I am doing a series of updates about what we have done so far with our little homestead. I am trying to post weekly but it may be more like every two weeks. You can always check the intro post for links to all of the currently posted updates.
Hubby put in 3 garden beds for veggies. We have seeds started in pots and two tomato plants that we will transfer into those. Well, we will transfer into one of them because we filled the other two with potatoes, onions, and garlic! Hopefully there is room for my other seedlings or we will be quickly building a fourth bed!
We had a guy out to cut down a dead tree near the house and he identified our fruit trees for us. We have one pear tree, four apple trees, and four that are either peach or apricot. I am looking up ways to preserve all of those so I can be ready when the fruit is ripe! I went and checked them a couple days ago and most have plenty of baby fruit on them so hopefully we get a good harvest.
The neighbor gave us some raspberry shoots he was thinning out so we have 8 of those planted but I don’t think we will get anything from them this year. Perhaps the neighbors will want help picking and preserving theirs when they are ripe. (We have the BEST neighbors!!) They also told us there is a big blackberry bush on the property. I think I know which one it is but we will see this summer. I guess I better prepare for preserving those too! We have also found some grape vines but we won’t get useable fruit from those this year. One is on the ground and needs to be pruned then trained to an arbor. The vines that are currently on a support seem to be dead, there are no leaves or flowers on them. Hopefully we can save the one that is alive and get it on a support for next year.
I am planning to put in a pollinator garden. I have an old bed I am going to clear out and plant with milkweed and other flowers specifically aimed at butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. We have some seeds coming for that-I am a bit behind on that particular project. I also want our kids to tag monarchs to track their flight but I’ve already seen three and don’t have the tags so perhaps that project will wait until next year.
We reorganized one of the beds in the fenced part of the yard and planted roses. When spring began we had several plants emerge in the fenced yard and some outside of it. We know we have daffodils and irises and I think there are day lillies. Other things came up that looked like bulbs to me but never flowered. We also have a bush that I believe is a Chinese peony. I am going to be transplanting most of that somewhere else and trying to get all of our fenced section to go back to just grass. Our yard is full of landscaping with rocks and plants everywhere. While I’m sure it was pretty when it was originally done, but it isn’t exactly dog and kid friendly. I would prefer just grass! We are also filling in the pond. It just isn’t safe for kids.
Our field was FULL of dandelion and I had wanted to pick and dry them for tea but they were gone before I got around to it. I am putting on my calendar for next year to be ready for dandelions in April. I know you can make dandelion jam and I know the dried herb is great for tea and infusions. I’ve also heard of dandelion wine but that may be beyond my abilities! I am planning to make use of them next year though!
We have several herbs growing wild around the property (I think they were once in a bed but were allowed to take over) that I need to get better at identifying. The neighbor has catnip growing in his woods and tells us there are mushrooms all around. I am going to work on my foraging skills!
I saw a recipe for lilac jam that I would love to try. The neighbors have a lilac bush but its flowers are already gone. I’m thinking of asking if I can take a cutting and see if I can get one to grow in my yard so I can try the lilac jam later. It smells wonderful so I’d love to have one even if we don’t like the jam!
I will be planting gourds and sunflowers in the next week or two and I have a bunch of bulbs to plant somewhere but I don’t think they will come up until next year now. We have quite a bit of other projects to get the property how I want it but we are enjoying making our mark here. It will be fun to see how future updates compare to this one!