January 2017 - a mid winter thaw this month allowed me to tour the orchard, fencing and creek looking for signs of damage or future problems come spring. The creek was flowing nicely at a normal water level and I am glad that we used some time last summer during the drought to get branches, garbage and other various forms of debris out of the bed.
The orchard fence is going to have some problems, mostly owing to the uneven ground and water collection in certain areas. Right now I can see that we will need at least two dump trucks of fill dirt to even out the worst areas and to make the rows passable for my small tractor, with minimal potholes and teeth jarring trips up and down the lanes.
The fence itself is going to need repair as it is sagging in places. I very much underestimated the time, energy and heavy equipment needed to properly install an 8 foot deer fence for 500 feet on each side. Gravity is not my friend for many reasons,
I have decided that the ground and trees are the first in line of importance, and as long as the fence is doing it's job of keeping the deer out, it will be put on the back burner of farm tasks until time and monetary funds permit.
January is, well, January in Upstate New York. It's cold and windy and snow covered, most of the time. There have been fires in the wood stove every day, the holiday craziness is over and there are seed catalogs piling up on the table. It's a time for reading, knitting, indoor chores and garden planning.