I’m looking for some ideas. I was in a wreck recently and sustained a badly broken leg. Doc says I’m wheelchair bound for months. It’s just the wife and I that work our fruit and vegetable farm. I’ve got about 120 assorted fruit trees, several hundred berry plants, and a few thousand asparagus. We also have two acres of vegetables. I can’t imagine just letting it all run wild for a year. How bad would the trees be hurt with no pruning, thinning, or spraying for a year? I plan on sacrificing all veggies, and I think the berries will be ok. It’s the trees I’m most concerned with. Any suggestions? Thanks
In my short little bit of experience I can tell you that pruning can wait but not spraying. Is there any body that could do that task for you?
If I lived closer I would be glad to help you out, unfortunately we don’t live close enough. Wish you the best luck on your recovery!
Sorry to hear that Brook. Still have couple of months left for pruning. Your wife should be able to get prune done if she does 5 trees a day. Maybe, at least you spay the trees preventing diseases, insect, fungi from building up. And prioritize the trees for pruning need. Reach out to neighbors for help if you have old values neighbors live near by. In the past, neighbors in farming community did offer available hands to each other. Rent out veggies garden or orchards. May not have as much income as you run it. But better than none.
I moved for 6-7 years and the apple trees mostly forgave me. Ditto cherry.
But peaches all died.
I don’t spray and I prune every other year.
I agree that pruning can easily wait, but in some cases most plums are best prune in mid summer anyway, so by then you may be better. Maybe look at the best season for pruning each type of fruit you have, then if your doctor oks your plan try to follow it. Maybe limit your pruning to just simple easy to do tasks. In any case try to give your spraying program priority.
Thank you all. My wife works ten hour days and is only available weekends. My friends are all in their seventies and are thirty miles or more away. I was thinking maybe there was a service I could hire?? I hope maybe I could drive my ATV by midsummer and get in some sprays. I also considered just having all the fruit removed if I could find a service. That seems drastic but maybe necessary. I’m getting on in years too and have a raft of other health problems. This is just my retirement job so it’s not like our livelihood depends on it. I still hate to see years of effort go by the wayside.
How do you feel about interns? Do you have a place you could put up a WWOOFer-type worker and trade room, board, education, and the chance to garden and keep or sell all their produce for their relatively unskilled labor? I’ve been a WWOOFer in different places and it can be great. They can be an enormous headache, and I wouldn’t recommend entrusting your pruning to an intern at all (although it would be educationally beneficial to let them watch your wife and maybe work alongside her, but probably not unsupervised, too much damage can be done for too little return) but they can do the sprays and learn a lot. If you’re not organic you couldn’t use WWOOF itself but workaway and helpx probably allow non-organic farms. If this piques your interest we could chat about dos and don’ts from someone who has done it, but I know most people wouldn’t be 100% happy with the idea of a stranger living with them and learning how to do everything for the first time. Just one possibility.
I have a friend who WWOOFed and ran an entire farm out in Oregon for a months long stretch while the owners were on a honeymoon. Veggies, goats, farmers market sales, the whole thing. He had a friend come help and there was a supportive community but I’m just saying if you get the right people it can be done.
I learn something new everyday!
That’s the best way to live! We visited while they were running the farm, some of the best goat cheese I’ll probably ever eat… Also went to a “farmer party”? (is that called a hooternanny?) and toured the aquaponic setup for tilapia /greens that location had going. Definitely a good experience.
Can you get help?
I agree — WWOOFers can be skilled too! I could have emphasized that more. When I’m telling people about WWOOFers I try to emphasize that you get all skill levels and can’t always predict which. I don’t want people thinking they’re getting skilled farm labor for free. But that’s so true, that some could run a whole operation.