Monthly Archives: May 2008

One Day Weekend

After interning Friday and Saturday and picking up an afternoon shift driving carriages on Sunday, I was very ready for Monday to arrive. It seems kind of sad to me that more people don’t recognize what Memorial Day is really about. I am proud of my relatives that fought for this country and when we have kids I want to take time and explain to them how important that is.

This year we didn’t do anything special and like of lot of other people we took advantage of an extra day off to get a lot done around the farm. Here is a before picture of a little spot on our sideyard. There are a few big pine trees along with some large rocks and our Centennial Farm sign sits right in front, facing the road. Our garden ends just a few feet to the left of this picture. I needed a good place to plant my raspberry bushes and since this area needed a little sprucing up I decided to “kill two birds with one stone”.

We don’t have any hedge trimmers (I added them to the wedding registry list 😉 ) so I used a hand saw and hacked off all the dead and hanging branches. I moved that rotting log and dug up a nice area for the bushes. I avoided most of the tree roots and was able to dig 8-12 inches deep. I had purchased 3 Everbearing Heritage bushes and some friends gave me a lot of “suckers” from their patch. They don’t know what kind they are since they got them from a friend as well but their patch produces a bounty of large berries every year so I wasn’t about to turn down their offer. Several of the plants probably won’t make it due to root damage while digging them up so I planted them closer than normal. I mulched all around them with straw and watered them well.

The results is quite pleasing to look at, especially compared to what was there before. I also had yet to plant my 25 Strawberry plants. I found a great wooden barrel at an auction that I wanted to use for strawberries but that was a bigger project than I wanted for one day so I picked another spot. I can always buy more plants for the barrel later. When we first moved in there were overgrown bushes 10-20′ out around the front porch. While pulling them out Brian found this great iron pot. Since it is still sitting in our front yard I thought it was as good a place as any to put strawberries. I planted them in a circle and mulched them with straw. Eventually we will move this pot and possibly even hang it. It should be a pretty sight with berries spreading out over the sides. I also planted some onions that I had started indoors and some carrot seeds.

I went back out tonight and covered everything with thick blanket of straw since, of course, they’re calling for a hard frost tonight. Yesterday was 86 degrees and humid, today is 50-55ish and windy. I guess that’s what we get for living in Michigan!

I ordered a couple books the other day and the first one arrived today. It is “Day Range Poultry” by Andy Lee. I’ll report on it in a later post, sounds like a good night to cuddle up with the dogs and a big blanket and tear in to it!

Gooseberries and Currants

I’ll just make a quick update here before I have to leave. On Mother’s Day I went with my Mom to a nursery and purchased about $120 worth of plants. Here is a breakdown of what I got:

2 Gooseberry bushes ($8 each)

2 Black Currant bushes ($8 each)

3 Red Heritage Raspberry bushes ($4.50 each)

2 Himrod Green Seedless Grapevines ($6.75 each)

1 Bartlett Pear tree ($22)

1 Harold Pear tree ($22)

1 Dozen Red Seed Potatoes ($1.83)

25 Earliglow Strawberries ($11)

25 Jewell Strawberries ($11)

So far I have only planted the Gooseberries and Black Currants. Both thrive in a colder, shader area and can stand up to a North wind so I planted them on the North end of our shop. I mulched them heavily and they seem to be doing well so far. I’m waiting to plant the pear trees until we pull a few stumps around the yard to make more room. Hopefully I can get everything else in this weekend! The plan is to use edible plants as much as possible thoroughout our landscaping. I just am not motivated to work on plants that I can’t eat! I’ll have more on this later…