I’ve gotten quite a few new followers since last fall so you may not know that after raising my kids, my main job is our family apple orchard – Lapacek’s Orchard. I’m mainly the ‘shop girl’ and I do my best work selling the apples and promoting our shop. Turns out that this city girl transplanted on the farm is not so good at the whole ‘making things grow and thrive’ thing. I do help when I can out in the orchard though and this time of the year is one of those times I’m out there with the rest of the family. It’s tree planting time! We’re only planting just over 300 trees this year. Our orchard is around 3,000 trees at this point with just over 60 different varieties of apples. Here are some pictures from our progress on Thursday. We had a super good helper you may recognize as Pip. Here is Pip at the start of the day! She was excited to have her own shovel. After 10 trees she decided she was hot and needed to change. And of course, being the diva she is she changed back for the last set up trees we put in. At least it was the same outfit as earlier in the day! I have a new friend on instagram and she always does these really fun selfies with just the top of her head. I had to do just one of me driving the Kubota 900. And – to end the gorgeous day I took this stunning picture of my magnolia tree in bloom! Isn’t that amazing!? On Friday, we had two more helpers – my parents! Two more helpers makes a huge difference! We had over a 100 trees planted before lunchtime! After lunch, our helper Pip chose a new method! Hanging out in her little pop up tent. Honestly, Pip was as good as gold through this whole ordeal. She had to hang out, stay away from equipment, and keep herself entertained while we were all working away. Not a peep of complaint from her! The fact that she could do that was a tremendous amount of help! After lunch we had one more row to plant – less than 100 to go and the 2015 planting was complete (well, at least the trees were in … the trellis posts still need to be pounded in, wire hung, and trees attached to wire). So, when we plant our trees my father in law uses the tree spade on his skidster to dig the initial holes. Then one of us (usually Diane, my mom was given this job too) puts the tree in the hole. The roots need to be spread out and the height of the tree checked. We want our graft to be about 2-inches about ground level for optimal growth and production. While they hold the tree another person shovels dirt back into the hole. This isn’t too bad when we have decent soil to work with except that we don’t. We have clay, clay, and more clay. But we made it through and by 2:00 the new trees for 2015 were all planted! Which means … I get to sew again!