Mark and his crew cut and shipped my order really fast, and it arrived on Monday afternoon. Unfortunately, I forgot to tell Mark that I had moved, and he shipped my scions to the old address! Luckily, the new owners of the old Bell House let us know, and Dr. Wife was able to pick it up for me. All week the scions sat in the fridge waiting for me, while I had to work. Finally, Friday afternoon came, and I was able to take a brief detour on my way home to carefully dig up some wild trifoliate rootstocks. As soon as the boys were tucked away in bed, I pulled out the scions and rushed to the garage to get to work grafting. Since the bark of wild trifoliate never seems to slip well for me, I decided to cleft graft the scions using the technique I learned from John Panzarella, along with some tips I picked up on the Citrus Growers Forum. If you want to learn the basics of grafting, John Panzarella's class is well worth the trip to Lake Jackson.
After an hour or so of careful and deliberate citrus surgery, I had grafted eight new citrus trees. Each was potted into a 3-gallon plastic pot, fitted with a little paper cup shading the scion, and hooked up to the drip irrigation system running along the east and south sides of the house. I don't know how the trifoliate rootstock will respond to being dug up at this time of year (i.e., not yet dormant), how that might affect the healing of the graft union, if my technique and skill were adequate enough for the job. There is a definite possibility that all of the grafts will fail, but I figure that nothing ventured, nothing gained. Besides, even if they all fail, I can place another budwood order in the spring and try again. I'm not that worried about the trifoliate surviving. I've been pretty rough with it before, and it's never died on me (yet). If it does work, then I've got a jump start on re-building my orchard come springtime.
On another note, Saturday morning I ran the 10 for Texas race, a very popular 10-mile road race in The Woodlands. I say it is popular because when I tried to register for the race back in early August, it had already sold out. I sent an email to the race coordinator asking to be notified if there were any cancellations. Lucky for me, I got a response a couple of weeks ago from some folks who were looking to sell their race bibs. I bought one for me, and a few others for some colleagues at work. The race was exceptionally well organized, and I really wished I could have stayed for the after party. As I typically do, I started out too fast, and then fought to keep up the pace for the remainder of the run. It was pretty darn hot and humid for an October morning, and I had to strip down at mile 2 to keep from overheating. Since my bib number was pinned to my shirt, and my shirt was wadded up in my hands for the majority of the run, that means I probably won't be getting any race pictures.
I ran hard, and was able to keep up a quick pace for the whole race, finally clocking in at 1 hour, 19 min, 17 sec, which is pretty fast for me. Overall, I finished 134th out of 2,750 runners. There's just something about being in a race surrounded by other runners that really pushes me to run faster. I had a great time, but I couldn't stay for too much of the after party because I had to get to Boy #1's soccer game. I'll definitely run this one again next year, and I'll also try to enter Boy #1 into the kid's 1 for Texas race.