In 2006, I would not have believe you if you told me I'd have a number of trees I brought back to production through pruning 10 years later. No way would I.
That's when I started reading up on pruning, bringing back to life the two apple trees in our front yard then. Thankful that there's more trees on this old farm to play with.
This one is closest to our house out of all the apple trees I've found on the property. I think I've found 6 so far. I spent a good chunk of the day in February 2014 and a good chunk of the day February 2015 pruning, trying to keep from freezing, sporting a pair of snowshoes.
It was a gamble at the time. "Am I wasting my time?" I recall saying to my husband. In August, Audra tried an apple. Gross. We tried again just last week. Totally edible now! Not super sweet, but sweet enough! They are small, but there's TONS of them. I barely touched the bounty, bringing in 49 pounds. I let the chickens have a go too, they've been loving it. I've also seen the deer come by. I need to make time to go out there and get more. (Working on the grapes now. Hard to find time for everything!)
Regardless, seeing the apples galore feels like a victory. We have more apple butter than we'll use this year and we have some applesauce too.
It's a little deceiving to post this series of pictures. You can scroll through and see the pruning, the spring blossoms, the bounty, the prep, the kitchen time and the result in less than 30 seconds. The fun and the glorious moments. But what you miss is the oodles and oodles of hours in between. Certainly not a quick hobby by any means, but it's one that gives my family oodles of homegrown/homemade/organic goodness. For that, I'm thankful.