Although many people seem to believe that managing an orchard begins and ends with picking the fruit, there is more to it than that. Farming, as with all projects that are worth doing, is a job that requires planning for the future. Some plans are short term such as weeding, watering, cleaning, and mowing. Others are longer term such as laying out the garden (three to four months), building and preparing the animal barn for its occupants (six to eight months), and planting and caring for the trees (two to ten years).
Every day we walk the orchard and examine the trees. Other than deer and other varmints looking for snacks, we watch for signs of disease or other issues so that they can be taken care of promptly. Think of it this way: when do you take care of a cold? If you take care of yourself when you only have the sniffles, you'll recover faster. If you wait until it has turned into pneumonia, you may be in store for a much longer recovery (not to mention all the folks you've now spread the germs to).
|Crab Apple blossoms|