Youth Farm: Special Trees and Transplants

Meranda with lettuce starts
Spring is so often a time of beginning, and last week was no exception at the Youth Farm. Monday we planted six beautiful fruit trees that were generiously donated to the Youth Farm by a nursery in the Bitterroot. Roger the owner, a sweet older man,  was touched and a bit flattered when I asked him about the characteristics of the root stocks, of the trees he was sending us home with. Fruit trees are very often two different types of trees grafted together to join fruit type, with the size and cold hardiness desired. The top of the trees often have these romantic names like Liberty or State Fair, and the roots stock have names like G.30 or Krymsk 86.

In the case of the Youth Farm, we now have plums grafted to americana roots, apples to urrsa., and truth be told that’s all I can remember at this moment (sorry Roger).  What I do know is that Roger knows his craft, and I appreciate his ability to take two unlikely parts, put them together and make something that not only works, but is beautiful.  That often feels like our goal at the Youth Farm.

Planting of the Kerr Crab

From planting very special trees, and what felt like record heat, the last week of April ended with the season’s first transplants in the field. As the rain and clouds moved in, making for perfect transplanting weather, multiple types of chinese greens, lettuce, radiccio, kale, and cabbage went in the ground. Meranda and I pushed baby lettuce into the freshly raked beds, she telling me about prom, and me telling her about the planting depths and watering young plants, we worked well together.

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