Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2010 - The Year of Fruit

This year we've gone a little gardening crazy!  The boys actually have two garden spots!  We have our normal area up near the house and so far it is filled with paste tomatoes, heirloom eating tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, hot peppers, tons of flowers, two kinds of bush beans and lots of lettuces...with more going in all the time!
We're also doing something new!  Some time ago, one of our neighbors, who was raised on this farm, mentioned to my boys that there was an area in a far field with really great dirt - it was where they raised their corn when he was a boy.  He made it sound heavenly - I'm pretty sure I saw Josiah's eyes get wider and wider as he talked...there might even have been some drooling going on.... Before I knew it, this HUGE area was plowed, disc-ed and tilled and then in a blink of the eye it was filled with corn (I may be shucking corn for the rest of my life!), red potatoes, regular potatoes, and peanuts!  There is even an area that is about to be filled with watermelons!  I think we will need a bigger table when the boys go to farmer's market this summer! These boys have certainly taken the initiative to increase production and open new growing areas !
We also had a very kind friend pass along about 50 raspberry canes to us!  He has a beautiful raspberry patch. What a blessing!  The boys have planted about 8  rows of raspberries.  I've wanted raspberries for years!   We'll have fall raspberries..yummy! For those of you just starting out..spend your first year getting your orchard planted, putting in berries and any other fruit...it takes several years for most of those to produce.
I have another friend who had some beautiful blueberry bushes...these were huge...about 3 feet tall and very bushy.  We now have 4 blueberry bushes, each a different variety for cross pollination, planted and bearing little baby blueberries!  She also gave us wonderful instructions on how to take cuttings and root them to increase our blueberry patch each year!
Josiah planted two long rows of strawberries this spring.  Even though we keep picking the flowers so we don't get fruit this year (you want the plants to be putting their efforts into roots - not fruits), we miss them now and again and Elijah has been picking and eating them as quickly as they produce!  Next year we should have all the berries we need!
A dear friend gave us a gift certificate for Christmas to a local greenhouse/farm stand. Thank you John!!  We decided to save it and use it this spring for trees. They have a sale each spring - buy 5 trees and get one free.  If you go on the right day of the week you also get a 10% discount - what a deal! We picked two peaches, two pears, a plum and a nectarine.  We'll be planting those this week!  These trees are gorgeous, large and healthy looking!  We are on the look out for cherry trees, and another nectarine and plum.
Josiah and I spent an afternoon at a friends house this last week helping him get his packages of bees into his hives.  George was showing us his fruit trees that he planted 4 years ago - they were HUGE - much larger than the trees in our orchard that were planted 8 years ago!  It really showed us what damage neglect can do - until two years ago our trees had really been neglected - not pruned or weeded around etc.  The field was mowed occasionally but the weeds really strangled our little trees.  Josiah and I have been trying to do a better job these last few years.  George's trees showed us what we could have one day.  We'll be better stewards of our new trees and hopefully in a few years they will look like George's trees!  We have plans to put our "orchard" into clover which will help fix nitrogen for the trees and hopefully smother out the weeds - when we start on that huge project we will take lots of pictures to show you how we do it.
Elijah and I have been working hard in my herb border.  I grew quite a bit of comfrey this spring to fill in my comfrey patch.  I use so much comfrey in my salves that I needed to double the size of our patch.  Elijah has turned into one of the best weeders I've ever seen - he doesn't miss a thing!  We had to replant our Horehound, Thyme, Oregano, Tarragon, Stevia and Borage this year - we lost them all during our harsh winter.  Normally our annuals will re-seed themselves but the only one that did and survive was Calendula - I use a lot of it in soaps and salves too so I was glad to see it coming back. It bloomed yesterday for the first time.
Everything is blooming late this year! Normally our Catawba tree blooms each April but it hasn't bloomed yet this year and here we are almost into June!  My Plantain patch has loved all the rain and is HUGE this year - same with my Elecampane.  My Mugwort and Motherwort have gone crazy and both will need to be thinned this year - I'll dry what I thin so I'll have plenty through the winter. Our Lavender patch should double in size this year - we are working towards a Lavender hedge - this is another herb that I use in soaps, salves, for culinary purposes and even to clean with - can't ever have too much lavender!  I'm hoping that this means our Jewelweed will be back with a vengeance this summer - you do know that Jewelweed is our Father's antidote for poison ivy right?

I'm so thankful to our Father for the ability to raise all these varieties of fruit and veggies and His many healing herbs,  I love being in the garden or planting seeds in the greenhouse - what a miracle it is each year to plant a speck of a seeds and receive 10 or 20 pounds of food from that plant - just amazes me each time!  I'm so thankful for generous friends that share their bounty of plants with us - y'all are amazing!  When the fruit comes on, y'all come by and we'll share some cobbler or pie!
So tell me...how does your garden grow this year?


  1. Awesome! Sounds like all your plants are doing great! We left Dad in charge of watering and looking after our garden while we're gone. I hope we don't miss the best of the strawberries! :-)

  2. I don't know about anyone else, but I saw this post come up in my list several days ago, but always got an error page when I came to see it. This morning is the first time I could get it.

    Lovely informative post about all that is going on.

    We are busy bees, aren't we! LOL You know, I've not seen one single honey bee here this year. It's rather eerie....


  3. Sounds heavenly! Our garden is small this year, but reading your posts sure are inspiring.


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