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One Month Since We Left California

We've been in Indiana nearly a month, and we've had a chance to survey our new property. Here's what we've found:

Gorgeous wildflowers!

Peach trees loaded with luscious fruit!

Gorgeous wildflowers! (I love purple coneflowers. These will get transplanted closer to the house.)

Peach trees loaded with luscious fruit!

Oh, this is going to be fun!

But the orchard hasn't really been tended in a few years, and it has problems, too:

Dead trees. I think this one was a cherry tree.

Overgrown trees, Underneath this mass of grape vines, morning glories, pokeweed, black walnut trees, and berry briers are a couple old apple trees. Sadly, one is dead now.

Brown rot. We've learned a lot about this pernicious fungal infection in the last couple weeks. It shows up in the flowering stage of stone fruit trees (which we didn't see), and strikes again just as the fruit ripens, turning lovely peaches into ugly masses of gray-brown spores overnight. Our peach crop is a total loss this year, but with treatment, the trees should be fine. We're faced, though, with the huge task of trimming off ALL the infected fruits and branches, removing them from the orchard (the spores can over-winter in discarded fruit on the ground), and destroying them by either burning or burying. Whew.

At least the black raspberry crop has been strong (we've picked four gallons, and they're still going), and we've got a lot of apples--and even some persimmons and pears--to anticipate.

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