The new home that we bought is the original house on an old orange orchard. Over time, the acres have been split and sold off. When we bought this place it was in the process of being split into 4 lots out of a 5 acre property. We bought the lot with the house and there are 3 other empty lots.
Our property had about 50 orange trees on it. They were all in different stages of rot and disease. I had my heart set on another property that we had entered into painful negotiations with and ended up loosing. Steve liked this home. He loved the house. I was still wishing that the other place would come back to us.
Until…I had a dream that the orange trees were calling out to me to help them. I woke up and knew that we had to have this place. That made Steve happy. Our escrow was 60 days for multiple reasons, during April and May. We asked to owners to irrigate the lot to keep the trees alive during the heat of the Arizona desert. They told us that the trees were not worth saving and that if they irrigated the lot, then the weeds would grow.
So, we drove 1/2 hour both ways and took several 100 ft hoses over twice a week; and deep watered the trees for 2 months. I was busy with nursing school, but I felt so compelled to save them. I actually talked to them and encouraged them to hang on until we could get there.
Once in the home, we realized that there were several trees that were not worth saving. Most of them were covered with a type of vine that was choking the life out of them. We hacked the vines down, trimmed the dead wood, pruned, and fertilized the trees. We pained the trunks to protect them from sunburn and prayed.
We now have 30 trees that are all producing fruit. We will continue to water, fertilize and care for them for another year; in order to see who will and who will not make it. The ones that do not produce sweet, healthy fruit will be culled in order to make room for other fruit bearing trees.
Today I went around the property with a wagon and took the bad oranges off of the trees with a cherry picker. I am happy to say that I came in with a grocery sack of good oranges. They are huge and sweet.
What a wonderful gift these trees are giving us for saving them!