A Family Builds a Homestead in the Rain

Planting Fruit Trees

We’re back from a longer-than-planned trip to the new place– the last visit, perhaps, that is merely a visit. The anxiety for change is mounting, as is the excitement, as is the stress, as is the sense of accomplishment for all that we managed to do in the past two weeks.

While we finally had the Internet connected after Week One, I couldn’t find more than a single moment to devote to any writing whatsoever, which does leave a vacant place in my heart that I’ll be working to fill in the next few weeks and in the new routine I will be developing.

Albeit a tad late, we planted four apple trees: a Gravenstein (deeply endeared to me in my upbringing in Sonoma County), a Cox’s Orange Pippin, a semi-dwarf Yellow Delicious, and an heirloom English variety of which I cannot recall the name (but I have tagged). We also planted a hardy Chicago fig, two blueberry bushes, rhubarb, and a long row of Russian Fingerling potatoes.

Getting the fruit trees was critical if we were to have any in this year. The soil is wonderfully soft and fairly loose, so digging is a piece of cake compared to the arid, compacted clay of the Valley. We amended the holes with lots of compost and mulched around the slight trunks with plenty of dried field grass. Our toddler enjoyed helping– and “helping.”

Two major threats to our garden and orchard frequent the land: deer, of course, and a notorious neighbor’s herd of ever-roaming cattle. The only solution, it seems, is to fence our entire acreage. In the mean time, though, particularly while we are away, each plant needs its own stronghold. We planned simple circles of field wire around the trees, upheld with a few posts. The wire was too flimsy un-stretched, however, so the construction took far longer than planned. They didn’t come out perfect, but more than satisfactory to me.

Best of all, we have met several neighbors who are more than a wealth of information: they are avid homesteaders and gardeners, active in the community, and as welcoming and generous as I could imagine asking for in new neighbors. For all of this I am boundlessly grateful.

Similar posts
  • Three Months On The Homestead With autumn peeking around the corner of September, with my daughter’s second birthday days away, with cool afternoons finally settling in, we’re looking back on our first three months here. Life is feeling lush, productive, and happy. The guestroom bed is covered with jars– canned blackberry jam, blueberry jam, applesauce, preserved lemons. The kitchen table [...]
  • Lessons From a First-Year Garden This year has reportedly been a tough one for many. I remind myself that we’ve only been living on our new property for two-and-a-half months. Planting was late; spring prep was minimal. The land was raw and clayey. Oh, and I’m gardening with a toddler. All of those excuses aside, our garden has not been [...]
  • Anticipation of Fall In the midst of summer, under July heat and between berry-picking and trips to the lake, my mind always begins to move to fall. On chilly mornings, or when a breeze picks up and thrashes the plants out front, I feel it coming, though its arrival is still months off yet. It’s always been at this [...]
  • Summertime Summer is not my favorite season by any stretch, yet in spite of unprecedented weeks of heat here in the Pacific Northwest, this summer has been filled with charm and simple luxuries. The creek is at what neighbors say is a record low for this time of year, and I believe it. But it still offers [...]
  • The Incredible Benefits of Mulch When we began our incremental move back in December, we had a few days each visit to accomplish what we could. My number-one priority was gathering leaves from beneath the maple trees to mulch an area for the garden. My husband and I raked 10 heaping trailer loads and spread an 8-inch layer over 1,800 [...]

2 Comments

  1. April 10, 2015    

    Best of luck with all of your pretty new trees!! I hope they’re not nibbled upon while you’re away from them!! : ) Have a beautiful weekend!!

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

    • April 10, 2015    

      Thank you, Wendy! I also am hoping that they are in good condition when we return! We shall see. 🙂

Welcome!

I'm Kelly. Writer, crafter, forager, country winemaker, cook. Mama of an awesome toddler and married to my best friend. We recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, where we're setting out to grow, make, and learn as much as we can as the future unfolds.

Follow Along

Never miss a post! Receive updates by email.

Popular Posts