Sunday, June 29, 2008

Oh my gourd!

The kids & I have been working on cleaning all of last years dried gourds - snake, goose neck, bottle, birdhouse, kettle, dipper, turtle & many other varieties! If you think this looks like a lot of gourds, you should see the enormous pile around the kiddie pool! Yep, we're givin' 'em a dip in the kiddie pool, a good scrub with a steel scrubbie plus a little elbow grease to make them ready for crafting or decorating! We've got a few designs of our own to paint up for the shop in our spare time!

We have had a busy weekend! We cleared some parking space for a few more cars, worked on removing more of those old tree stumps, assembled some display racks for the Trading Post on the porch of the barn, bought all of the wood to rebuild the deck of the hay rack we recently purchased at auction, moved & cleaned the refrigerator & turned it on for ice cold refreshments, oh yeah - we took care of the trees too - some thinning, pruning, mowing, staking, labeling & more!

We're getting excited! It's been a great week! We look forward to what this coming week will bring! Happy trails!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Artifacts on the Farm by Ricky

When we go planting, I like to take my metal detector and search for artifacts on the farm. Some of the things I found were: an old horseshoe, an old spoon head, some teeth from animals, some peices of crocks and some of the things I found I don't know what they are! Some of my favorite things to find are things from long ago, when our house burned down and things from ancient times. Some day I want to look for artifacts from ancient Egypt and ancient Greece and all sorts of ancient places! In the meantime I am going to keep searching for artifacts on the farm.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pumpkins, Zucchini & Watermelons (oh my!)

We planted and planted and planted all weekend long! We planted many varieties of pumpkins (big ones, small ones, blue ones, white ones, Jack-O-Lanterns, Bitty Boos, Small Sugar, & more), zucchini, watermelons (Small Sugar). You can see those rows in this picture! The girls look like they are helping but really, they are looking for frogs!

We also planted the gourds around the gourd maze which is in the background of this picture! From the air, this maze looks like a great big apple with a stem & leaf at the top!

We gave the golf cart a good washing (still trying to come up with a good name for the golf cart) so when our visitors hitch a ride back to their car from their tree with a full bag of fruit, they have a clean ride.

I spent most of the day Sunday scrubbing & cleaning a whole bunch of dried gourds from last year. Just as I felt I had really made some progress, Rick pointed out another huge stash of them in the barn! There are still 4 more boxes of them in the garage too! They will all get their dip in the kiddie pool when this first batch is done! Then they will be all ready to turn into bird houses or to craft to your heart's content. I "plan" on painting a bunch of them this fall to sell out of the Trading Post or at our booth at Old Settler's Day in Olathe!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Rain, rain go away!

And give us a few dry days in a row! This is a look at some stormy clouds above our barn! We have seen this view many times this season! But we look forward to the sunshine forecast in the coming weeks! We are making plans for our opening weekend! We have ordered our sign (the one to go by the road so you know you made it here!). We've scheduled delivery of the portapotty. We decided on the bags for picking & have finalized some of the items for our Trading post - delicious From the Farm dip, cobbler & crisp mixes, peach & cherry cider slushies, handmade hardwood cutting boards, and more! I am sure we will come up with a few more things before that opening day rolls around! It'll be here before we all know it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's cherry-picking time!

Mid-June is cherry-picking time and the kiddos had a blast picking the tart pie cherries! Unfortunately, we lost all of our sweet cherries to splitting as a result of too much rain near harvest. This is a major source of crop loss in the cherry industry and we experienced it first hand. We were able to pick enough pie cheries for a few pies. But by the time the kids were done eating more cherries than they put into the bucket, we'll be lucky to have enough to make one small pie!

Monday, June 16, 2008

This weekend was buzzin'!

That's right! This weekend was buzzin' with the sound of a chainsaw cutting down dead trees and branches. We are making room for parking and making sure that branches snapped by the recent high winds don't land where they aren't wanted! There are several trees that were here when we bought the property that might seem "in the way" of things but they are a part of history and as long as they are safe and healthy, we'll just work around them! Those dead ones, though...they went up in smoke! And we were covered in sawdust!

We also started to clear off the porch of our barn, the future home of the Trading Post. We will set up shop on the porch for the first year or two! We'll see how things go and as we grow, we might just move things inside the barn!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The last couple of days...

Rick has spent several evenings after work staking up trees to combat wind damage from these crazy storms over the last few weeks. It's a good thing because we are currently under a tornado watch (again) with tornado warnings just a few counties to our West! The Dutch Clover is starting to come up! We planted it around the root zone of our trees to naturally supply them with nitrogen instead of using artificial fertilizers. The bees will be very happy to see all those blossoms! And just think of all the luck we'll have with the 4-leaf clovers!

We did it!

What did we do, you may ask? We picked a GRAND OPENING date! Now, we just have to hope that Mother Nature cooperates so we can pick our peaches! Sunday, July 13th is the big day! 10:00am-6:00pm. We plan on having some Cherry and Peach flavored cider slushes! Yum! We hope you all come out and visit!

We also decided to have some regular hours for picking throughout the season, too. We've posted those to the right! Of course, you should call to check on availability first! Wow! It seems so official now!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

It's been a wet & windy spring!

We have been combatting the effects of hurricane force winds & inches of rain day after day after day! We really weren't expecting this kind of a spring. But severe storms continue to be forecast for our area. We are working hard to protect our 1,000 trees so you will have a bountiful harvest from which to pick this summer and fall! We've been adjusting the support for the younger trees that have not yet established a solid root system. With the hard freeze last year that killed off all the blossoms, the trees went into overdrive with limb production. We have been thinning the fruit on those young spindly branches to keep them from breaking!

We just finished planting the pumpkins and gourds in our big pumpkin patch and gourd maze right before tonight's storm. We are excited to grow more award-winning entries for this year's Johnson County Fair!

Well, that's the spring-to-date in a nutshell! Stay dry!

Welcome to Wagon Wheel Orchard!

Thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoy our tales of planting, pruning, watering, staking, & picking! This blog has been created to let you know what is happening here at Wagon Wheel Orchard! We have never blogged before so we will be learning as we go!
Here's to a great season!
Rick & Suzie Godsil