Our lovely friend Fiona recently flew in from Massachusetts to practice her fruit tree pruning skills on our little orchard. We have 30 trees of a wide variety of fruits: from apples and pears to jujube and paw paw. Some peach. Some cherry. Etc. Here’s Fiona:
Here’s Fiona after a few days with us:
The wood is tied onto branches in order to weight them down, creating the desired shape tree. Shape is dictated by desired air flow, ability to bear the weight of the future fruit without breaking, and probably other things that I didn’t catch.
Look at her careful, mindful handling:
This cherry just looks cool:
We learned a lot, since we started out knowing nothing about pruning fruit trees. We even took a field trip to Swift Creek Berry Farm in order to get a little lesson on blueberry bush pruning. I loved the mental exercise of seeing two people do something that is so intuitive for them yet completely foreign to me. It was a good reminder of how to show other people the things that are so solidly embodied in our hands’ muscle memory. Actions that we know so well, like transplanting baby plants or handling bread dough, that are unfamiliar to others. It’s fascinating for me to think about all the knowledge in craftspeople’s hands!
We are so very grateful for her trip and her care of our trees. Plus, it was a fabulous visit with an old friend just before we kicked back into gear for market. Now, here’s hoping we start to get a little fruit out of these trees this year…we will see. They are still younger than two of our young children. We will be patient.