Just before we left on our vacation I bought a couple apple trees on clearance at a local farm supply store. I didn’t get them in the ground before we left so they were looking pretty sad when we got back. Tonight, Homestead Boy #2 and I got them planted.
We replaced one of the apple trees that had significant damage from mice over last winter. The tree limped through the summer, but I don’t think it will ever thrive so it is being replaced. We removed the dead trees and expanded the holes. After breaking up the roots, since the trees were quite root bound, we placed them in the holes, backfilled, and added some organic fertilizer. I will make sure to keep them watered for the next couple weeks and hopefully next spring they will start strong.
Even if the replacement trees don’t work out, they were only a few dollars, so worth the risk. The other tree we replaced was one that was planted this spring. I will contact Stark Bros and have them send me a replacement. I think I am going to create a small orchard area up by the side of the house. This will spread out our resources and bring some of our home grown food closer to the house.
Homestead Boy #2’s impetus for helping me plant was that he wanted to shoot a bow that was new to us. A friend of mine was cleaning out his basement and was kind enough to give us a youth compound bow so my son was eager to shoot it. The only problem was that I hadn’t set up a target area yet, and really hadn’t had any time to check out the bow. With light fading fast and the bugs coming out in force(Homestead Boy #2 is a favorite target of mosquitoes) I decided to redirect. I have a couple airsoft pistols so I was able to convince him that would do for now. We filled a magazine with airsoft pellets and headed out to the field. It gave us an opportunity to talk about gun safety and practice those skills with a less than firearm. Not a toy to be sure, but less intimidating for him. It was nice to spend some time with him one on one working on firearms skills, and we were able to get inside before we got eaten alive.
One last thing… while we were on vacation with my family at my parents I found a Hamilton Beach ice cream maker in the clearance section of Walmart for only $12. I figured it would be something fun to do while on vacation. We made ice cream once while on vacation and I enjoyed it. It is really easy to do. The last two nights my wife has made ice cream with the kids after dinner. I am going to count that as $12 well spent.