Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Digging In At The Homestead, Planting Our Roots

We were up at the Fedco Tree Sale last weekend, and while we did buy trees (70 trees, to be exact), this year, we selected trees for the homestead. This May is different. This May, we aren't thinking about our one small, intensively planted garden near the beach, we're thinking very long-term and on a much bigger scale. We're thinking about orchards, trees that will grow to 60 feet tall, trees and bushes that will provide decades of sap and fruit for our children and their children. We also selected plants that will add beauty and structure, and in a sense, our taste, our personality to a landscape that is newly ours.

Fedco Tree Sale! #maine #seedcoop #organic #nogmo

at the Fedco Seed barn #seedcoop #organic #nogmo #maine

And as this is our first summer with the homestead, we cannot hope to grow the huge vegetable garden Nana grew, while completing work on the farmhouse, let alone dividing our time between two homes. Still, the lure of seed potatoes and seed packets was too much to ignore. So, with Olivia leading the charge, we will have a much smaller vegetable patch up at the farmhouse, and one in our raised beds in our urban garden. Olivia has her heart set on growing squash and beets. Papa, too, was hoping to track down some Purple Viking seed potatoes, but had to come home with some other varieties, instead. Once a gardener, always a gardener, I suppose.

Olivia helping Papa find his favorite potato. #unschooling #nogmo #organic #maine

Maine, the way life should be. #seedcoop #nogmo #organic #Fedco

It's very busy in the Moose Tuber barn. #maine #organic #nogmo #seedcoop

With all our various plants and seeds tracked down, we packed it all into the back of our van and drove the much shorter distance to the farm (than our usual two hours home - well, the beach home, home is getting to be more of a gray area, these days, and both have our hearts and minds).

It all fits! #fedco #organic #seedcoop #nogmo

The weekend was perfect for planting; dry and sunny and just cool enough to make all the digging bearable. One of the (many) challenging things about planning (and planting) at the homestead, is that there is so much that needs to be undone or repaired, that it makes it difficult to know where to begin. We have so much space there, but so much of it is overgrown and needing to be cleared, that knowing where to plant is difficult. One solution was to clear, at least a little bit, which is what Alex did, on day two of planting, by hand. All afternoon.

three down, 67 to go #plantingtrees #homestead

orchard beginnings #organic #maine #homestead

Farmer Olivia. She is so, so happy and joyful when she's at the homestead, planning and managing.

Farmer Olivia @oliviaconsiders

Alex chose to put his new apple (eight) and elderberry (twelve) seedlings on a little hill next to the old apple trees, but this required much clearing of bramble, first. Adam and Olivia were very helpful, and did a lot of the step and fetching needed for a project like this. After they found Papa's old bike (and later, a pack basket), this task became fun. And just like that, we have the small beginnings of an orchard.

Olivia found Papa's bike in the garage #farmhouse

In the lower garden, I did some clearing, too, and I was able to get in all the winterberry. Adam helped plant all the blueberry bushes and we also planted hostas, daylily, sweetspire and forsythia around the house.  Farther afield, we planted willows, redwoods, larch and sugar maples. Adam is somewhat more reticent about the doings at the homestead, but maybe that is changing some, too, now that he has a hand in the actual transformation of the house and farm, itself. Whatever the change, it was wonderful to have him by my side most of the afternoon, digging holes and making decisions about where to place plants. Perhaps our Taurus is feeling the land beneath his feet?

nearly done planting trees and shrubs - Adam plants blueberries #unschooling #homestead

Perhaps, as I mentioned, we're all feeling just a little more connected to the land and the place, making it ours, having planted roots in the soil.

1 comment:

  1. I always enjoy reading about your homesteading and seeing your wonderful photos. We're also doing some veggie planting today. We have small 22x14 and 12x6 gardens and a 3x6 flower bed. The kids plan and plant with a little help from me. LOL Perfect weekend for planting!



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