Cider racked, two more rows of trees

Alexis was stuck tending to the ICU all weekend, so I dropped her off at 6AM Saturday and headed down east.  I arrived around 9A, and with rain forecast for the afternoon I quickly geared up – boots, chaps, helmet, fluorescent vest (hunting season) – and headed for the orchard.  The goal is to add two more rows of apples to the west, merging the orchard with the pasture below.  I started by clearing a bunch of scrubby growth, then Joshua and Kelsey came to lend a hand and with help of the rope-a-long felled three crooked white pines.  Long about noon it started to drizzle so we packed up gear and headed for the other side, where we had some lunch and spent the afternoon talking renewable energy and catching up.  My folks went off to dinner with some friends, we cooked some grub and played some tunes, then Kauf and Kelsey headed home to their new place in Portland.

The next morning it had stopped raining but was still foggy and damp, so I went over to the other side and racked the 6 carboys, consolidating into five substantially fuller ones.  All but one or two were at 1.004 or so, so they should start settling pretty soon.  The one that didn’t get sulfite was still at 1.02 or so; it didn’t seem to go off so fast, perhaps because it was a different mix of apples, or maybe there was some kind of competition from the natives.  Round about 10:30 that was done, and I headed for the woods, joined by the folks.  Between a short stint before lunch and a longer one after, we spent the daylight, and got about half the necessary clearing done.  We stacked the brush in windrows to be chipped in the spring, and left the trunks to be sorted out with the excavator when the ground dries out or freezes – much too wet in the woods for machinery after 2.5″ of rain.

In addition to clearing and cider processing, I hatched a tentative scheme to build a treehouse in a very large branching red oak tree near the orchard, in a spot which would overlook the trees of the orchard to the east and down over the fields towards the cove to the west.  The other big news is that my sister is moving east in December; she and the kids are going to take up residence in the old homestead and bring some youthful energy to the North End – I’m very excited to have her back on the east coast.  On my way home I stopped for a fine dinner with Kauf and Kelsey and checked out their new place.  All in all a busy and productive weekend.


2 Responses to “Cider racked, two more rows of trees”

  1. Brandon Says:

    Perhaps it would be better to say “Alexis was stuck attending to the ICU” than “Alexis was stuck in the ICU.’

    Also, regarding the matter of a treehouse: hell, yes!

  2. fiveislandsorchard Says:

    Yes, I suppose this is true. I have modified the text accordingly.

    I am keen on the treehouse idea, though it is hard to justify in comparison to useful work. Maybe we can make a party of it come summer.

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