We are home again and we are so glad to be here.Issac had a rough week at home not feeling well and waiting to go to surgery. But Issac is resting,well and is now the proud owner of 5 gallstones in a jar.
This spring one of our goal here is to fill the empty side of our front yard with garden beds.In the photo you can see how empty it is. You can also see the stump from the plumb tree we took down last spring.When we first started to plan this side of the yard I was a bit overwhelmed, all of that blank space what to do! Once Chance calmed me down we decided to start by continuing the very front bed that we have on the other side of the yard. Our goal was to plant more espaliered fruit trees and other low growing edibles and flowers to make a living green fence line.Once we had that done we were hoping that the rest of the space would make better sense. You can see photos of the side of the front yard we already started here and here to get an idea of what we are aiming for. I call it our twist on English gardening,part flowers, part edibles combined to give us food, a pretty yard and some privacy now that our big tree is gone.
As you can see from this next photo( not a very good photo.) we got the front bed started.We planted the first things nearest the walkway last year. We have to Florabunda Roses which we saved from being thrown out at a local nursery.The roses are very happy since we planted them, a reminder that it never hurts to ask about plants that are about to become trash,you can sometimes save them and they have a great price of free.
After the roses we have a very small Tea Tree ( I need to ask at work the variety because I forget to write it down.) it is the kind of tea you drink not for oils. We then planted several blueberries of unknown varieties, I rescued those too. I moved some herb plants and Strawberries to grow under the Blueberries.
Next we bought and planted an Italian Prune tree that we are training into an espalier. Italian Prunes are my favorite of the plumbs they are great fresh eating,cooking and canning. We ended the row with a male and female Arctic Beauty Kiwi's.Kiwi's grow great here and the boys are hoping it will produce fruit before they leave for college in 3 years.
We are still hunting down the tree we want to finish the bed with and are starting to get a feel for how the rest of the future beds will look. We are increasing the amount of food and the number of varieties we will be growing this year which means some serious mapping of the garden beds will need to happen.I am also working on a rotation schedule of the beds as well.I don't want to over work the beds by always plating the same things in the same beds.
The day Chance and I were working on the new front bed we had many people stop in their cars and chat with us.Everyone loved what we are doing.This kind of makes me chuckle and shake my head.Most, not all, but most people in the suburbs think what Chance and I are trying to accomplish with our homestead is a bit radical and could not possibly be beautiful and yet they stop to ask us questions,make positive comments and leave smiling. I guess in this era we are a bit "radical"by growing our own food and trying to build awareness and community through sharing our passions with anyone who asks "What are you doing?"
We also worked out a trade with another neighbor who lives a couple doors up from us.We gave our neighbor some of the Strawberries I had thinned out and she said she could get us some Marion Berry plants from a friend of hers.I have been calling all over town looking for this older berry that was developed right here in Oregon and is rarely found outside of Oregon.The Marion's a yummy berry good for fresh eating and baking. Here is a link to more information about them.
Chance just handed me a still warm square of Blueberry/Sour Cream Coffee Cake with a grin on his face! Chance has been trying to learn how to bake,he can cook up a storm but to quote him "can't bake my way out of a paper bag." My first bite of his cake proves you can teach an old dog new tricks,it is good! So good bye for now,I want to eat this cake while it is still warm.Then we can plan our day.