Pruning In The Gooseberry Patch

Posted by Francesca

With the arrival of spring, so many, many things need to get done around the farm.  An on-going project has been the pruning all of the different kinds of berries that Martha likes to grow.  Pruning is important because many berries grow upon new growth and not the old.

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Well, here I am by the greenhouse and there seems to be some activity in the gooseberry patch.

1 Well, here I am by the greenhouse and there seems to be some activity in the gooseberry patch.

Sure enough, it looks like the gooseberry bushes are getting all pruned up.

2 Sure enough, it looks like the gooseberry bushes are getting all pruned up.

Hi Chhewang!  The buzz around the farm is that you are a very gifted pruner.  You're great with trees and bushes.

3 Hi Chhewang! The buzz around the farm is that you are a very gifted pruner. You're great with trees and bushes.

Now I know from experience that you have to be very careful when handling gooseberries.  They have thorns.

4 Now I know from experience that you have to be very careful when handling gooseberries. They have thorns.

Did you know, Chhewang that unlike most other fruit crops, gooseberries tolerate partial shade and prefer a cool, moist growing area?

5 Did you know, Chhewang that unlike most other fruit crops, gooseberries tolerate partial shade and prefer a cool, moist growing area?

This is the north side of the greenhouse, which doesn't get full-sun, so conditions are ideal.

6 This is the north side of the greenhouse, which doesn't get full-sun, so conditions are ideal.

I see that you're thinning and taking out old growth.  This will encourage new berry bearing branches to grow.

7 I see that you're thinning and taking out old growth. This will encourage new berry bearing branches to grow.

You're also taking away low-hanging branches so that the fruit won't touch the ground.  That will make for easier picking.

8 You're also taking away low-hanging branches so that the fruit won't touch the ground. That will make for easier picking.

It's also smart that you're working down one side and Ryan the other.  That speeds things up.

9 It's also smart that you're working down one side and Ryan the other. That speeds things up.

Ryan is wearing his special long leather gloves for protection.  Many kinds of berries have thorns.

10 Ryan is wearing his special long leather gloves for protection. Many kinds of berries have thorns.

Ahh!!!  Those gloves are pretty nice for petting, as well!

11 Ahh!!! Those gloves are pretty nice for petting, as well!

All Caught Up In The Easter Egg Hunt!

Posted by Francesca

We Frenchies hope that you all had a very pleasant Easter weekend.  It turned out to be perfect spring weather, which is a very good thing since Martha invited so many children for the big Easter egg hunt.

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Fortunately, Easter was a beautiful day and all of Martha's guests were able to spend a great deal of time outdoors, which was good because there were so many super-excited children!

1 Fortunately, Easter was a beautiful day and all of Martha's guests were able to spend a great deal of time outdoors, which was good because there were so many super-excited children!

I have to confess, that I get rather nervous and irritable when there are so many children around.  You can see it in my dour expression.

2 I have to confess, that I get rather nervous and irritable when there are so many children around. You can see it in my dour expression.

The children were very energetic during the egg hunt, which only added to my discomfort.

3 The children were very energetic during the egg hunt, which only added to my discomfort.

I don't mean to be such a grump, but the Easter Bunny?  Seriously?

4 I don't mean to be such a grump, but the Easter Bunny? Seriously?

Look closely because you'll see me, Francesca, very comfortable hanging out in the Kawasaki.  I know when to keep my distance.

5 Look closely because you'll see me, Francesca, very comfortable hanging out in the Kawasaki. I know when to keep my distance.

I told Sharkey to join me, but she's a glutton for punishment, it seems.

6 I told Sharkey to join me, but she's a glutton for punishment, it seems.

A then, if all that commotion wasn't enough, Betsy brought Rinze and Ramon to join the festivities.

7 A then, if all that commotion wasn't enough, Betsy brought Rinze and Ramon to join the festivities.

Yes, the guests enjoyed meeting the horses.

8 Yes, the guests enjoyed meeting the horses.

And then we all had to sit still for the big announcement of who won the egg hunt.  I just don't understand what it's all about - such competition!

9 And then we all had to sit still for the big announcement of who won the egg hunt. I just don't understand what it's all about - such competition!

Then all the kids posed with the Easter Bunny for this nice shot.  At least they were quiet for a minute or two.

10 Then all the kids posed with the Easter Bunny for this nice shot. At least they were quiet for a minute or two.

The Latest Tree Planting Project At The Farm

Posted by F&S

It's no secret that Martha loves trees and over the years, she has had thousands of trees planted.  Sometimes she buys large, mature specimens as focal points, but she also likes to reforest certain areas of the farm with small saplings.  We recently received a shipment of about 1,500 mixed varieties, which are keeping the guys quite busy.

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Francesca, let's drive these saplings into the woods where the crew is busy planting.

1 Francesca, let's drive these saplings into the woods where the crew is busy planting.

Stop the Kawasaki!  I think this is the spot.

2 Stop the Kawasaki! I think this is the spot.

OK, guys!  You can unload this delivery of Norwegian spruce saplings.

3 OK, guys! You can unload this delivery of Norwegian spruce saplings.

Chhiring, is that one tree or a group of trees?

4 Chhiring, is that one tree or a group of trees?

Oh, I see, there are several small saplings in that group.

5 Oh, I see, there are several small saplings in that group.

These Norwegian spruce have very nicely developed roots.

6 These Norwegian spruce have very nicely developed roots.

Martha told us that years ago, someone came through these woods and cut many trees down for logging.

7 Martha told us that years ago, someone came through these woods and cut many trees down for logging.

The problem is that no one bothered to plant new trees.

8 The problem is that no one bothered to plant new trees.

That is, until now.  Martha wants to reforest all of these woods so that they'll be beautiful in the future.

9 That is, until now. Martha wants to reforest all of these woods so that they'll be beautiful in the future.

OK, Phurba, now that you have this hole dug, what's the next step in planting a tree?

10 OK, Phurba, now that you have this hole dug, what's the next step in planting a tree?

I see you have a bucket of fertilizer pellets.

11 I see you have a bucket of fertilizer pellets.

Each tree gets one pellet.

12 Each tree gets one pellet.

You place the pellet into the hole and then the tree on top of that.

13 You place the pellet into the hole and then the tree on top of that.

You also sprinkle on some Epsoma Biotone Starter for extra nutrients.  We want these trees to grow fast and strong.

14 You also sprinkle on some Epsoma Biotone Starter for extra nutrients. We want these trees to grow fast and strong.

You then back-fill the hole with more soil.

15 You then back-fill the hole with more soil.

And lastly, you re-cover over the ground with leaves to make it look like the tree has always been there.  That is so neat and so much fun.  Now you just have about 1,400 more trees to plant!

16 And lastly, you re-cover over the ground with leaves to make it look like the tree has always been there. That is so neat and so much fun. Now you just have about 1,400 more trees to plant!