North Star Orchard Blog

I got to work with Lisa in the orchard recently. We were thinning apples, which I’ve never done before. These in the picture are Gold Rush – everybody’s favorite!

I’ve gotten to try lots of cool jobs while I’ve been here on the farm, and there are lots of things to do here that I love. I love planting and washing and thinning and even sometimes (shh, don’t tell!) . . . weeding. But my favorite job, out of all the ones I’ve gotten to try, is harvesting.

Just like Farmer Ike promised, today he taught me how to train determinate tomatoes! (In case you missed it, he taught me how to train indeterminate tomatoes last week, and about the two different kinds of tomatoes, and you can find out all about that here)

Today, I learned all about tomatoes. Did you know that there are two different kinds of tomato plants? I didn’t until Farmer Ike told me.

All tomato plants are divided into two categories: determinate and indeterminate. Those are big words, aren’t they? They’re hard for me to say! Try saying them slowly . . . it helps. After you figure it out, it’s not so bad. I promise.

Look at how big the lettuce in this picture is getting! Each head is so big I couldn’t eat the whole thing – and Farmer Ike says I eat a lot. Plus I really like lettuce.

Guess what I helped plant today! Look at the picture and see if you can figure it out. Grass? Nope, guess again! Onions? No, but you’re getting closer! These are baby leeks! Farmer Kelly and her helpers went out early this morning to plant them, and I got to help.

Lisa took me up in the Brownie today. I didn’t want to go up at all, but the farm helpers who drive the Brownies talked me into it – they said it was going to be fun. It wasn’t.

It was REALLY scary. So scary that I kept my eyes closed the whole ride down.

We worked hard today. Really hard.

When we planted the tomatoes a few weeks ago, we put down rows of plastic in the field. The plastic keeps the weeds from growing around the plants, and it helps protect their roots. But we only put the plastic down where we planted tomatoes, which means that the paths between the rows where the farmers walk are empty, and even though they get walked on a lot by work boots and little sheep feet, weeds can still grow there. Which means that we have to cover it up with straw to keep the weeds from getting enormous.

Well, I sure learned something new this week. Something I’d never heard of before. Something I didn’t even know was possible! Here’s how it happened:

The other morning, Lisa said: This week, we’re going to harvest the garlic scapes! I said: . . . What?

I’m thinning Asian Pears today! This is the first time I’ve helped with the thinning, and it’s a lot to learn all at once, but so far I think I’m doing okay.