Planting trees in spring of 1995. The tree planter digs a big ditch, the trees are placed into it and the dirt is scraped back over the roots. It takes six men to keep up the pace. Two separate the trees and hand them to two planters in the middle. Two more follow and correct any problems.
In 1993 we removed our cherries and older apples on another 10 acres because they were not doing very well. At this point we needed to make another decision on what to do with the empty acres. Up to this time I had stayed out of debt and had planted the Scarlets entirely on what my father had saved up supplemented with my own funds. Pat wanted to do a high density planting on this new ground but the cost was going to be more than either of us could come up with. Figure 10,000 trees at about $5.50 each, add about $15,000 for an irrigation system, another $30,000 for the trellis support system and you quickly get into a major investment. This doesn't include the labor costs which are also a major factor. The trees must be tied to the trellis and trained each year for proper growth and the best apple production. Kim and I made the decision to go into debt at this point. It was the only way to continue farming and keep up to date. We decided to plant 6,000 Fuji apples and 4,000 of a new Crimson Gala variety.