“What cha doing?” I ask Larry. I’ve wandered into his office looking for a postage stamp. He sits at his computer with a yellow legal pad on the side.
“Mmm.” He takes a moment to finish making a note. “Trying to find prices for a pick-up truck.”
And there we have it. This is what happens when you buy an apple tree. Two apple trees, because, you know, they don’t just pollinate themselves. Or so I thought. Actually, some apple trees are self-pollinators, but as it happens, Pristine and Liberty are not.
I’ve spent some time at my own computer, researching our new acquisitions. Pristine and Liberty are both “disease-resistant,” which seems a little vague at the moment. Whom or what should we be watching for. Moths? Scab? We don’t want to use spray, but perhaps that is an example of naive rookie wishful thinking. But okay, so far so good.
Next, will these two pollinate each other? Um, no, say my on-line sources. Okay, then, which tree do we need to add to our collection? Good news: Pixie Crunch will pollinate both. This seems to be a nice little apple, good for lunch boxes. Hope our garden store carries, or can get this fellow.
But let’s take a minute here to turn back to the web and see exactly how this pollination will occur. With bees, right? Yes. Or wasps or flies. The wind? Hmm, unclear. But the trees must be planted within 100 feet of one another. Check.
Now, what about the deer and elk who roam our property? Don’t think any fruit trees are ruminant-resistant. The trees will have to be protected by fencing of some sort. Ah. But we have to get the trees into the ground long before there will be any fencing other than the electric wire which contains the cows. I don’t suppose we can surround the trees with little electric girdles out there on the lonely savannah. On Tuesday, at the farm, we’d taken time to visit Island Fencing. We need to consider what sort of fencing we need alongside the driveway anyway, and had been told to ask for Steve at I.F.
Steve may be as good as Ken, the power-shovel guy claims, but we haven’t yet impressed him with any reason to demonstrate his skills to us.
“What about this fencing?” Larry asks, pointing to a photo on display.
“Don’t recommend it,” says Steve.
Then why is it on display . . . oh, never mind.
“Can you help with deer fencing?” I ask.
He seems startled to notice that I’m able to talk. A woman, and all.
“Maybe,” he says, and turns back to Larry.
We gave up, took a card and left. Went to have lunch.
Back in Portland, at my computer, I move on to the subject of pruning. Lots of good info on many sites. We’re not ready to acquire the recommended tools yet because, first things first, it’s about that pick-up truck. (I did learn about an intriguing product named Sucker Stopper — a succinct, if not poetic name.) Need to get the trees from the garden center to our property, and that’s just the beginning. If we buy a truck, where will we keep it? No room here at the Crane Building. Yes, we could have the center deliver the trees, if the road gets finished before the rains close us out. And so on. Well, I love it!
More tomorrow, in which we build our own private Autobahn. Photos included!