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Posted 10/16/2008 11:26pm by Betsy Austin.
Hello everyone,I must apologize for the delay in sending out a newsletter. It has been a while. It does not seem like it should be the middle of October already!! Wasn’t it August just a few days ago?? We have been busy, busy , busy since the last newsletter. The season was late getting started but then all of a sudden…..we were harvesting 5 & 6 days a week; doing the CSA and our market on the weekends, and trying to put up as much as we could for the winter!! Now that we have gotten our first frost, {way late this year!! We were down to 20 degrees on Monday morning, brr.}, things have slowed down just a bit. 

 While some things just did not do well as well this season, others did much better. It has been an interesting year; snowy and cold until May; late frost both the 1st and 2nd weeks in June; warm and dry until this last few days {we are still waiting for our “monsoon” rains to start!!}; still very dry but cold this week {first frost of the fall about a month late!!}; warming up now for the weekend.  Some of the things that did not do as well were eggplant {it’s a little iffy for us anyway; we get a bumper crop about every 4th year or so; something about our wonderful cool nights that it just doesn’t like!!}, green beans {once they got going they did pretty well, but we usually have an over abundance for a much longer period of time}, cucumbers {we planted a lot fewer this year because we usually have many more than anyone can use; so of course they decided to not produce as well as normal!!}, winter squash {just didn’t have enough time to mature, so we have about 1/3 of what we usually do} and of course much of our tree fruit got frosted again this season {we had more than last year, but not great quantities of any}.

  Those things that did better this year were summer squash {thank goodness I didn’t plant as much as I originally planned; there were a number of weeks that they went wild!! On average we generally harvest 50-60 lbs of the baby summer squash, this year, there were weeks when we had 80-90 lbs!!}, basil {it was a bit later than normal, but once it got going; wow!!}, beets and carrots did well {I don’t think I will ever be able to plant enough carrots; every year I plant more, but seems like it is never enough!!}, sweet peppers {especially the purple ones just kept on going}, grapes {they did amazingly well; they got frozen back pretty badly, but managed to overcome.}, blackberries, {did much better this year; another of those things that we just can’t produce enough of and still have room for all the other things we grow!!}, tomatoes {very late; took them forever to start ripening, but overall did well}, melons {a much better year than last, but late getting going}. Most everything else did about average this year. A few things that we don’t know yet how well they did; we are just getting started harvesting potatoes, sunchokes, celeriac, parsnips and our other late fall crops. Thanks to Barbara and Larry, we have the first variety of potatoes harvested. They harvested the All Blue today; if they are any indication; we should have a potato or two. {one variety down, seven to go!!}. We have gotten some feed back from you all on some of the different varieties of veggies we grow. We need to know what varieties you like the best so we can start planning for next season.  I will have a survey towards the end of the CSA that I hope you all will take time to fill out. In addition to some of your likes and dislikes, I would like to expand it a bit and add favorite and least favorite variety. If you are not sure of the variety, talk to me during pickup and you can give me a description or show me which ones are your favorites. The more information you can give us, the better we can plan for next year!! We also need some feedback on how we are doing with the sizes of shares. This has been an ongoing struggle for us; we don’t want to overwhelm you with too many veggies, but also want to make sure you are getting enough each week.   Also, in planning for next season, we need to know if you will be returning for the 2009 season.  We are asking that all our returning members pay a deposit in Dec. again this year. {$50.00 to be deducted from your first payment in Jan.} This will give us an idea of how many new members we will need next year. First payment for returning members will be due mid January; this gives us some much needed income for all those expenses we have early in the season before any crops are in the ground; seed, fertilizer, labor, electricity, etc. Please also be aware that we will need to increase the cost of each share this year. All of our expenses have gone up this year and we expect them to increase even more this coming season. We will try to keep the cost down as much as possible. Right now it looks like we can get by with a 10-15 percent increase. {I will know better by early Dec when the first seed catalogues come out; rumor has it that some seed prices are going up dramatically} We hate to increase our prices, but we also need to make sure that our expenses are covered!! On a much happier note, we have nine more weeks left in the CSA for 2008.  Summer squash, green beans, cucumbers and all those wonderful warm, summer season veggies are making way for fall goodies. You can look forward to parsnips, beets, carrots, turnip, radishes, sunchokes, potatoes, onions, leeks, celeriac, root parsley, salsify, salad greens, chard, kale, bok choi, and more!! We will still have peppers and tomatoes for a couple more weeks.  

We would like to thank all of you who have come out to help this season. It has been great working with you and getting to know you!! Many of you have been very good about getting your hours in; some of you have come out more than required. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! Your hard work and diligence is appreciated more than you know!!

 For those of you that we have not seen yet this season, there are still plenty of things going on. There is still lots of harvesting that needs to be done; potatoes, onions, sunchokes, etc.   For those of you who need something a bit less physical there are dry beans and chickpeas to harvest and shell, potatoes to sort, and onions to braid for storage. In November, the garlic needs to be planted. And we can start getting the tunnel and greenhouses ready for next season. Please make time to come out….bask in the sunshine…listen to the birds sing….enjoy the beautiful fall weather…learn more about how your food is grown. We would like to see everyone at least once this season!! {if you break down our time requirement it comes out to less than 25 min. per week!!} Tomorrow is harvest day!! We will be harvesting all kinds of goodies for you to enjoy. My short list includes potatoes, turnips, radishes, beets, carrots, onions, leeks, salsify, root parsley, celeriac, broccoli, cauliflower, sunchokes, salad greens, chard, kale, and bok choi. This is the short list; I always discover something I have forgotten to put on the list!! Please be aware that our pick up times will be changing November 1. New time will be from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm!! The mornings are colder and darker now. It takes us a couple of hours to set things up and we like to wait until it is light a a bit warmer before we start!!Looking forward to seeing you all Saturday morning!!All of us at Circle A Garden   
Posted 7/31/2008 10:05pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello again everyone,

It is hard to believe that tommorow is the 1st of August!! Wasn't May just a couple of weeks ago??!! {we have been fondly remembering the cooler temperatures!!} The garden has changed so much in the last six weeks; if you haven't seen it in a while; you won't recognize it!! We would like to encourage everyone to take a bit of time and see all the changes. If you would like a tour, please let me know!!

Some of the most dramatic changes over the last few weeks:

The garlic is all harvested!! {and have we been enjoying all the fresh garlic!!} That area has now been re-planted to beets, carrots, scallions, turnips, winter radish, and more. We have one more bed to plant. {it will have greens for the fall}

The beans are to the top of their trellises. We should have romano beans next week and possibly the purple podded green bean. The regular green beans and the rattlesnake bean {the green one with the purple splotches} will be ready to pick in about 10 days. {We chickened out and waited a week to plant them when we had all the frost back in mid-June}

The first planting of summer squash has reached frightening proportions!! Some of them are chest high and 6-8 feet around!! We are starting to get lost in there when we pick!!

The tomatoes in the high tunnel are topping the trellis; as well as the cucs and the red noodle beans.

The melons have taken over their space. The broccoli and cauliflower are getting huge!!

Best of all, we are starting to be able to harvest a lot of new things each week!! Summer squash, tomatoes, a few peppers, onions, broccoli, a bit of okra {it is really liking the high tunnel}, cucumbers, cabbage, kohlrabi, and more!!

Thank you all for bearing with us during the late spring. There were a few weeks during our transition from the high tunnel to outdoors that we didn't have a good supply of veggies to harvest. Barring any surprizes from Mother Nature {hail storms, early frost, etc.}, we should have a bountiful season!!

We are starting to harvest veggies most of the week now. Our basic harvest schedule right now is:

Monday; summer squash, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes,{we are also starting to make pickles next week}

Tuesday:catch up day, pickles

Wednesday: summer squash, tomatoes

Thursday: cucumbers, okra, beans,peppers, herbs, edible flowers, artichokes

Friday: summer squash, tomatoes, broccoli, salad greens, chard, kale, onions, turnips, beets, carrots, parsley, basil, cabbage, kohlrabi, and anything else that we haven't harvested the rest of the week.

Every evening: check melons {we check them in the evening and will pick anything that is ready so the skunks don't get them before we do!!

We start early {6 or 6:30 ish} and try to have everything picked before noon. Please consider coming out and helping to harvest the bounty!!

We would like to thank all of you who have come out to help during the first half of the season. Your hard work and TLC are paying off. Everything is just growing so well!! Thank you!! Thank You!! I hope that you have had as much fun as we have!!

Just a reminder for those of you who are paying installments on your CSA share{those of you who joined before May 31}; next payment is due today!!

Thank you all for supporting local agriculture!! See you all Saturday.

All of us at Circle A Garden

Posted 7/15/2008 6:22pm by Betsy Austin.
Want to learn more about how food is grown? We have several openings starting the first of August and on into the fall. Come and learn about growing food without harmful chemicals!! For more information about what you can learn here, please check out our internship page/and or contact us....
Posted 6/20/2008 7:49pm by Betsy Austin.

Happy Solstice everyone!!

Well, it is now mid-June and things are really heating up this week!! Last week we {hopefully??} had our last bit of frost and cold tempuratures until fall. Wednesday evening was spent covering over 600 newly transplanted plants {peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, and more}. Our main thoughts while we were covering; " So glad it's not pouring down rain!!" {in years past we have had to do this in the worst possible weather; wet, cold, and windy} and "Boy are we glad we waited to plant the melons {over 100 plants}, the rest of the cucs {another 100}, the basil {over 200}, the winter squash {about 100}, and all the little odds and ends {probablly another 100}!! We were out early Thursday morning to uncover everyone; but then had to turn around and cover them back up again that evening. They are all looking well though and starting to grow rapidly!! {Wed. night our low was 28 and Thurs it was 30, so covering it all was a good thing!!}This week the cool temperatures have been a fond memory.

We continue to plant, plant, plant!! We can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our big push this next week is to get the basil, corn, winter sqash and all those odds and ends in. Then it will be on to weeding and mulching and waiting for nature's bounty!!

The peas are finally ready!! We have been waiting and waiting for them to start. Well this week we have an abundance. {and thanks to Sarah, Jenny, Barbara, and Mac, we were able to get them all harvested and in to the cooler before lunch. You all don't know how much Mom, Robyn and I appreciated your hard work!!} Hopefully we will have lots of peas for the next two or three weeks, it will depend on how they tolorate all this heat!!

I posted a couple more recipes to the website; one for kale and one for sugar snaps. If any of you have any recipes you are willing to share, please send them to me in a word doc. and I will get them posted. {please be sure and add where you got the recipe}

This week we also have an abundance of garlic scapes. They are the flower stalks on the hardneck garlics. They have a mild garlic flavor and are wonderful in salads, stirfry, etc. They also will make a nice addition to herb vinegars {see the recipe on the website for Chive Blossom Vinegar}. It looks like our garlic harvest may be earlier than I thought. It is generally about 2-3 weeks after the scapes start to appear that the garlic is ready to harvest. I can't wait!!

We'd also like to thank Kathy and Gail for helping get the space ready for melons. We had a class of school children come out Tues to help plant and thanks to you ladies, we were ready for them!!

Thank you all for your continued support and understanding. This spring has played havoc with my timetable of available veggies.

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow!!

All of us at Circle A


Posted 5/30/2008 11:38pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone!!

It has been a busy two weeks!! We have been in planting mode, getting more goodies into the ground!! The potatoes are all in {and starting to come up}. Thanks Bettye and Sarah for all your hard work!! Artichokes are in. {thanks Leslie}. The last planting of lettuce is in {thanks again, Sarah}. The first of the outside broccoli is in.{thanks Kathy and Sheelagh}. The second planting of summer squash and the first outdoor planting of slicing cucs are in {thanks Gail}. We planted chickpeas, edamame, more carrots, scallion, and kolrabi, and I'm working on more beets, turnips, salad greens; fennel, daikon,podding radish, and more goodies.


Mom has been working on getting some of our earlier plantings weeded. So far she has worked here way through the onions {with Leslie's help}, beets, and carrots. Robyn and I have gotten through the parsnips, scorenza, salsify,root parsley, and part of the lettuce. {In between planting!!}. Della and Linda have been working on getting the blackberries pruned and trellised, and getting the area for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatillo, and other assorted nightshades ready to plant.


On our walks through the garden this week, we have notice many fun things begining to happen; the potatoes are coming up, one of the tomatoes in the high tunnel has little tomatoes, the first planting of summer squash is starting to bloom, the quince is blooming, as well as the grapes, the peas outdoors are blooming {we may have a few english peas ready to harvest next week!!}, the fava beans are blooming. Also getting into the blooming act are the columbine, mountain bluet, and crmson clover. But the best thing so far {and I'm knocking on wood as I say this}; it hasn't snowed for two weeks!!!


This weeks CSA is going to be a bit leaner than the past 8 weeks. We have harvested most of our early season veggies from the high tunnel and many of our plantings we were counting on just aren't quite ready yet. The spinach is done until the fall, green onions and green garlic are all gone. We harvested the last of the turnips and radishes from the high tunnel today. Garlic scapes should be coming on soon though and scallions are growing {but still very small}. The Walla Walla onions may be ready to harvest by the end of June. We harvested the last of the lettuce and chinese cabbage from the high tunnel today, but the next planting outdoors needs another week. {the cold slowed it way down, we planted it with the idea of starting to harvest it last week. Carrots are doing well {we have two more weeks worth left in the high tunnel and the ones outside should be ready by then. The beets are just starting to come on; they are a bit slow but we are getting a few more each week. The peas in the high tunnel are doing well and it looks like we may have more from outside next week.


This week each share will get peas and carrots, the greens and the herbs will be the same. There are fewer choices per share this week. They are lettuce, chinese cabbage, beets, turnips, radishes, the last of the rhubarb, more greens, horseradish,edible flowers, mint, lovage. Please bear with us a couple of weeks, more great veggies are on the way!!

I have added two recipes to the website. One is for chive blossom vinegar {it can also be used with other edible flowers and herbs} and the other is for a chines cabbage salad. On my walk through the garden this evening I took some new pictures. i will try to get them added to the website this weekend.


This coming week we have on the agenda; getting the pickling cucs, trellis tomatoes, the rest of the cauliflower and broccoli in,peas weeded again, and the first half of the beans planted. {we may still have one more frost so we are hedging our bets a bit}. This is an exciting time of year here on the farm; the weather has warmed up, seeds are sprouting and plants are growing rapidly; it seems like things are changing daily. Please consider coming out to the farm and helping us out!!! Those of you who have already come out:THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! Your help has been greatly appreciated!! We have enjoyed working with you and getting to know you better. You are all awesome!!


I would also like to thank all of you who have spread the word!!! Our best advertizing is word of mouth. I can tell folks about the farm, the CSA, and what we do here and why, but your enthusiasm is what gets them hooked!!


On another note we do have a couple of issues to address. One is folks not picking up their veggies on Saturday morning. We know that life happens!! But we need to know before noon on Sat if you are running late. We will be happy to pack up your vegies and store them in the cooler if we know you can't make it. {please pick them up before Monday though so we can clean out the cooler unless you have made prior arrangement.} If you don't pick up your veggies or let us know by noon on Sat, they will be eaten by our interns or donated to Christ's Kitchen!!

The other issue is with our dog. We love having folks come out to visit the farm. But with the exception of Sat morning, PLEASE call before you come out!! {and if you are referring a new member please have them call as well}. We adopted Oreo {the dog} from the humane society several years ago. We are pretty sure she was badly abused before she came to us. Although she is doing much better, she still is not very trusting of strangers. Once she gets to know you {and teaches you how to play ball her way}, she is fine. This time of year she spends most of her time outdoors with us. For her comfort and your safety, PLEASE call ahead.


Once again thank you all for supporting local family farms!!

See you all soon,

All of us at Circle A,

Betsy, Della, Jeanne, Robyn,Linda {and Oreo}



Posted 5/16/2008 9:16pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone,


Can you believe it is the middle of May already? The season is starting to speed up!! Now if the weather would be a little more consistent.  This week so far it was very windy on Monday, snow and rain on Tues, gloriously sunny and warm {but not too warm!!} on Wednesday, rain and more rain on Thursday, cloudy and cool early then sunny and warm on Friday. The weekend though is supposed to be sunny and almost hot.  Can’t complain too much about the moisture though; here in Colorado it is a blessing!! {and I didn’t have to go out and water all those new seedlings just coming up!!} 


We didn’t get as much done outside as we were planning this week. We did get the root parsley in before the wind picked up on Monday.  Tuesday we just vegged out and watched the snow. Wednesday we got a good start on planting potatoes {about 1/3 of the area planted and mulched}. Thursday we worked in the high tunnel taking the walls of water off the melons and replanting the ones we lost during the cold; did a bit of weeding and transplanted a few odds and ends. And today was picking day once again!! 

This weekend we will be working on getting the rest of the potatoes in. This coming week we hope to get the artichokes and broccoli in; also the cauliflower. { and if we are brave enough the first planting of cucumbers!!!} Early mornings we want to get some of the okra and peppers planted into the high tunnel before it gets too hot as well. Anyone wanting to get his or her hours in; the help will be greatly appreciated!! 


This week is the last week for the green garlic. We should have garlic scapes in June and should be able start harvesting garlic in July sometime. {it may be a bit later this year}.  Next week we will harvest the last of the green onions; there will be a bit of a gap until the scallions get bigger. {they are up and growing well but won’t be ready as quickly as we planned}. The spinach is dwindling down, we are going to try to keep it going another week or so. {it will be back in the fall}. We are getting to last few weeks of cool season veggies in the high tunnel {except for beets they are just starting!!}


We may have a few weeks where we don’t have as much to offer for the csa.  The cool weather we have been having has slowed down many of the crops we were planning on from outdoors. Please bear with us as we transition from the high tunnel {where most of your veggies have been grown} to the great outdoors {where Mother Nature has ruled supreme!!}. We will still have chard, kale, salad greens, beets, a few radishes, carrots and turnips, a few sugar snap peas, some lettuce and chinese cabbage, odds and ends of various greens, rhubarb, and many of the herbs. Our outdoor crops are about 2-3 weeks behind what they should be for this time of year. As soon as they are ready for harvest you all will be the first to get them!! 


I posted some new pictures on the website {www.circleagarden.com}. If any of you have recipes you would like to share, please send them to me as a word document {then I can just upload them onto the website}.  Please make sure to add the source of any recipes. {Any recipes you send will be shared with all the farms in the Small Farm Central network} 


If anyone is looking for farm fresh eggs please let me know. The folks over at Buckhorn Gardens have extras that need a good home!! 


 Hope you all have a great week!!  Thank you all for your support of small, local, sustainable family farms!! 


All of us at Circle A Garden,

Betsy, Della, Jeanne, Robyn,

Posted 5/9/2008 8:55pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone!!

Everything here on the farm is progressing; slowly, but it is starting to look like a garden again!! The weather continues to be very changable. Since our last e-mail we have had snow {on May 1!!}, several extremly cold nights {down to 23}, lots of wind, hail {yesterday},rain {finally yesterday}, and some some absolutely glorious days of sunshine and warmer temperatures.

We have been busy getting things planted the last couple of weeks... cabbage {thanks Patricia and Dan for your help!!},more lettuce, shallots, parsley, celery and celeriac, chinese cabbage and more from transplants. Even got brave enough to get the first planting of summer squash in {well protected in walls of water}!!

The peas, favas, and lentils are finally starting to grow a bit faster {thanks Sheelagh, Kim, and Jim for helping getting them weeded!!}. Parsnips, salsify,scorenza, carrots, scallions, salad greens, and other greens are all up and doing well. We ended up replanting the radishes and turnips {that 23 degree temperature didn't agree with them}. Some of the beets have come up, but we may have to replant some of them as well. {not sure if it was the cold or the dry winds that did them in!!}.

We have the brocolli, cauliflower, root parsely and artichokes out of the green house hardening off getting them ready to plant this next week. We will also be planting the potatoes this next week {90 lbs total; 9 different varieties}. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!! {Wed, Sat, and Sun, are potato planting days; Mon, Tues, and Thur we will work on the other things.}

In the high tunnel, we are starting to transition to the warer season veggies. Many of the greens, spinach, lettuces, etc. have been harvested and the tomatoes, cucs, etc are starting to take over those spaces. This last week we started removeing the walls of water and getting the trellises set up. {we even have one little tiny cucumber about 2 inches long already!!} If you haven't seen the high tunnel lately you won't reccognize it!!

In the greenhouses we have pretty much moved all the cooler season transplants outside and the warm season transplants are growing like weeds!! Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucs, summer squash and more!!

New in the CSA this week are chinese cabbage and the first of the sugar snap peas. {not very many, just a very small sample of things to come!! we should have more next week}

I added several recipes to the website; 2 using dill week and one using beets and carrots. I didn't get more pictures up yet; the battery on my camera went dead and haven't had a chance to get into to town for new ones.

Hope everyone is getting a chance to enjoy the warmer weather!!

Thank you all again for supporting small, local, sustainable family farms!!

Happy eating!!

All of us a Circle A Garden

Betsy, Della, Jeanne, Robyn {our invaluable intern!!}

Posted 4/17/2008 7:44pm by Betsy Austin.

This has been our theme over the last couple of weeks!!  One day we are basking in warm sunshine, working in shorts and t-shirts; the next day we are shoveling snow!! {makes getting dressed in the morning a challenge!!}

The last few weeks have been busy despite the changable weather. I think we have finally been able to get all our cool season seeds planted outdoors!! Peas, lentels, favas, beets, carrots, radishes, turnips,parsnips, salad greens, scallions,arugula, cilantro, and more are all in. {peas, favas, and lentels are starting to come up!!}. Now we are working on getting the cool season transplants out; cabbages, chard, kale, kohlrabi, collards, leeks, lettuces,etc.

Our first CSA pickup was 4/5. We were able to harvest a pretty good selection of veggies from the high tunnel; kale, chard, radishes, green onions, green garlic, spinach, salad greens, lettuces, arugula, rosemary, oregano, chives,and a few greens like bok choi and mustard.

salad greens for the csa

first csa pickup of the season 4/5


first csa pickup of the season 4/5

first csa pickup of the season 4/5










 But then we went to winter again.......

csa pickup spot

apricot trying to bloom??? on 4/9
newly planted beds after the snow on 4/9


What a rude awakening we had on Thursday!! We were expecting a light little skiff of snow and ended up with about 7 inches!! At least we didn't have to worry about watering all those seeds we planted!!


Needless to say our second Csa pickup was a bit on the chilly side!! But all the snow is melted again and most of the mud has dried and we are looking forward to a warm, sunny day for our next pickup. {we'll see if the weatherman is right; he's predicting sunshine and temps in the high 70's!!}



I'd like to thank all our CSA members who have come out to give us a hand already this season. They have weeded in the high tunnel, planted leeks and onions in the cold wind, planted melons in the high tunnel, filled walls of water, filled planters Mom's secret garden, pricked up a gazillion little transplants, planted seeds,helped harvest, and more!! It has been great getting to know all of you better!!

And thanks to Jenny's after school class for coming out yesterday to help plant lettuce!! they are all looking great!! You all were awsome!!!

Posted 3/31/2008 7:18pm by Betsy Austin.

Well not quite; the weather the last week has been glorious.... lots of sunshine....the snow had all melted and most of the mud had dried up........the mountain bluebirds are on their way to the high country.....the blue heron is back and we saw our robin{he would be the one that likes strawberries!!}..the garlic is up....

garlic coming up in the feild

the rhubarb is just starting to poke it's little red noses above the soil........

then this morning we woke up to snow. It has mostly melted already and the mud is back! Welcome to springtime in the rockies!!

This past week was onion planting time....

onion starts for outdoors

Robyn and I got the beds all ready on Monday......

on Tuesday Mom, Robyn and I separated the plants......

and Wednesday we planted.......

onion planting

and planted.............

onion planting

and planted some more.........

onion planting

We planted about 4,000 plants.....6 varieties.....needless to say we are tired of onions!!

Saturday, April 5, will be our first CSA pickup of the season.....

Although the weather has been a bit cold so far this year, the plants in the high tunnel have been growing....120677038269.85.65.173.jpg

we have spinach......spinach ready to harvest

               kale....................kale ready for harvest

                                      green onions.....green onions         

 green garlic.....green garlic

                                      salad greens....salad greens ready for harvest

and more!!!!!

arugula.......      .new variety of mustard we are trying 

So Friday a picking we will go!!!!


Posted 3/17/2008 12:19am by Betsy Austin.
Especially if you were an unsuspecting fruit tree yesterday!!!  The snow had pretty much melted again {we got about 6 more inches with that last storm}, the mud had dried some… so we were able to get out at long last and prune some of our fruit trees. {as I write this entry it is snowing once again}

 The day dawned bright and cold…. Thankfully, we were not planning to start until mid morning!!  By 10:00, though it was starting to warm up and the “pruning crew” was drifting in; Della and I, Robyn and Sarah {our wonderful interns}, Breigh and Darren {from Buckhorn Gardens just down the road}, and Wayne, Peggy, and Whiskey {from White Buffalo Farm in Paonia, who graciously agreed to come down and show us the ins and outs of pruning}. We chose our weapons {pruning shears, saws, etc} and started with the big apricot tree on the road...

tree pruning


Wayne did most of the pruning, answering our many questions about pruning and general care of fruit trees as he went.....

tree pruning



 We broke for a lunch of hot soup, fresh baked bread, chickpea and cabbage salad and lots of great conversation, then went back out and pruned a few more trees before we called it quits for the day. 

 tree pruning

We still have a couple of trees to prune, but pruning day this year was a joy!! As we were talking yesterday, several of us were remembering past pruning adventures. Picture two middle aged women who are afraid of heights, climbing up ladders, clutching a saw in one hand and hanging on for dear life with the other, trying to decide just what to prune off our poor trees!! It would take us hours to do one tree!! First, we had to decide how we wanted to prune the tree. We would go out, tools in hand, {and the book on pruning}, look at the tree and discuss which branches we should take off. Then we would gather our courage ……  climb up the ladder… and agonize over every cut we made. What we learned yesterday should make pruning in the future much easier!! {now if we could just teach the trees to bend their branches down to our level so we don’t have to climb ladders!!!}