this weather IS good for another kind of cultivation: pomology.

The blueberry bushes are bursting at the seams with little green berries that will be ready come July. Excessive spring rains are great for all sorts of fruiting plants. If I’d had any way of predicting what the weather would have been like this year, I would have skipped the garden altogether and focused heavily on putting in every kind of fruit tree, vine and bush available. I would certainly have put in a few more berry bushes in last year, anyway.

We did manage to get some strawberry plants in this spring, but unfortunately they won’t produce until next year. We also put in 2 new peach trees, as of all the trees that we put in last year only the peach trees didn’t survive. I followed Brett Markham’s guidelines of planting fruit trees, which included pruning them each down to the 7 strongest branches (except for any branch larger than 1/2 the diameter of the trunk), and plucked off any fruit that was growing on it. And there was a LOT of fruit growing:

You may notice the poison ivy on my wrist from putting up the new fencing here. Just ignore that…


We went from this above….


…to this here. The difference is alarming – I hope I pruned them right.

Truth be told, I left a few fruits on each just to be able to at least get something out of them this year, but for the most part everything had to go. It was sobering to have to pull off a few dozen young peaches that we would have other wise enthusiastically enjoyed, but ultimately disposing of these first fruits will allow the trees to focus on growing their roots and new branches, which in turn will produce even more fruit than if we had never done so in the first place. This is yet another example of the growing pains that we experience around here. There’s no such thing as instant gratification in farming – no sir.

This is just some of it – all told we pulled off about 3 dozen peaches.

For now all we can do is sigh and hope that this means a better future. As we continue to spend money and exert effort to develop our homestead I frequently have to remind myself to stay the course. Over time, it WILL be more cost effective. Just not right now.

Ahh well. At least we’ll have blueberries this year.

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