Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program
By D.H.

This post is part of a series written by survivors of domestic violence who are participating in our farm stipend project.

Another week in the books of the farm program. Although the weather has been a mix of really cold (in the mornings) and a little warmer (in the afternoons), I feel and see so much progress being made. As spring is approaching, our season will soon be taking off and producing.

My reflection of the past week is exciting. Along with taking the hoop house on as a personal goal of watering and maintaining, I’m seeking growth in our vegetables.  The other big task I did was to fertilize, re-mulch, stake, and wrap the trunks of our fruit trees in the orchard.  To stake an apple tree for example will not only make you laugh (when your boss is the one climbing the ladder) is very labor extensive, but a good experience to have under your belt. Once we got our rhythm we had 15 trees done in an hour and a half. It was done with woman power, a hand-held stake driver, 10 foot stakes, and eyeing the perfect place to set the stakes.

Next, after our cup of coffee of course, my boss tied the trees and put a few spreaders in.  Wrapping the trees prevents deer from rubbing on them and sun and wind damage. Spreaders allow you to maneuver the branches during a young age to grow where you want them.  All go around your central leader (the branch that points up and is taller than the rest). All this I learned from two awesome horticulturalists who came to our orchard.

I have enjoyed my time working here. Like I said, the progress is there. Now Mother Nature and hard work will produce what we started. I look forward to keeping you informed next week. (21 February 2013)