As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago and the second best time is now. In our case, the best time would have been 5 years ago (happy five year anniversary farm!!) and the second best time was today!
Jeremy digging the holes for the baby trees.
Our county has a program for trees and bushes that I found out about in January or February. It was late so we'd already missed out on several varieties. But they had Norway pine available so we ordered 25. It didn't seem like that many trees...even when we picked them up I found it hard to believe there were 25 trees in this little bundle.
I'm here to tell you: 25 trees is a LOT of trees!
We picked them up on Friday and then they had to hang out in the barn while we went off to the Twin Cities for deliveries and the farmers market. I believe they were just as happy as we were to not be planted in this wide open field on the hot sunny day that Saturday was! We didn't get started on hole digging till almost 5pm today. Jeremy used the post-hole digger and shovels to dig through our wacky soil - sometimes sandy, sometimes clay, sometimes dirt, sometimes very rocky. And I planted each little tree.
As it got later, we realized we still had a lot of mushrooms to pick and we needed to water these all in, and there wasn't time to do all that and plant all the trees before it got dark. So there are still about a half dozen left to plant.
When Jeremy turned on the well pump so we could get water for the trees, one of the pipes up at the high tunnel busted apart and started pumping water out at an impressive rate! Jeremy turned off the well and had to hook hoses up from the barn and run them up the hill. We'll need to get that plumbing at the high tunnel fixed soon - another thing for the list!
Jeremy picked shiitake while I staked and watered in the trees. The point of this beautiful line of trees is a windbreak to protect the mushrooms and logs in the shade structure from drying out so much when it gets windy. It will be a few years before they make any difference and we plan to add bushes and other things eventually. I guess that's the third best time to plan a tree: eventually.
We have over 1500 logs inoculated now. Our employee has about 3 days left this week and we are still working on finding someone new! We have an amazing intern right now who has been a great help and we're in the midst of interviewing and talking with a number of people for various roles. We'll both be very happy when this season of transition is behind us!
Spore has discovered his love of suet. Whatever the woodpeckers and nuthatches drop out of the feeder, he is happy to gobble up. Such a weird cat!