Best job in the world
We tell a bout raising apples in Idaho.
We learned how as we went asked a lot of questions but we got the job done.
Adventures from my younger days
Have you ever thought about the best job you ever had? Why was it so good? What made it special? Was it the place? Was it the people? Was it what you were doing? It was probably some of each of those things all wrapped into one package that made it the best job you have ever had. Now I would like to tell you about the best job I ever had, it was the best because of the sense of accomplishment, self satisfaction , and pride that I got out of it.
This is something I had never done before, but I knew I could do the job. I kind of fell into it, but when I was ask if I could do it I said sure , I have always been able to do what ever it was I was ask to do , so I said “ sure I can do it.”
The job was to run an apple orchard in Idaho. We had moved onto the property earlier to live, because of the health of my wife. So there was no big expensive move involved. We were to take over the orchard and run it to make a profit for the boss. Now let me tell you that the only thing I had ever done with an apple before was to eat them. So I had to get some education in a hurry.
I ask some of the local apple growers a lot of different questions, and it did not seem like any one gave me a straight answer. It was like they did not want me in their business. I WAS AN OUTSIDER. So you can imagine how that made me feel. Finally, I came up with a plan, I went to the State of Washington, the apple capitol of the world. There I met some really nice people, they wanted to help me so I listened to them and started using some of their horticultural practices when I got home to Idaho. Lo and behold I was still the talk of the area! I was using some modern farming practices that had not been heard of in Idaho yet, they did not know what I was doing! Yet they had been farming all their lives.
The first year in the apple business was a disaster! The boss paid for everything and of course expected his money back and with a profit. I hate to tell you this but, it did not happen. What did happen was the at bloom time, on May 25 we had a really hard freeze, it froze every bloom in the entire orchard, without the bloom the trees won’t produce apples. In spite of the fact we weren’t going to have a harvest we still had to take care of the trees as if the had a full load of fruit on them.
To brighten this story up I have to tell you that we did have a harvest after all. On one tree in the block of Law Spur Romes I picked one apple and it was big, in fact it was huge. It measured 8 inches in diameter, wow it was big. We kept it for a while to show people but then I decided I wanted an apple pie made with an apple from my own orchard, so we made and apple pie, it only took that one apple and we had some left over.
Until you have worked in an orchard or lived in apple country, most people don’t realize how much work is involved in growing apples. Most people only see the beautiful red fruit hanging on the trees, they don’t have any idea of the amount of work that goes into growing the fruit. Let me tell you the process that the farmer has to go through to put an apple on your table.
First when the trees are dormant you have to prune the trees, that mean to cut out the old wood ,and new sucker growth to reshape the tree and get it ready to bloom and bear fruit for the next season. The you have to spray on a dormant spray to kill such things as scale and aphid eggs that live through the winter.
You can prune the trees anytime after they are dormant, but in the winter you should not prune while the wood is frozen because it will split the ends that you cut. You say frozen wood??
Wood freezes when it is cold enough, because the wood is full of water, and of course water freezes. If you cut the limbs while frozen the will split open, then when the weather changes, the split ends die back. It can affect your production if there are fruit buds near the split, they die also. There is more to this story, later we will have more to tell.