End-of-year orchard progress

Christmas weekend was a festive affair in Five Islands, celebrating the arrival of Joanna, Nola, Ellis, and Jake.  There was much food, drink, and merriment, but there’s only so much merriment I can take, so I took advantage of another window of good ground conditions to haul a load of four-foot hardwood out of the orchard ground with the trailer that’s made of a sawed-off pickup truck frame.  I then skidded the last few pieces of crooked pine trunk to the big compost pile, and twitched the big mess of saw timber from the south field over to the pumpkin patch, where it will be sawed into boards in the spring.  The hard freeze subsequently abated somewhat with a couple of days of warm rain, and enough frost came out of the ground that Evan Holbrook could come in with his big JD machine and stump out the new ground that we’ve cleared.  I’ve been in Boston this week but I understand that he has finished and he did a nice job.

We got lucky with the weather to have all the timber moved off and the stumps out this late in the season; the expansion project didn’t really even get started until after cidering was over.  At this point the land will sleep until spring; meanwhile it’s time to bottle the cider that’s been in secondary in the root cellar, and pick out trees for planting next spring.

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