On Friday afternoon, we got the most exciting package delivered to our house. For Jeff’s birthday, my mom and grandma both sent him a gift certificate to One Green World. He’s been drooling over their catalog for years. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him get that excited over a birthday present before. After looking through the catalog with Bracken in the morning while they ate their breakfast, quite a few mornings in a row, we had our list. It wasn’t easy to choose, there were so many amazing varieties and fruit we had never heard of before, from all over the world. (We still want to try sea berries in the future, for one.) But Bracken easily made his pick. He wanted a pink blueberry. (Pink blueberry? I know we were surprised that existed too.) Jeff wanted a cherry tree and currants. I wanted liberty apples (my very favorite variety) and raspberries. I have a thing about raspberries. I’ve wanted to plant them here for a long time. Jeff and I both wanted to plant elderberries, those were high on our list. And we found a thornless blackberry variety that we were excited about. We were planning to drive to One Green World (they are located in Oregon), but then discovered that the shipping would be cheaper than the gas money it would take to drive there. (They deliver regularly to Eugene, but the delivery date was on a Saturday and we couldn’t fit our plants in our car along with all our market stuff for the Saturday Market.) We decided to have our order shipped to our house. We spent about $20 dollars above the gift certificates (plus shipping) because we decided to get a meyer lemon tree. Can you imagine having your own home grown lemons? Our neighbor told us about growing them in her greenhouse. (The lemon will stay in a pot and come indoors in the winter.) When the box arrived with our order, I couldn’t believe they could fit everything in that small of a box. I told Jeff there was no way all of our order was in there. But we opened it up and everything was there. Those were some serious packing skills! We were impressed.
(Bracken next to the box so you can get a better idea of the size of the box.)
We couldn’t wait to get planting! Saturday we went to the market, bundled in layers of wool. Sunday there was a downpour at our house all day. But Monday? Monday was sunny and beautiful, the perfect planting day. The weather warmed up and has actually been hot here. (It’s funny to me to be wearing wool one day and then sweating in a t-shirt the next.) The first thing we planted was Bracken’s pink blueberry.
And then Jeff’s cherry tree. We chose a spot by the front pond. It won’t shade anything in the garden, but will create a refreshing oasis on a hot day near a spot we already love to sit. The cherry tree we chose is naturally dwarf. For the apple trees, we chose semi-dwarf root stalk because we’ve been told that it is stronger than dwarf root stalk. We plan on keeping them pruned to a small size for ease of harvesting and since we have limited space and sunlight available here.
While Jeff was planting the currants, Bracken and I went to harvest comfrey for our salves. We harvest some every year, sometimes more than once a year, dry it and keep it in the pantry for making our herbal products.
I think comfrey is such a beautiful plant.
While I harvested the comfrey, Bracken started picking all the purple comfrey flowers and collecting them. Later he put them in an envelope, licked it, shut it and told me he wanted to send them to grandma. (The next day when he checked them and they had started turning brown he changed his mind about that, though.)
I was so excited to get this picture! This is the lizard that we’ve been seeing in the garden. I didn’t expect to get a picture of it, so was pretty happy to be able to. A friend (native of this area) didn’t think there were lizards here. There was a lizard in our garden last year and it even came in the house once.
Another project we tackled on Monday was making a new space in the chicken coop for the babies. Now there is a fence separating them from the bigger chickens and they can see each other much better, as they get more used to each other. As we rearranged, Bracken enjoyed playing in the straw as always. The space is better than the one they were in before, but is still smaller than we would like it to be. We wish we could just let them have the run of the place, with plenty of room, with the bigger gals, but they are still much too small for that. We’re afraid the bigger hens would hurt them. We did end up losing that other duckling. We have two ducklings now. They are growing so much faster than the chicks and are at least twice their size now.
Grapes a few weeks ago.
Grapes this week. They have been growing so fast!
Blueberry blossoms a few weeks ago.
Apple blossoms a few weeks ago.
The blueberry blossoms are starting to fall to the ground now and the apple blossoms are starting to fade away. We’re hoping that our mason bees emerged from their cocoons in time to pollinate everything. Next year we’ll put them out sooner. Jeff checked the cocoons and all but a few had hatched. We were all pretty excited about that. And then we saw a bee flying in and out of the mason bee house and that made us even more excited.
Last night we got two more apple trees in the ground and one elderberry bush. Tonight another elderberry. We only have two more things left to plant. Lately we’ve been working for the business during the day and then going out in the evenings and planting. It’s been so beautiful outside in the evenings. I can’t tell you how happy it makes us to get all these trees and bushes in the ground. We’re dreaming of fruit to come!