Mother of All Blueberry Bushes

Measuring and marking for the barn.

Mica breaks ground for his blacksmith shop, which will occupy the first bay of the barn.

 

We started out early today, as it’s another hot one. It was up to about 100 degrees yesterday, might hit that much again today. It did rain last night, and started off overcast today, which let us all work until close to one before knocking off for the afternoon. Dad and Mica are putting in the footings for the first tmodule of the garage. I headed off to pick black raspberries, and was up to my waist in brambles when Dad bellowed for me to come up. So I fought my way free of the prickles and headed to the garden, where he announced that BoPop would not be able to take Johann to Lowes for the Junior Builder workshop so could I please take him, in fifteen minutes. Oh, and could you pick up 6 bags of ‘crete while you’re there? Ok… So I head out with Johann, and as we got there Bopop showed up, having successfully started his car. I had the pleasure of watching my little man and his Great-grandfather build a pair of binoculars together. That was fun!

From one generation to the next… these two cross the gap of four generations.

 

After I got back to the house, I fed the guys lunch and watched them muck about with concrete for a bit before taking off to pick more berries. They did their best to get the footings level and square.

 

Mixing small batches of 'crete

 

We poured footings for the corner posts in sono-tubes.

 

I went down in the pasture, intending to start at the northern most berry bushes and work my way back to the house, but I found the mother of all blueberry bushes and picked it clean until my bucket was full. A gallon of berries off one highbush berry bush. Whew! It got hot, but I wasn’t going to give up until I had it clean.

Wild blueberries are small but good.

 

Tons of little berries!

 

beautiful as a bunch of flowers!

 

Black Raspberries.

Early Morning Blueberries

Pippa Picking wild blueberries. The orange tag marks the berry bush

 

We went out to pick berries at 6:30 this morning because I haven’t picked in days and I was anxious not to lose my berry crop.  Pippa joined me right after I went out and we picked until just after 8. We got two quarts of blueberries and about a pint of raspberries and didn’t make a dent, so I will be picking again later today.

highbush blueberries

 

Bowl and doily spiderweb, the spider runs around on the underneath of the web and pulls prey through.

 

I kept the berries separate today... and those are domestic berries on top of the blueberries.

Berry Season is Open!

As of the first of July we are picking raspberries and blueberries! We don’t have a lot of either yet, so I will be freezing small batches until we get enough for a batch of jam, but if you want some at the farmstand let me know and I’ll pick for you! Keep in mind our blueberries are the little wild ones, so rich in flavor and goodness.

Making the Farm Beautiful

The pear tree in the front is the sterile variety, but I can forgive it when it becomes a cloud of blossom every spring.

Landscaping the front of the farm has been the lowest priority for the last few years. This year I was determined to make it, not into a showpiece, but at least neat and pretty. Showpiece will have to wait a year or two until new plants mature! Saturday we picked up two loads of mulch. The truck will hold a yard of mulch at a go, so we have two yards, plus the bags I’d bought the other day. Unfortunately, the cedar mulch I bought is blonde, and the bark mulch yesterday is a brunette.  I’m trying to blend it. I’m using broken bricks for edging, because we have a bunch from a project Dad started and then gave up on. And lots of little annuals going in the edges of beds, so it will be colorful later. I’ll take more pictures then!

This bed in the gap between the Garage and Farm lane has a Pee Gee Hydrangea and four blueberries.

This bed has three blueberries, a bunch of volunteer wild strawberries, and more!

I like to practice edible landscaping, and most of my flower beds have more than decorative plants in them. Also, as they are the first zone around the house, and thus the easiest to care for and harvest from, I will put herbs and veggies in them until my kitchen garden is ready to plant. The bed in the above photograph has mint and thyme in it already. The wild strawberries decided they like it, and when they started to come up I’ve left them alone, hoping for berries this year. At the upper part of the bed you will see a bright blue barrel, one of the rain barrels. It saves steps on watering both this bed, and the chicks who are being brooded in the garage.

Close-up of the wild strawberries.

Looking from the garage to the house.

I’m still only halfway around the drive, I still want to mulch cover the crescent bed in the center. The big Bradford Pear is there, and a volunteer Butternut we’ve decided to let grow there. I planted 7 bayberries there this spring, as they are resistant to road salt. Dad lined the road edge a few years back with a short rock wall, and arbor vitae. Hopefully they will get big enough in years to come to shield the house from the road to some extent. The bed is still a work in progress. There is a well established patch of comfrey and I’ve put some daylilies in, as well as my mother’s day snowball bush. But the raspberries have taken over. Our wild raspberries are almost useless, as they are prone to a virus that prevents them from setting fruit.

This bed still needs a lot of work.

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