Yes, that is indeed snow on the ground…it seems like an appropriate time to tell you all about our winter activities, now that it’s almost full-on gardening season, right? Well, if nothing else, it seems to be the way things have been going around here these days–on the blog and in our lives–as we try to make our new home into what we’d like it to be. Some things get done eventually, but not always in a normal order, and certainly not quickly–and most everything else has to wait.
But back to our winter activities. In case you were wondering what Ben is pulling on, it’s an enormous invasive rose bush, entwined with a very old apple tree. We’re thrilled about the old trees of course….but the Multiflora rose? We’ll, not so much. It has completely overgrown most of the apple trees, strangling them with seemingly impenetrable masses of thorny vines. When we looked it up and found that it was actually an invasive species from Asia, we decided it needed to go–and certainly that’s the only way our trees are ever going to bear much fruit. So, that’s what we spent most of our winter weekends doing–chain-sawing out the thorn bushes as well as some small alders and overgrown honeysuckle, and dragging out the brush with the tractor and by hand. Then once we got the apple trees uncovered, we were able to do a bit of pruning. Ben took a great class through the Portland, Maine Permaculture group on apple tree pruning, and he has been putting his new knowledge to good use. Hopefully the clearing and the pruning will help, if we’re lucky, and we’ll get a bit more fruit on the trees this fall!