This year has been a memorable experience for new farmers like us. Our orchard was planted in April of this year with great hope of a perfect summer to give the trees a hardy head start. The driest summer on record, instead had us scrambling to make sure that our precious trees could weather drought-like conditions. Losing only fifteen percent of the trees was a blessing, but heartbreaking as well. Weeding, mulching, wrapping and sweating symbolized summer at Seven Fields Farm & Orchard. Luckily, the trees survived. Happiness flows from hard work.
Now that fall is upon us we can reflect on all that we have learned (mistakes and all) in building our dream walnut orchard. Fall has always been a wonderful time of the year, but it also provides a stern reminder of mother nature’s next seasonal transition. We have been pushing our aching muscles to finish wrapping our trees in protective guards that will suppress pests from eating the fragile bark and give the saplings a little extra protection during what is predicted to be a harsh winter. Spring will bring its own set of challenges as the wraps will have to be removed, and eventually expanded as the trees grow. There is something so wonderful about caring for thousands of trees that will grow old as we do. Here are some images of our progress to date: