What a long, cold winter it’s been. We haven’t written much here on the website because what was there to say? It was cold. It was even colder. The backhoe won’t start. The backhoe still won’t start. Is there any end to the cold in sight???
It was a ruthless winter and even though it was cold enough to actually keep us indoors, we made it without too much cabin fever. The chickens made it too, along with supplemental heat and straw bales blocking any crack in the coop where wind could get in. Roxy, the outdoor cat made it, snug in her hidey-hole in the garage. The only creatures that didn’t make it through the winter were the bees; they had enough honey stored up, but the temps were just too low for them.
We finally let the chickens out of the coop for the first time in months at the end of last week and they loved it. They’ve started laying eggs, which means that spring really is here, right?
Out in the orchard, it’s a much snowier landscape. Mike is still using snowshoes in the orchard to prune even though the snow around the house has melted way down.
The snow is still far too deep to bring the ladder around for pruning, so Mike’s doing what he can in snowshoes and planning to revisit some of the taller trees after the snow melts a bit more. We’re thankful that spring looks to be nice and normal — not a repeat of 2012’s hot hot hot spring — which will give us ample time to finish pruning.
We’re not planning to have a pruning workshop day like we have in the past, but we’re always happy to look at photos of your trees to give you pruning advice or even to have you out here for a few hands-on lessons. If you’re a home orchardist, you still have time to prune until about mid-April and so if you need some advice or a lesson, get in touch.