POMEROY — Committing to the planting and care of an apple orchard is a symbol of patience and optimism, an exercise in looking forward with efforts made in the present.
There are no immediate rewards in planting an orchard. There is much work in preparing the area, and knowledge of how to plant the tree properly is required for successful growth. Depending on the variety and type, it may take up to 8 years for a seedling to produce fruit. During that time the tree must be cared for to insure its survival, from pruning and fertilizing, to deterring rodents and deer from nibbling the delicate plants.
So with an eye toward the future, Pomeroy Mayor Don Anderson, along with Council members, moved forward with the orchard project. With the assistance of village staff, the vacant lot beside the Skate Park on Mechanic Street was prepared for planting.
When volunteers arrived on Saturday they were pleasantly surprised at the work that had already been done to make the planting easier.
“We didn’t expect the ground to be so well prepared,” said Farmers’ Market volunteer Stephanie Rife. “All we needed to do was to dig the hole and plant the tree, it was awesome.”
Rife said that thanks to the efforts of Mayor Anderson, the project took the 19 volunteers two hours to complete, including the installation of protective mesh around the young trees.
Mayor Anderson was pleased with the results, and thanked everyone who had donated their time.
“I can just see what this will look like in a few years,” Anderson said. “We will have a lovely park with shade trees, and a community orchard that everyone can share.”
He said that he could envision a time when the trees produced enough apples that they could organize an apple butter making event.
“I know it is a long time away, but it would be great if we could do something like that, bring the community together and introduce a new generation to apple butter making.”
According to all the volunteers, turning a vacant lot into something inspiring was well worth their Saturday morning.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.