Sunday, January 9, 2011

It is cold. Very cold. It was 17 last night but with the windchill I think it was around 100 below. Or something like that.

At any rate it is MUCH warmer this morning. 32 degrees. When we lived in California 32 degrees would have meant breaking out the ski clothes and driving the kids to school. WAYYY too cold to wait for the bus! Now I consider it a nice and mostly warm day! Perspective.

Looking outside it is sort of grayish. The sun is out and the sky is blue, but the trees are naked and even the evergreens look sort of gray. The fields are mostly beige and the snow is all gone. At least when the snow first falls it is bright and covers up all the gray. There are spots of snow in parking lots where the sheer volume prevents it from melting. It is not pretty, though, just gray and dirty.

Well, now I am depressing ME! So I went outside to do at least one thing on my list. I had a problem with peach leaf curl last year on one of our trees. It infected the whole tree and all the leaves fell off. I am afraid it died, although I have never had it effect a tree to that degree. So, I had to get out and spray.

I should have sprayed around Thanksgiving. The way an arborist explained it, was to spray at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's Day. That was an easy to remember way to know the time of the year. Unfortunately I didn't do it then. I did it today and I'll try to do it in February and we'll see how it goes. The tree that had the horrible case of "curl" looks like a goner, though. I learned not to count out trees, so I will wait until spring before I give up on it. We also had a tree that the wind snapped off the top, an apricot tree. I will also wait until spring to see if that one can recover. It was staked, but it still snapped off. At any rate they got a dose, too.

I think some of our trees are big enough to have a crop large enough to actually have some decent fruit. If so, this will be the first year. I may have to replant the two that look like they won't make it, but I am excited about making jam with fruit that doesn't bite you when picking. I loved the blackberry jam, but it was a pain, and I mean that literally, to pick. A gentleman from the Botetourt Farmers came in to the library last week and told me I needed to fertilize the blackberries to increase the yield and the size of the berries. I really should, but that may have to wait until I am home full time again.

I would like to plant some cultivated berries to eliminate the thorns. That would be another thing that may have to wait. Lee got his automobile lift this week and when he gets it installed, I may not be able to count on him for much farm work. He may get armpit deep in a car and not some up for air until summer!

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