A wonderful couple, Gina and Judd, came for a day at Leafhopper Farm. They are part of World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms- a non-profit organization matching organic farmers with people looking to volunteer and learn. I learned a lot with these two wonderful people as we tended young fruit trees and talked about the state of food, living in Seattle, and working spread sheets in the 9-5 office world and why getting outside for some “real” work is so important to health and happiness. All work is important, whether in a cubicle or an orchard, our collective labor helps tend community and survival. Taking time outside is part of living in balance, and for Americans, less and less of a priority as we urbanize and socialize. A hive has to feed from surrounding gardens, and the plants don’t survive without pollination. Where do we stand in that cycle?
Planting and tending fertility, diversity, and thriving productivity seems to be a good mantra. Fruit trees offer lots of flower, fruit, and seasonal canopy. They are growing slowly, but continue to go up, expanding branches with the space for more fruit every year. We took time to weed, mulch, and water these young trees, and they look good. These young plants have been fending off goats for a few years now, and though some of the leaves may be missing, or a branch torn off, they manage to continue reaching into the sky and enlarging their canopy. We are expanding the fences and putting down new cardboard to prevent grass choking out the young tree.
This line of trees thrives along the east fence-line of the property, along the swales where we will be planting a food forest next year. The fruit trees currently establishing are not only a nice reinforcement of our fence line, but also acted as test trees for the soil and climate. By observing the health of the cherries, plum, and apple trees, we can better decide which verities work better in this location. Though the cherries struggle a little, all the trees (save one apple the goats completely cut down) are thriving in their soil.
The WWOOFer help was greatly appreciated; we all learned, laughed, and lunched together in harmony. It is so good to share my passions, encourage stewardship, support mental health for those working so hard in other important technologies which keep our world thriving, and meeting new people. Please take a moment to visit the WWOOFer website for more information. You can find Leafhopper Farm there, as well as thousands of other farms around the world. All are organic, and eager to connect people, food, and farming.