Old timers say you need a ten-dollar hole for a five-dollar tree.

Todd: When the Stark Brother's Nursery shipment arrived we had already built three sides of the 20x30 foot beds and laid out the tree positions, so we were ready to start the planting. We dug a pilot hole with the post hole digger on the tractor so it would be much easier to hand dig the thirty inch wide, two foot deep hole. Then we retrieved wheelbarrows of compost and peat moss and a tractor bucket full of rich soil from our dirt mine, and began filling the hole back up with alternating shovel loads of these ingredients and some of the dirt that we had dug out. When we reached the level of the tree roots, mom dropped in some root fertilizer pellets and suspended the tree in the hole as I continued filling, stopping occasionally to pack lightly. Mom mixed and poured some tree starter solution, and cut ground cover fabric while I brought in a pile of mulch. When a nicely shaped circle of mulch surrounded the little stick protruding from the ground, we stood back and admired our handiwork. It was astounding how many steps it took to plant a tree properly. One down, twenty to go!   
Mary: Larry and I were amazed watching Todd dig twenty-one holes by hand, plus accumulating all the supplies and then planting the trees. The fourth side of the beds, where we had entered with the tractor, also had to be finished so deer wouldn't eat our trees while we slept. He also brought in the materials and helped me plant the berries, lasagna style. I don't think anyone can really understand from reading this just how hard he/we worked. The morning we left, I saw him standing by one of the apple orchards. I said, "Those are our trees, aren't they, Todd." He shook his head in agreement. Along with labor, the two of us had put our hearts into those little living sticks, doing everything possible to give them a good start. Hopefully, at least some of them will live and produce organically.  

Quote: "When we are dreaming alone it is only a dream. When we are
dreaming with others, it is the beginning of reality."  Dom Helder Camara 
Did Larry just sit on a chair and supervise? No! Of course, not! He didn't do anything strenuous, but neither did he rest. He worked almost continually doing the tedious job of attaching fence to the posts, and chicken wire along the bottom of the welded wire fencing, to keep out rabbits. Once, we took a break and I pretended to nap with him. When Larry nodded off, Todd and I snuck out. I thought his pain medication would keep him asleep, but the first thing we knew, there he was, coming out of the house and ready to go again.

Quote: "I feel so useless."  Larry   

This picture was taken May 16th., one month after planting. The little sticks had come out of dormancy and were getting blossoms and leaves. Every tree lived and was a delight to watch grow the whole season.   

We were no more than finished planting these when Stark Brothers Nursery had a sale on nut trees. Todd thought he was good at digging holes, so we ordered two English Walnut trees, two Missouri Hardy pecan trees, and three grapevines.  

We also planted dill, mint, chives, rhubarb, and gooseberry bushes.

And sweet corn, potatoes, cantaloupe. pumpkins, and butternut squash.

                                                                       The 'hole' story:

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