A month ago I decided to expand my orchard to include nuts and some more fruits, so from an outfit in Wisconsin, I ordered Japanese Walnuts (I have Black Walnut), some Chestnuts, Hazelnuts, Pecans (I love pecans), Peanuts (I know, not a tree), Golden Apricot (My one apricot tree is lonely), along with Kiwi and three varieties of grapes (Again, yes, not trees). Just for the hell of it, because you can never have too many of these, I also ordered a handful of tomato and broccoli seeds.
Two weeks ago, I received a small box in the mail—my tomato and broccoli seeds. All else was backordered. Deep sigh.
*Ring—ring—ring* Not many people I know are morning people, so the early phone call on a Saturday yesterday morning was a surprise. *Hello?”
“Hi! This is Doug at the Post Office.” In a small town, we all know each other. “Hey, I’ve got a tree here that’s not gonna fit in the carrier’s vehicle. Can you pick it up?” I sighed. Yesterday I was home all day, a nice sunny day. Saturday I had a rehearsal and a concert out of town—not a day I could plant. Oh well. “Sure—be right down.”
He had two cardboard boxes, one 4 x 4 inches x 6 feet, the other 2 x 4 x 24 inches. Both had labels from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. Apparently, my supplier had the trees shipped directly to me. I opened the tops just to see what had come. I pulled out an invoice.
Everything. Huh? I looked down. I expected roots wrapped in plastic with cord or rubber bands. Nope. Pots. Pots! Those “cardboard” nursery type, half filled with soil—as nothing secured the plants from moving about nor the soil from falling out as the package was handled. Cheese heads have different ideas about shipping plants than we do in New York, I guess—the box wasn’t even labeled “This end up” – just a small felt pen marking, “Please rush—planting materials.”
Well almost everything—they shipped the female kiwi plant, but backordered the male kiwi. I opened the small “planting materials” box—and found the male kiwi. I looked at my watch and headed for the hardware store to pick up the stakes I’ll need before I would have to leave to rehearsal.—the hardware stores would be closed on Sunday, and EVERYTHING planted must immediately be fenced,, or the rabbits will eat it right down to the ground. (They even eat the needles off my Austrian Pines! It’s a running battle—I’ve become Mr. McGregor.)
So today is the day for the digging of holes and planting, fencing and watering of trees. Probably tomorrow too. Rain or shine.
Maybe I should pick up some extra ibuprofen…