Saturday, May 12, 2012

Breaking Ground

We can't start building the new house yet, but there are plenty of other things to be getting on with if we want to have a successful farm. Planning things ahead is important, especially since there will so many changes over the next 24 months. For example, we don't want to be planting something permanent like fruit trees or bushes in a location we're later going to dig up or put a septic field or a house on. So having a good and still somewhat flexible plan is important.

Today marks a very important day in the life of our new farm, it's the day we plant our very first fruit bush. Since they will take a while to become established, planting this year gives the bushes time to settle in and grow for a year before we want to be picking fruit next year. It gives us the opportunity to buy smaller plants for much less cost and to put them exactly where we want them. Now here's the shocker...we're planting blackberries.

If you're from the west coast, you're probably wondering why on earth we'd plant these hated bushes that everyone tries so hard to cut back, eradicate or tame. But these are domesticated canes that are almost thornless and bear larger berries. We are planting them near the property line along the fence on the cemetery side. They'll provide a nice hedge away from the driveway and fruit for jam and pie making every year. We bought our canes from a local grower with established plants, so we know that they do well in this climate. We also bought raspberry canes from the same person. The raspberries will be row planted away from animals, the blackberries are fine for hedging in most animals but not pigs or goats who love to eat them. In BC we actually had goats specifically to help clear brambles out of our fields. On our new place there are no blackberries growing wild and since we love this fruit, we're compromising by planting some in a location that's useful.

When we put in the new driveway it will create a smallish triangle shaped field between the driveway, the road and the property line. It's still big enough to be useful, and if the soil is good, we're going to put some raspberry bushes there in nice neat rows for a future U-Pick field. The ground isn't too wet (raspberries don't like wet feet) and it's close to the house and to future parking if we go with the U-Pick idea. If we change our mind at any time, the bushes are more than enough for our family's needs and will give us some extra canes to sell each year.

Today and tomorrow Steve and the boys are going to take the big tape measure, the GPS and the land description and go survey the property while we girls go fishing and plant berries. That's in addition to clearing the house of teenage boys from Jordan's sleepover, cleaning, tilling the garden, helping a friend move, writing my talk for church tomorrow, service calls, driving Chris to work and back, going to Kung-Fu and all the normal stuff we have to do on a Saturday. Busy Busy! Gotta run!

1 comment:

  1. You're so right about having a flexible plan when it comes to these things. I know the dilemma of wanting to already have something on the land even though you haven't started building in it. I'm a year late to this post, so I hope that all your planning has come to fruition by now, and that you've got yourselves a lovely farm with as many beautiful fruit trees and bushes as you could ever want!