Good news, I am 100% better and I survived my bad cough last week. So thankful to be back at it cause its a beautiful day at Mt. View Orchards. I sprung out of bed this morning because we have a lot of things to accomplish today on the farm. On fridays, I am usually a little worn down because I have been working off the farm the last 3 days(10 hour days) at our county jail with mentally ill patients and that is intense work that has a toll on my energy levels. But today I am in rare form and excited about all the big projects we have going on simultaneously on the farm this month.
The big projects happening in May and June are...(ps my most expensive months to be a farmer)
1. We were lucky enough to receive some funding to be able to complete the solid set irrigation on the entire north side of the farm and Javi our foreman and my amazing mother Ruthie started huge project on Wednesday. This is a massive project and frankly has been stressing us all out a little bit. But its going to be a great asset to the farm one day and I am so thankful we have the funding to do it. We will be 100% solid set orchard after this is completed and this will save us money, labor and conserve water, a precious resource.
2. We started two irrigation hand lines on Wednesday as well because its so very dry out there with high temperatures and little rain and our trees are so thirty. This is a month earlier than we usually start but the solid set project isn't completed and our trees need water. So grateful for ample irrigation and mountain run off from Mt. Hood. If the fruit trees do not get enough to drink the start naturally dropping their fruit and being too dry exasperates this process even more. So we are watering them and trying to keep them well watered and happy.
3. We are in the last few weeks of completing our Wedding Venue. This month we are finishing the plumbing, sheet rock, septic system, light fixtures, dance floor, dj booth and soon we will bring in the appliances and lay the new grass for the meadow. This project has been crazy expensive but somehow by the grace of God I have been making my payments and I am SO thankful to be nearing the end. I have really enjoyed working with our contractor because he is so hard working, comes consistently every day for work is easy to communicate with and is always forth coming. He is redeeming my last experience for sure. I plan on working with him again on other projects in the future. We have many scheduled events this summer and I am so honored to be hosting weddings at Mt. View Orchards this summer.
4. We are starting the Wedding Venue gravel roadway this week and our awesome excavator is coming up this morning at 9am to go over everything again. We couldn't start that until now because you have to wait until the moisture is out of the ground so the gravel will not get absorbed into the roadway. Getting approved to host weddings here was pretty much a miracle. There are so many hoops you have to jump through and thousands of requirements. I am so thrilled we made it through the process and now we are working diligently to get up to county requirements so we can be fully certified. Our first wedding is in July and I am over the moon about it.
5. We are beginning to thin off all extra fruit on the apples, asian pears and bartlett pears to create more flavorful and large fruit. Thinning is one of the most expensive jobs we do on the farm because and it is all done by hand. We have completed about 1/4 of the job and will be working on this with our mighty crew this month and next. There is something called the June drop where the tree naturally drops some of its fruit but we running early this year and we are seeing some dropping now. Thinning is a vital part of farming and if you didn't thin you would have small, tasteless fruit on your trees for harvest time. If you are following along this is the time to go out and leave the king bloom fruitlet and thin off the other four smaller fruitlets.
6. This morning we are planting our sunflowers and dahlias to beautify our farm. These flowers were a big hit last year and we are planting more this year as well. We will plant our pumpkin patch and corn later on in June as well so they will be ready in late September and October.
7. We are cutting grass again and trying to keep the grasses down by our trees. My mom always jokes the the number one thing we grow well is grass. Riding the mower is rather relaxing though and I often find the job rather soothing and highly satisfying.
8. We thankfully are not seeing fire blight or a bacteria on our trees this year and we are hoping and praying we don't get a lot of tree infections this year. We have been told other farms are struggling with this badly.
9. We are having some powdery mildew or fungus growing on our apples trees so we hyper vigilant and keeping an eye for this because it can really damage our trees. This is common when it is warm out so this is just part of the gig of being a farmer.
10. We have new fencing that we put up to keep out the deer out of our farm. The deer are really hard on our baby trees and like to eat off the new shoots, leaves and baby fruits. In the morning and in the evenings we chase them off the farm because our neighbor to the north does not have a fence so the like to come in through his field and come snack on our trees. One day I hope to remedy this when I have more income.
11. We are trapping gophers left and right as well because they love to eat the roots of our little trees. Yesterday we caught 8! It was a banner day!
12. Part of being a farmer is maintaing your equipment and fixing things when they break down. We have parts break or need repair often because we have some farm equipment that is as old as my grandpa. Some times I even break this equipment ;) and have to have a laugh about it because breaking things isn't really in the budget right now. sigh
13. Thank you to all the great people who joined our All Fruit CSA so far. We have about 50 people out of my goal of 60! if you are still thinking about it feel free to check out this link for more information. It is a great way to partner with our farm during the most expensive time of year and then receive delicious harvests come July. If you signed up please go ahead and send in your checks to The Grateful Farmer Inc. 6670 trout creek ridge rd, Parkdale, Or 97041
thank you again for following along and supporting a new lady farmer like me. xoxo your grateful farmer