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Apr 11, 2016

My house is almost surrounded by orchards of pears and cherries. On the west side, beyond my neighbor's house is the pear orchard, and to the north is the cherry orchard. It makes us feel as though we live deep(1)in the country. This time of year, the orchards are full of life. Of course, they are in bloom, but also there is a lot of human activity going on(2) inside the orchards. Tractors rumble away(3), along the lines of trees, spreading fertilizer, or spraying the branches and flowers. There is no time to waste! If the farmers want healthy, good looking fruit, they have to feed the trees important nutrients, and they need to find a way to keep harmful insects away. I have learned a few things about fruit trees since I have lived here. One interesting thing is that the trees are given a large dose of calcium, both in the form of spray, and also on the ground. This helps the fruit last longer, and it also helps to prevent diseases. There are lots of preparations to be made in order for the growing season to be successful. Pruning is another activity which increases the fruit production. In order for the pruning to happen, a large group of workers will come into the orchard, and cut off dead branches, and some of the healthy ones from the middle of the tree. Why do they do that? Well, it opens up the whole tree to the sun, so the tree can be productive, and the fruit can mature at the same time. The Wenatchee and surrounding area is still the second biggest producer of apples in the U.S, so spring time is busy time, and a very serious business.

1. 'Deep' is often used when talking about a location that is almost hidden, or really inside a certain area.

a. We have to walk deep into the forest to find the mushrooms.

b. The drug network is deep inside the urban area.

2. 'Going on' is a very common way of saying 'taking place' or 'occurring', and sometimes 'continuing'.

a. What's going on next door? They must be having a celebration.

b. Their arguments have been going on for years; when will they stop?

3. 'Tractors rumble away', ok 'away' here isn't necessary, but it does add a 'storybook' feel to the paragraph. The words 'away' and 'along' are used to do just that; they give the impression of time passing, and the activity continuing.

a. The boy yawned, grabbed his pillow, and drifted away into sleep.

b. We danced away all night; we didn't stop for hours!

c. He came along to help paint the house.

d. On saturday I could hear the lawn mowers humming along in the neighborhood.