RicelandMeadows


Nature’s Bounty

casperapple

August 31, 2017

Where did summer go? This last day of August, I am pleased to have plenty of grass left in our pastures. The cattle and all of the farm’s livestock are looking great. Now, we are getting another nice bonus as we share in Nature’s Bounty. Wild apple trees are dropping their fruit. The cattle love the sweet treats. Our dairy steer in the picture above seems to delight in eating them.

When I was a boy, the old farmer that I worked for thought apples would make his cows choke. So, we cut every wild apple tree we saw. It has been my experience that the livestock, as well as, the wild animals benefit from this wild fruit. I think there are enough nice apples to make applesauce or cider for us. The trees could be trimmed to enhance the fruit, making them grow bigger and easier to peel. Sounds like a great idea, especially by selecting the trees with the best tasting fruit.

The hickory nuts are dropping in the woods as well. I have one wooded pasture where the hickory trees are plentiful. There are apple trees there as well. My sow herd really enjoys spending a couple of weeks in that pasture. They munch on clover, nuts and apples, barely eating the corn I give them for those two weeks. There is much to be said about farming “with” nature instead of trying to fight “against” her. She is the boss and when you respect her, the bounty abounds.



Cider Time!
September 19, 2015, 6:08 am
Filed under: September 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,
Little apple tree...loaded

Little apple tree…loaded

September 19, 2015

We planted a small orchard three years ago. It still needs lots of growing time, a few replacements and some care. This little tree, however, doesn’t know just how good it is! In this crazy hot summer void of rain, she still made this awesome crop. I asked a friend to mix some apples with these and to please make me some cider. He is somewhat of a cider “king”, so I know that I am in good hands đŸ˜®

I want this orchard just for cider, some apples to eat and of course PIE. It will all come in time, but for this year cider only… well okay, I did eat one of these sweet Jonagold apples and it was great. I am hoping for a lifetime supply and if this little tree has anything to do with it, we are well on our way!

Growing fruit trees and edibles in your landscape is a great idea. You get the joy of watching them grow along with the joy of eating the fruits of your labor. We are going to plant two more of these semi dwarf trees in the chicken yard. The trees will provide some shade in time, more apples and the hens can clean up the dropped apples. I think it is a simple way to provide food for us, shade for the hens and a quaint look to the yard.

Think about your own place. Is there room for a raspberry hedge? Or perhaps a couple of apple trees in a forgotten corner or border planting? I don’t spray these trees. I only trim them just a little. They are not much work. They look neat to me and hey, Who doesn’t like sweet cider?