Had to relocate my chicken tractor today and dust my chickens. They are quite the bunch of egg layers.
This is the time of year that I spend many hours outside pruning my fruit trees and berries getting them ready for the upcoming spring. I can still hear my grandpa talking to me about his amazement of how the old hard wood of a fruit tree could bring forth such a delicate bud that would form into a flower.
John 15 Talks about pruning, in verse 2 Jesus say’s, “every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes that it may bear more fruit.”
There are several verses in John 15 that talk about the “True Vine”. At the moment I find the parallels of John 15:2 with being out in my orchard. I do infact take off the branches that don’t bear fruit, or the ones that are diseased. The limbs that I call suckers, that add no profit to my trees. I look at branches that I have dealt with for a few years giving a chance to bear fruit, but have continued to fail me. There are also branches that make the tree out of balance. It is amazing for me to think of such a simple thing, yet when I really come to think of it, there are many reasons that I will come to ultimately cut off a branch. Sometimes I even have to resort to a saw instead of hand pruner because of how large a branch has become. I like to give all the branches a fighting chance, but ultimately there is a choice. Are you bearing fruit or not? Are you a benefit to this tree and orchard or not?
I also cut off branches that do bear fruit! What?! Most fruit bearing branches I also cut. I cut off the buds that I don’t want. If I have too many buds on the same branch and they all bear fruit, I may loose that whole branch from the weight of the fruit later in the season. I want to develop the shape I want in the tree, I want to develop strong limbs that bear fruit. I want healthy large fruit, not just fruit for the sake of growing fruit, but to have fruit in the end that I want to eat! Even in the growing season after the fruit is all set, I again thin, or prune out so that each set of buds only has a certain amount of fruit so that it develops fully.
The one thing that I forget to mention now that most of my trees are well established, I usually cut all the fruit off the first year or two just to put the strength into the roots! That’s another whole thought!
Man, there is a lot that goes through my brain as I ponder what I do out in my orchard on a winter day pruning. These are the times that I feel closer to God than any other. I am a hands on/practical person. When I have the tools in hand making the decisions and feeling the cold air envisioning the coming spring. That is the moment I see God in all His magnificence.
It’s all in the Smoke House! 48hrs and these pigs will be done! Can’t wait to experience the end product on Sunday.
As I see it, it will either be awful, Incredible, or everyone who eat’s it will die! “I am a Black and White kind of guy”.
Even did an old fashion batch of “Salt Pork”. Of course that’s not in the smoker.
The word for the day at the Smolko family lately has been, what’s for dinner? “Pork”.
I just finished the cure process of the Bacon, the Hams will be done tomorrow. Then 24 hours in the smoke house! Cant wait to give this a whirl.
I love to experiment with food. Yesterday was homemade Bratwurst rolled in to Meatballs and cooked with potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, Homemade Sauerkraut and a bottle of Beer. It turned out exceptional. Best of all, made with PORK!