Hometown Farmer: Apple Orchard Origins
LITTLE SIOUX, IA —
You'll find a little bit of everything at the Trapple Orchard near Little Sioux, Iowa.
Tom Trapp and his family started planting the 450 trees back in 2011 and even though you probably won't be picking fruit there until 2015, it takes a lot of work to keep things going.
"When you start an orchard, about a third of the apples will be lost." said Trapp.
It's a lot of work to keep the trees alive.
To keep them in tip-top shape, you must prune branches, so the trees grow the way you want them too.
Plus, all 450 trees are watered by hand!
"We're actually carrying water to each of the trees," said Trapp.
Getting through the 2012 drought was pretty difficult, which is why Tom and his family installed watering tubes on each tree.
"You can put the water right down on the root bed," said Trapp. "Which is exactly where we needed to have all that water."
But even with the watering tools, some trees just didn't make it.
Then there are the rabbits. They just tear the trees up.
Tom installed plastic tubes at the base of each tree, but when winter hit even they weren't enough to stop those hungry bunnies.
"When we had that ten inch snow the rabbits just came right on the top of the snow and just started to eat right directly from there," said Trapp.
But tree trimming and watering is what it's all about for "Team Trapple."
The work will keep everyone at the orchard busy, even though it'll be years before they can dig in to the fruits of their labor.
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