Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Morning in Early June

From my office window, I see the rolling hills covered with row upon row of conifers. Soon the trimming will commence and the air will be filled with the fresh green scent of the different pines and firs. Balsam and Concolor are closest to the house, and their scents just happen to be my favorites. If you've never smelled the Concolor Fir, its needles have the scent of citrus mingled with pine. It's luscious!

This year we decided to put in a lot of different blueberries, just on the inside of the split-rail fence. I mail-ordered 6, and they arrived as tiny sticks. There will be no berries on those plants this year, so I found a couple of big plants that will bear fruit this year at nearby garden centers. One is almost ready to turn color, and the other will be ripe later in the season, as they are different varieties. I'm keeping an eye out for a few more. They are so good for you, and when I buy the berries my daughter will eat the whole quart in a sitting. I figure the only way I'll ever actually get any to eat would be to grow them myself - enough that she'll tire of them. It doesn't seem right to complain that the child is so enamoured of such a healthy food, so until they are all bearing fruit, I'll be content with some tasty tea brewed up with the leaves mixed with some leaves from the many wild raspberries around here and the rose hips covering the hillside. In the patch, I've also stuck the mountain mint that came home from Baton Rouge (right in front of the one post), and a couple elderberry plants from Possum Creek Herbs in TN, along with a Witch Hazel plant that some resident animal snapped off a few inches up the stem. I think it will survive, though. The Pawpaw tree from Maureen's old yard doesn't look so good. I didn't have the heart to include that in the picture, although the birds love to sit on it and eye the berries as they get ready to ripen. I'm already planning the netting to keep them from getting them all. Anyway, as I looked at the little plot of soil, it crossed my mind that dirt from all over the country had been introduced into this little area. It's a well-traveled little plot.
I'll try to remember to take a shot at the end of summer to compare how they've grown.

The last few days have been intense here on the farm, but all is resolving slowly. We had some rain (finally), and I went out to look around at how well the weeds are doing. Everything has taken a giant leap - including the groundhog, who found the peas and seems to love the tender shoots at the tips of the plants. Grrrr.... The chamomile (German, Matricaria) that I rescued from the nearby construction site has made itself quite at home in the little plot we gave it, and is happily going to seed. Next year there will be enough to distill, I hope.

Next up, a half-barrel bucket of lamb's quarters. Before last year's move to the farm, all of the gardening was done in the buckets. They are still nice for certain things. The saffron bulbs are safe from the bunnies in one of them, and last summer, this particular container held cherry tomatoes and basil plants. It is now filled with my very favorite wild greens, and I've decided to let it go so that they will be easily accessible for salads and cooking. They are another very nutritious wild food, and considering the price of produce this year at the store, they taste better than ever.

Lots of wild greens are coming up. Another month and the raspberries will have me battling through the brush with a pail.

Now it's time to get to work on the mailing so those magazines can hit the post office tomorrow!

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