Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Busy Weekend / Holiday


"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country." - JFK

Having the day off for President's Day proved to be very productive on the homestead.  About a year ago I saw this old 3 wheeler in the woods behind my dad's place and I asked him about it.  As best we could tell, it had not been cranked since 1986.  A few days later we loaded it up and hauled it down to a shop outside of town that seemed to be interested in the challenge to get this old thing up and running.  There was also an old trailer that with a little TLC is back up and running.   I am looking forward to having this around the property this summer.  

Anyway, I was finally able to get my potatoes in the ground.  It had been so wet that I have not been able to get into the field to prepare a place.  I am trying something a little different this year.  I am going to try and grow clover between the rows to help with weed protection and moisture management.  The clover will also provide nitrogen for the soil.  After the potatoes I went and cut some switch cane that has been growing on the property.   I plan to use the cane for tomatoes and peas.   The switch cane is invasive and needed to be cutback anyway.   Next, I focused on saving a few plants.  I have four bilberry plants that I purchased a couple of years ago. Since putting them out they really haven't done anything.  In fact, I thought only two had survived.  I tried to find a few Bilberry plants this year and I can not find them anywhere, well not in the US anyway.  I did find a grower in the UK but can not ship to the US without permits, etc.  You can buy seeds, but from what I understand the germination rate is fairly low.   I went to dig up the plants to place them into containers and it seems like the two I thought were dead had a little green in them so hopefully they are still alive.  Bilberry's like acid soil so I amended my soil mixture to lower the PH.  I moved them up by the cabin where I can give them a little more TLC.  And lastly, I had one beehive that did not survive last year.  I spent a couple of hours going through the hive and cleaning out all the old frames, boxes etc.  It is recommended that you freeze the hive for a couple of days so I placed them in a garbage bag and have put them in the freezer.  I have not ordered any packages of bees yet so I am going to try to find a source this week.  The other two hives are doing great.  I ended up with about 60 pints of honey this year.   

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