My farm apprentice goes home on Sunday. We have had 3 1/2 great weeks with our eldest grandson. His first full week here he attended basketball camp at Virginia Tech. His stay has been a blend of fun and work and I am going to miss his help on the work days.
This morning, before anyone else arose, I did get three more of the saplings planted. It was still cool outdoors. Using the tractor bucket, I scraped off the grass in patches the width of the bucket and about 3 feet across, then hand dug holes in the bare soil. After delivering eggs in town, we purchased a few more bags of hardwood mulch and my farm apprentice was given another opportunity to drive the tractor as he delivered the bags to the newly planted trees.
I wouldn’t trust him alone, but he can drive it slowly with reminders. He did have a glitch with stopping once and almost took out one of the new saplings, but he got better as I let him move it around as we moved mulch and water to the new trees and the extra mulch to the garden.
They are tiny now, but hopefully will grow to continue providing a wind barrier on the west side of the house.
I took over to mow a path through an area that is outside of the hayfields and repeated the removal of the grass layer to make spaces for the two sweet gums trees. We didn’t want them in the lawn area, having had several in our yard when we lived in Virginia Beach. He helped dig holes and plant the two remaining trees. We then spread two of the bags of mulch in vegetable garden aisles over thick paper layers.
Last evening, when I went out to collect eggs, I also collected a hand full of Jalapeño peppers and two pickling cucumbers and started a ferment of them, a half onion, some fresh dill, dried dill seed, bay leaves, and sea salt. They will be refrigerated once ready and enjoyed later.
The rest of today I will rest and knit. Tomorrow, my apprentice’s Dad will come and Sunday, they will return to their home.