Archive | May, 2015

Pictures from planting

17 May

2015-04-29 water truck and Ki Gillam2015-04-27 east field and Ki GillamApril 25-28 was prep for orchard planting

April 27 was the day of the big machines

On May 5 half the plants arrived, prompting a panic. They were found May 8 and delivered May 11, day 1 of the 2-day planting. May 9 was fencing and garden work.

feeding the crew

2015-04-28 east field tilled

East field strip tilled for orchard.

IMG_2440

Garden area, early in process.

IMG_2554Current tasks are adding more tree tubes to protect all the orchard and native plant barrier trees – from deer, rabbits, and gophers. (We must have killed some gophers, which sadly was the plan, using dry ice. Since planting I’ve only seen one gopher hole, in the lawn.)

IMG_2607Yesterday, on my day off, all I wanted to do was play in the “Elders Circle” which is defined by two massive cottonwoods. So I made paths, figured out where to plant the willows, pulled up some cow parsnips and wild cucumber, and reminded myself to come back for the wood nettles, now ready to harvest.

IMG_2606And in Thursday’s rain we bought a truck and a bigger trailer.

The people: Federico has been gone a month, Ki left this past week after assembling the water wagon and then fixing it, mad digging and planting in the garden, and a lot more. TR moved to Faribault in the middle of all this, and has been working with me almost daily. A new group of college volunteers will show up tomorrow to finish mulch and tree tubes. People are just drawn here. I try to stay organized and provide good food – new batch of nettle soup to make, still have homemade bread.

See you some time.

Warmly,

Shodo

Quick update – garden and orchard

9 May

Hi. I’m just catching up before today’s workers arrive.

The orchard plants didn’t come – actually, half of them came. Friday I inventoried and found just berries. There was lots of discussion, Keefe (Savannah Institute) managed to find a lot of replacements – and then he tracked down the lost package and it will come to us in time for planting Monday.

Wednesday I learned that my truck has rear suspension problems and I need to immediately stop using it for hauling stuff. Thursday TR offered to lend his truck for our planting needs. He and I drove to Elko to get dry ice, and to Lakeville to buy a trailer for the water wagon, and to Faribault to look at a truck. I consulted my ex about the F150 we owned together. I know what I want (F150 4×4 long bed) and can look for it next week after the rush is over. (TR has a little experience selling used cars with his uncle, and his advice was invaluable.) (The dry ice is to put in gopher holes, so they suffocate and don’t eat every single tree root. Happily, an owl seems to have arrived and we shouldn’t have to do it again. Trust me, the ethics of this have not been ignored. That would be worth a whole post, not today.)

Wednesday I also learned that I’m approved for the Minnesota solar rebate program, which is wonderful – I can make money selling electricity back to the company for 10 years. But I’ll need a loan (or something falling from the sky) to put it in.

Today begins a volunteer weekend, and we’re not quite sure who is coming – verbal commitments and me not keeping track…but at least four of us. We will build a fence around the berry area, which isn’t hard, and some garden work, and there are plenty of odds and ends to get ready for the orchard planting.

And we will briefly celebrate my 67th birthday. The cake tastes better with box elder syrup than it ever did with maple. I sent out a last-minute flurry of email invitations yesterday, when I realized I actually would like it.

Then Monday the trees, berries, bushes, everything begins to go in, with expert supervision. I’m looking forward to learning. We have some volunteers, room for more.

Ready for guests

Ready for guests

We’ve had a lot of rain. Ki, with help from TR and me, dug up the old garden and created lots of beds. We planted tomatoes, peas, and yesterday a salad garden with lettuce, radish, and a few other things. The potatoes and onions planted before are starting to show. We need to give away extra tomatoes. I hope we can plant all the extra potatoes.

invaluable.) (The dry ice is to put in gopher holes, so they suffocate and don’t eat every single tree root. Happily, an owl seems to have arrived and we shouldn’t have to do it again. Trust me, the ethics of this have not been ignored. That would be worth a whole post, not today.)

The orchard plants didn’t come – actually, half of them came. Friday I inventoried and found just berries. There was lots of discussion, Keefe (Savannah Institute) managed to find a lot of replacements – and then he tracked down the lost package and it will come to us in time for planting Monday.

just started

just started

Today begins a volunteer weekend, and we’re not quite sure who is coming – verbal commitments and me not keeping track…but at least four of us. We will build a fence around the berry area, which isn’t hard, and some garden work, and there are plenty of odds and ends to get ready for the orchard planting.

And we will briefly celebrate my 67th birthday. The cake tastes better with box elder syrup than it ever did with maple. I sent out a last-minute flurry of email invitations yesterday, when I realized I actually would like it.

Then Monday the trees, berries, bushes, everything begins to go in, with expert supervision. I’m looking forward to learning. We have some volunteers, room for more.

And Terri, my sustainable business coach, reminds me to listen to the land. We’ll be creating an actual business plan, and working to start bringing money in. I have a fantasy that some people

From the other side of the river

From the other side of the river

will actually want our tomatoes, fresh or dried, our nettles or nettle soup, and so forth, before we get involved in formal marketing. Right now there’s not time to investigate that.

The rain all week has been taking care of the garden; today is a beautiful day for working outdoors. And walking in the flowers and by the river. I am happy to be surrounded by people who understand we are party of the land.

. Warm thoughts to all of you.

Shodo

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