It's a good thing Pender abounds with green thumbs: it only took one post on the community board on Facebook to locate an abundance of comfrey plants for the orchard. The wonderful proprietor of the Corbett House Country Inn invited us to drop by with shovels to dig up some comfrey that had gone rogue in her veggie garden: comfrey is a "super plant" great for bees, human health and companion planting with apple trees, but it has a stubborn root system that can be a pain to eliminate when it pops up where you don't want it.
The plants we dug up are now being planted into a guild ring around the base of each old apple tree, intending to keep the invasive blackberries we uprooted out for good. Comfrey will help pull up soil nutrients otherwise inaccessible by the tree, as well as provide a natural mulch, while the daffodils we transplanted will suppress grass and hold the soil. Once the herbs I propagated last week have rooted, we will establish them among them.
But the real work this week was beginning to clear the land in preparation for cover cropping and apple tree planting. Luckily we had two happy and hard-working volunteers: my sister Lana, who was also a great help during potato harvest at my last farm, and Laura-Leigh, a longtime WWOOFer (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) gearing up for an upcoming farm apprenticeship in Alberta. We'd probably be still out there pulling giant weeds and stubborn fir seedlings if it weren't for these women's positivity and muscles!