This is year three for the orchard, and a few of the trees are already producing. The biggest winner is the Whitney Crab. As you can see, it already has a lot of fruit. They are small and a little mealy, but they have great taste and are quite pretty. That’s OK though- this tree isn’t actually meant for eating (though a friend of ours is excited to use the crabapples for a recipe she has); it’s in there because you get better pollination of all your other apples if you have a crabapple in the mix.
We also have a few apples on the Gravensteins and Spitzenburgs, and a single Cox’s Orange Pippin. Not a big harvest, but we’re just getting started, you know. Other trees are still just growing vegetatively. The Honeycrisps are huge, but not a single apple. I can’t wait to see what they do next year. On the Gravel Creek property, we have a ton of apples on the Bramley, and we need to go pick those before the deer get to them!
The race is on, as far as the construction on the house goes, to get the roof on before the rains return for real. We’ve had some rain this week, the first all month, and it’s making me nervous. This weekend I took half the metal roofing off, fixed some rotting roof deck, cut a huge hole in the roof and built a dormer, and moved the chimney a little to the east to ensure proper clearance for the stovepipe from combustibles (when the building inspector came by in the spring, that is one of the things he identified as a code violation- the stovepipe was a few inches too close to the wood of the balcony). Emily also helped me install the round windows in each gable end.
The round windows make the house look a little like a birdhouse. This inspired Emily to name the house tz’ikin, which is the Q’anjob’al Mayan word for “bird”. I feel like it should be tz’ikin na’, which is “bird house”, but she doesn’t like that. I guess we’ll see what it becomes by usage. When thinking of these things, I can’t help but realize that we HAVE made progress… the house now has all the creature comforts of our home in Guatemala: a roof, some walls to block the wind, windows, and a stove. And like Guatemala, it still lacks cabinetry, plumbing, insulation, any finishes whatsoever, and a door you don’t have to lock with a padlock.