Life in Washington - May 2005

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Our first full month as ranch owners!  With the beginning of harvest only 6 weeks away we are learning on the fly!  Fortunately, we have 3 very capable and experienced guys working the orchard.  They had been with the previous owners for about 20 years and have decided to stay on board with us.  We are thankful.

As we've walked the property each day Dave and Jimmie have had great fun finding asparagus growing down by the canal.  There is nothing like freshly picked and grilled asparagus.  What a fabulous flavor!

One of Yakima's finest drivers

For Mother's Day, I knitted Mom a sweater!  Not bad for my
first piece of clothing to knit.  (FYI...  Mom loves it!)

Our peaches at the first of May

Jimmie in the kitchen of our temporary quarters at the ranch

Millie discovers Smoky, one of the two ranch cats

The bounty from one of Dave's & Dad's morel hunts

Some lovely golden morels


Asparagus found on our property

Jimmie checking one of the asparagus patches along the canal

A shot of Mt. Adams through one of our nectarine trees

Our onsite housing is located among the cherry trees

May 19th:  It's been a very busy first 3 weeks of being ranch owners!  Everyday we learn lots and lots of new things, face new challenges, and write loads of checks!  But, we're having a great time and are settling in to the process.  The cherries are beginning to turn red so we have to watch for the birds.  Soon the valley will be filled with bird cannons, netting and other bird scare devices.  Such is life in the cherry orchard!  We've been spraying for mildew and aphids and prevention of cherry fruit fly.  Dave's been busy mowing and weed whacking and getting familiar with all the equipment.  Jimmie and Dave are also planning out the family garden for the year.  It's going to be great!

Becca and Connie are plotting jams and sauces to be made in the evenings with the various fruits (number 2s, of course!)

Dave and Ron are also finding time to go trout fishing and mushroom hunting.  They've been extremely successful with both!  They've come home with buckets of morels three times so far.  

Becca's been monitoring the brix levels in the cherries.  The values are rising nicely.  We're looking to harvest cherries in about 3 weeks.  Exciting times!

One of our several hundred resident frogs that decided to give Becca a start one morning

Jimmie bringing a little science to the art of running  the orchard by taking soil samples for analysis

The nectarines are growing nicely

5/24/05:  It was a gorgeous day at the ranch.  Wonderful views of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier.

Two great views from our property!






Dave's having a FANTASTIC morel hunting  month!

The sun is rapidly ripening our cherries