Sunday, June 5, 2011

bucket and jug tree

One of the things you learn when farming is that things need to be done in the right time. If you miss that window of opportunity it can be another year before you can get to it. Our fruit trees are one of these. It is a good idea to trim them yearly, to open them up so air can flow through, the fruit does not get so crowded, and the yield is larger fruit.

Denzel Mitchell, his wife Tiombe and their 5 little ones visited the farm earlier this spring. He keeps a couple of orchards in Baltimore, and visited us to teach us how it is done. Upon arrival, he told us we need weights for the trees. Well goodness, this is a farm, we were not going to go out and spend money on tree weights! So we used what we have..buckets, empty jugs, and the corner posts where we string up electric fence to keep cattle out. Denzel pruned (and we kept all those trimmings, to be used when smoking up some chicken, beef or pork on our big grill) and spoke to us about what he was doing, why this was important, how the tree benefits, and the fruit, in turn, will be better.

And ever since then, people stop short as they get to the row of fruit trees, each with their buckets, window weights, jugs and assorted other whatever we can find things, and ask "what is this? what are you growing here?!". Right now it looks like a bumper crop of junk, but Homer and I see the apples forming, growing, larger than a super ball now. And know what comes next..


  1. Whew, Dru; you and Homer make me tired, you all work so hard! What do the buckets, jugs, etc. do? I am guessing that the weight of the buckets, jugs, etc. forces the branches to grow in specific directions?

  2. oops! Probably should have made that clearer! The weights are for getting the branches to stay open and not grow straight upward, so you are exactly correct, the weights are to train them in a specific direction.



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