Home stretch for working on the grafted trees. There are 95 at the Adickes farm, and while I know that not all will be successful, I do not want any of the trees there to get girdled either. Not sure what the risk level is there. Jerid keeps things mowed pretty well, but once snow is on the ground, critters can travel under the snow, so taking the same precautionary measures at there place as I did up north. There is no evidence of any damage yet (other than a few errant hits with the weed wacker by me) and hoping to get them all done by later Sunday.
They have a “mountain” of road sand/gravel gifted by the construction crew when the new road was built in front of their place and the crew found they had more than they needed. I used it to seal the bottoms of the window screen cages I put around each tree.
I did 12 trees at a time, then would go into the house and work on processing squash so as not to stress my body out too much.
We started with Sugar Pie Pumpkins, which taste great, but a lot of work cutting, seeding, and peeling a bushel of the little guys. We saved the seeds for roasting, while the pulp and stems were hauled by the gallon to the bacon.
Which the bacon seemed to greatly appreciate.
Cinderella Pumpkins (not really called that, but I do not know how to pronounce rouge vif d’etampes) was the next one we cut into. That fills canning jars a lot faster.
That nearly filled (along with the earlier Sugar Pies) 35 quart jars.
Then we got into the Giant Pink Banana squash (yeah it is really called that) which finished off all of our quart canning jars (will have to pick more up) plus every tray of Katrina’s dehydrator.
It was a long, but fun and fruitful day.
Just to show, the above is an Antonovka which rejected a bud chip graft. The crust on my fingers is from the squash. If you ever process a ton of it, you will know what it is like.
That is an Antonovka which set the bud chip graft.
And last, one that took the graft, and pushed the bud. I honestly do not know if the tree will have enough time to grow a new bud under that one, and harden the wood off for winter. If not, the tree is still alive, and I will just graft onto it again. I probably have a dozen or so that pushed the buds to one extent or another. Next year will tell how many work out.
I pushed it as late as I could into the evening.
Between canning sessions, and to finish the day, I did 48 of 95 trees.
As I lost the light I needed to work, Jerid lit one of the piles of stumps and scrap wood they have out there, and we all hung around the fire for a while as the moon rose.
I will be back out there early (if my body lets me) tomorrow, hoping to finish getting through the trees. Have that to do (47 more) plus a big family get together on my side, where we quarterly gather to eat and celebrate all the birthdays and anniversaries that happen this time of year. So, I need sleep now, and there is another long day tomorrow. The end of it all is coming. A couple last weekends of garden work, vegetable processing, then deer hunting and meat processing, and then, maybe, after Thanksgiving weekend, a day off and a nap.