Immediately prior to this recent move, we went back to Red Gate Farm for about 3 days to accomplish some pressing tasks.  The main priority was planting the orchard and berries that we had ordered last year, long before we had a clue how hectic the month of March would be! 

After driving through the night, we arrived on a Saturday, and immediately set to work.  First, we had to clear a few things out of the area designated to be the orchard.

This raised bed had to go, and the small, sheep-damaged, spruce tree on the right had to be taken down.

N helping disassemble the raised bed.

A helping spread the raised bed compost. Obviously, it was going to take him a while, so eventually, we went and borrowed the neighbor's Kabota tractor and plowed it down.

Once the area was cleared, it had to be prepped for the trees.

Daddy and JR digging the holes for the trees.

It's getting hot out.....oh, sorry, family-friendly blog.

JR and M doing their part to create holes.

N and A traded off handling the supply wagon. Next to the 4 wheeler, it's one of their favorite things at the farm. Seeing as how it's Grandma's wagon, though, I think we might eventually be forced to buy one for them.

The trees and berries finally arrived around 7 pm the evening before we were supposed to leave.  The whole extended family pitched in to help, including S’s mom, and both of his brothers.

We are out until well after dark trying to get everything planted. We finally got it all done, and jokingly agreed, that in this less-than-ideal situation, the plants would either thrive or die. I guess we'll find out just how hardy they are.

All that hard work required good nourishment, and S's mom is an exceptional cook. She fed us well every evening!

Uncle D was a hit with the kids. They adored him, and he was a tremendous help keeping them occupied and supervised during our rush jobs.

Tuesday morning finally arrived, we wrapped up our orchard project, left Uncle M (our caretaker) some instructions, packed the van, and prepared to head back to CO. 

We completed the temp-fence, electric-rope gate to keep the sheep out of the orchard. This is the view when we finished.

The final tally was 15 fruit trees, including a few each of apple, pear, peach, apricot, plum, and cherry. Around the edges, we also planted 2 grape vines, 5 blackberry, several blueberry, and several raspberry bushes. I truly hope it all survives, as we are dreaming of deliciously, mouth-watering fruit harvests by the time we move there!

Our other, lower priority project was installing custom window-coverings on almost all our windows in the house.  I managed to get that done on Monday morning while we were waiting for the plants to arrive, but sadly, I forgot to take any pictures. 

This trip was no doubt a whirlwind visit, but as always, we had a wonderful time.  For the first time, leaving wasn’t as difficult since we had a new, experimental, mini-farm to look forward to setting up in CO.  We are truly blessed to have been given so much of God’s creation to care for and learn from, and we look forward to every lesson.

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