Normally, at this time of night, I’d be writing my gratitude list in my journal and be preparing for a good night sleep, but instead I’m on my computer writing a blog post because I’m reeling from today’s excitement. I’m still in awe of the miracle we experienced today. Do you believe in miracles? I certainly do. And today’s miracle…. was a blueberry miracle!
As you know, we’ve been looking for loving homes for some of our goats. Whenever we start to exceed the carrying capacity of this piece of land, I start to feel really stressed, and nine goats was definitely exceeding it! We decided to keep three so that left six goats that we wanted to find homes for. I dreamed of how wonderful it would be to have them all go to one home together, but thought we might have to find multiple homes.
Two things I’ve been really wanting lately are to find homes for those six goats and to get lots of large blueberry plants to plant here. I posted an add for the goats a few weeks ago on craigslist, but for some reason my heart wasn’t in it and I didn’t get any response. Our friend Lara knows we want a yurt and said I should post an add ‘will trade goats for yurt.’ I laughed when she said it, but then I remembered the barter section on craigslist and thought ‘I wonder if I could trade the goats for something we need?‘ After all, we acquired our very first goats by trading with our neighbor. And trading is something that is so essential to community, in my opinion. So I posted the add to trade our goats, but didn’t list what for. I left that open to see what would come in. Then I searched on craigslist for blueberry plants and found someone selling old plants for an incredible deal! I’ve kept my eye on blueberry prices for years. At the local nursery, 5 year old blueberry plants cost $50. We can get young ones for $10, but those older ones start producing right away so I’m always on the lookout. We’ve found them on sale before, so you just never know. Jeff and I have been wanting to plant a lot of blueberry plants here. But at $50 a plant, or even $10 a plant, that really starts to add up and is just not in the budget at all. (We had four plants from saving up and from gifts, and also tried propagating with no luck.) But blueberries are our favorite fruit and we kept dreaming of planting lots here, even if we didn’t know how it was going to happen. So when I saw the craigslist add for such a great deal, I got excited, but then thought ‘we just don’t have the money to buy those.’
This morning I was enjoying the warmth of the woodstove and was folding laundry while Bracken was in the pack against my belly. I casually mentioned to Jeff the incredible deal I had found for blueberries. I said “man, I wish they would want to trade for some goats!” It just popped out of my mouth and I dismissed it just as quickly. Then Jeff said something like “it doesn’t hurt to ask.” And I thought ‘yeah, why not?’ So I dialed the phone number and left a message. The guy called back right away. I asked if they had any blueberry plants left. He said they only had a certain amount left. Then I said “would you happen to want to trade some for some goats?” And he got really excited and said yes! We talked about goats, I told him all about them. He wanted all six as pets! They would have over 4 acres all to themselves! He had 3-5 year old blueberry plants available for us!
What?! Is this really real?! YES!! I got off the phone and was literally jumping up and down. Bracken giggled right along with me. I was so giddy it was crazy. It would have been funny to watch. I told Jeff. He was giddy. We loaded up the goats. It was a long drive, full of excitement. We wondered if we would be able to fit all the blueberry bushes in our truck, we weren’t sure how tall they were.
We got there and unloaded the goats. I was so happy and grateful that they were all together, with a huge farm for their new home. We loaded up 23 blueberry plants into the back of our truck! 22 plants that were 3-5 years old and one younger plant. Oh my goodness! They were the perfect height and all fit in perfectly.
They were selling their 3-5 year old plants for $6.75 each!!!! (Remember, at the nurseries they are $50 for a 5 year old bush?) Let’s say, for fun, that (according to nursery prices) each plant was $30, then we came home with $690 of blueberry bushes!!!!
I know, I know, I’m doing a lot of exclamation points, really I can hardly contain myself right now. I’ll probably be like this for days. Who knows, maybe longer.
Now to some, trading goats for some blueberries may not seem like any big deal at all. But to us, it felt like a miracle! We wanted something and didn’t have any idea how it would happen, and today it came together in the most beautiful way I couldn’t even have imagined possible.
I told Jeff that I felt like a true blueberry farmer with all those blueberries now. And he said our homestead would be a blueberry homestead. We are researching how to care for them.
By the time we got home, it was too dark for a picture of the truck full of goodness. So I posted a picture from previous blueberry enjoyment instead. All the times I harvested blueberries at local farms and wished to have plants here….. dreams really do come true! Sometimes it takes being flexible or taking a risk, but after all- it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?
In honor of this blueberry miracle (and to show my deep love for blueberries) here are some posts I’ve written about blueberry harvesting. (Knowing we will be harvesting blueberries in our own yard is the best feeling ever.) These are a few. I’ve written a lot about blueberries and I’m sure to write a lot more.
My heart is filled with gratitude this night. I am so so grateful.
What miracles have you experienced? I would love to hear from you!