Wednesday, April 10, 2013

my edible yard

It has been about 7 years since I started on this, running concurrently with the project in the woods introducing natives.  It began as a whim, to try to have some kind of fruit available from spring thru fall, and bring in other edibles that could live with the always present edible weeds.  Just for fun and free food.
The house is on about perhaps a half acre, nestled into the one side of the tree farm.  Down at my sister's a few hundred yards away, there are apples, peaches, grapes, and Bing cherries planted along with some hazelnuts.  Black walnuts are prevalent in the woods.  Let me show you how things are looking so far.  In addition to the plants shown, we have a corner full of sunchokes, more hazelnut trees, horseradish, and a nice new clump of nettles.  There's a big mulberry on the other side of the field, and mints everywhere.
A few weeks ago we pulled these black raspberries out from the side of the house and transplanted them along the garden where we grow the holy basil and some vegetables each year.  We'll see what happens there.

On the right is a vitex, and on the left behind the yucca (delicious edible blossoms) are two of the three elders.   

New this year, a black currant.  It seems to be taking well.  Probably fruit next year.

The blueberry patch is finally growing well inside its own little fence.  The rabbits and groundhogs kept nibbling off the branches each spring, so now they have great root systems.  They went in the first year and this will be the first year with a decent sized crop.  I hope.

We had to move the fig tree because it was too close to the house and getting too big.  The trunk is now 4" in diameter.  The sun was too bright when I took these pictures, but you can barely make out the leaf tip poking out.

Sour cherry tree.  Last year a last minute cold snap destroyed any hope of cherries,  I tell myself the birds would have gotten them anyhow.  That makes me feel a little better.

In a circle out back and also along the one side of the house, the wild orange daylilies have been transplanted because we love to eat the buds as a vegetable.  Never seem to have enough, even though my sister has an entire hillside.

On the extreme left, you can see branches from the elderberry bushes, and straight ahead is the sour cherry tree.  The blueberry patch is off to the left between them - just to give you an idea of how it is laid out on that side of the yard.

On the other side of the fence, there is a purple gooseberry bush.  There's another variety that is only a fraction of that size a little further up, but it isn't visible.

Outside the fence behind the blueberries, a red currant is pretty happy.  There's a serviceberry tree out there too, hiding behind the currant.  We already get a few serviceberries, even at that size.

Two of 3 Nanking bush cherries that went in a month or so ago.  They'll form a hedge straight out from the basement door.



As you may have noticed, there's lots of weeding to be done.  Our weather just turned a few days ago, so we'll get to that as soon as the PA Herb Festival is over and we get all the magazines out to everyone who has them coming.  It's been a very busy spring, so maybe I should be thankful that the weather gave me a little more time to work inside without feeling guilty.

In between all the fruit plants, there are medicinal and culinary herbs that are also beginning to wake up.  The rosemary is heading into a fourth year and I noticed a few fennel volunteers.  The lavenders are starting to show signs of life, and the chives should be blooming in the next couple of weeks along with the valerian.  Out front, I'm watching the bleeding hearts emerge.

And next week, it will be time for another walk in the woods to see what wonders await there.  The pawpaws we put in down there last fall (knowing we probably won't live to see fruit) look like they made it, and I'm looking forward to seeing leaves on them.

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