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More of What We’ve Planted

We are working to invest in perennials on our property.

In our Stark Brothers order, which included Strawberries, we also bought oodles of other plants.  Including:

  • 1 Bare-root Sugar Maple
    • Why: This is a hard wood tree.  It doesn’t really have a lot of food value, unless we decide to tap for maple syrup (which I know nothing about).  It’s beautiful in Fall and helps to create a diverse environment, as well as provide habitat for whatever creatures.
    • Where: We planted this in our front yard.  Our driveway is pretty long, but you can still see the house from the street, and the street from the yard.  I would like to feel like I live in the middle of a forest. How do you do that?  By reforesting, of course!
    • Cost: $26.99

Sugar Maple

After being planted for about 2 weeks, the leaves are starting to come forth.

  • 2 Elderberries (Adams and York)
    • Why: I planted these are the old house, and had great success with them.  They turn into bushy plants with white flowers and medicinal berries.  The birds love it.  I plan to add the other two cultivars Stark Brothers has available.  I couldn’t find any real difference between the York and the Adams.  I’m not really sure what the difference is, aside from the name.
    • Where:  I planted this out back of our porch.  We have a beautiful view of a valley, but I don’t really get to see the little song birds flit around.  I hope that by giving the birds a place to congregate, I can see them play from my kitchen table.
    • Cost: $8.99 and $11.99 for a total of $20.89Image may contain: cloud, sky, plant, tree, outdoor and nature
  • Chicago Hardy Fig
    • Why: Because, YUM! We planted this at our old house and hand a harvest of 5 figs the first year, and over 50 by year 3.  Fresh figs in a store cost about $1/piece, so this tree paid for itself, quickly!
    • Where: I planted this between the two elderberries.  A nice little place for the birds.  The birds left the figs alone at the old house.  Let’s hope they do the same here!
    • Cost: $21.99
  • Hall’s Hardy Almond
    • Why: this is starting to sound like I’m on repeat,  but it’s true! We had this tree at the old house, and it did really well. It didn’t bear fruit (nuts, actually) while we lived there, but the flowers were beautiful.  Chris and I drove past the old house, and saw the Almond Tree in full bloom.  I went home and ordered this.
    • Where: Out front of the house
    • Cost: $29.99
  • Paw-Paw (Pennsylvania and Seedling)
    • Why: I want to taste a Paw-Paw!  And Stark Brothers didn’t have many left.  It takes 7 years for a tree to bear fruit, so we wanted to get these in the ground ASAP.  We bought 2 Pennsylvania cultivars and 1 seedling.  The seedling will work as a pollinator for the Pennsylvania.  We will continue to add varieties as time goes by.
    • Where: We are starting a small orchard so that we can effectively fence this off from deer pressure, if that becomes a problems.  While it’s good to have similar species spread out to avoid a total wipe out due to disease or pest infestation, having similar plants with similar needs together allows for easier care and harvesting.  This is an area where I’m stepping away from a Permaculture ideal to move towards my own simplicity.
    • Cost: 2 Pennsylvania Golden Paw Paw (2 at $18.16) and a Seedling ($26.99) for a total of $63.31
  • Asparagus (Purple Passion from Stark Brothers and Jersey Knight from a local nursery)
    • Why: this is really simple.  it’s because I love asparagus and because I like to try new things.  So purple asparagus.  SURE! I bought the Jersey Knight Asparagus because that’s what the store had.  The crown were a little sad, but I was able to plant six crown total. The Jersey Knight gives good yields and is heat and cold tolerant.
    • Where: In our asparagus bed.  We have it heavily mulched with wood chips.
    • Cost: Purple Aspargus ($14.99 (better qulaity and more crowns)), Jersey Knight ($5.99) for a total of $20.98
  • Beauregard Sweet Potato (not perennial, but I bought this from Stark Brothers)
    • Why: Sweet potatoes are amazing and super healthy.  See my post here.  Clearly I’ve had them before.
    • Where: They came super early and cannot be planted until the ground has warmed up.  Probably June.  I’m not sure where their final place will be.  To store them until planting, I put them in a quart Mason Jar.  The spruced right up, and have roots that are starting to sprout.  We’ll see how it turns out when we actually plant them.
    • Cost: $31.99 for 25 slips

Sweet potato slips biding time until it’s warm enough to plant them in the ground.

  • Bubblegum Plum
    • Why: I like Plums, and the name!!!  I have another plum tree ordered as a pollinator.  It should be here next week.  At that time, I’ll update you!
    • Where: In front of our home.  It seems to be doing well.
    • Cost: $29.99

So far, we’re really enjoying building our food forest. Its been rather expensive thus far, but we only have to plant these trees once, and we should get to harvest from them for years.  Perennials are also better for your environment, as it is a steadfast habitat for critters in the soil and above.

 

Our New Place in Space (and other Updates)

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned.  It has been over one year since I have posted.

Here’s what’s going on in my world:

We recently purchased a new property.  It is lovely.

  • 4 acres
  • Flat (oh, I don’t have to contend with a hill when making design plans!)
  • Beautiful View
  • Cute, small, simple house

Did I mention the view?

Okay, I guess you have to see it!

1blogview

You can see three miles into the distance.  And when fireworks go off in the valley, you can see those!

I know in a past post, I declared that I was D-O-N-E with all this DIY.  Well, in order to sell the house, we needed to rip out the garden.  I also went all-in on work.

Well, all work and no play makes Julia a dull girl.

I missed getting my hands dirty.  I missed growing my own food.  One full season away from anything agricultural showed me that.

And now, I’m working on cultivating this piece of flat land.  And I’m doing it more simply, and I’m not trying to do it all.  All at once. or All by myself.

I am doing this one step at a time.  I’m using some more conventional methods.  And my husband is walking arm and arm with me.

I’m sharing this journey so that I have an online record of where the property and our family has been, I want to see where we end up.  And I’d like you to join me!

I’m also intending to keep track of yields and what, when and where we’ve planted things, along the the results.

Wanting Opposites

In my last post, I discussed one of my favorite writers, Daniele LaPorte and one of the excerpts from her book :  The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul  She had so many wonderful thoughts, exercises and writing prompts.  I really enjoyed it and still do.  In fact, I bought a copy for one of my friends.

In that same book, she lists some of her desires.  From wanting to shave her head and also wanting to have long beautiful hair.  Who hasn’t desired opposites?  My big opposite desires are the freedom of being tied toanything, and my agricultural, living of the land simply dreams.  In the same vein, but opposite. This is the duality I have always and will always feel.  This tug I’ve never been able to fully reconcile.  Quite frankly, I doubt I ever will.

But,  in these opposites, I see similarity.  I see that I crave a life of simplicity, semi-solitude, and quiet.  Give me organic acoustic.  I want the Bow and Arrow vs the rifle.  Give me the Kayak vs the motor boat.  I feel myself tense when I enter a city.  My deep breaths are met with the sourness (ugh, Philly in Spring will make you eyes water).  When I drive into the country, the mountains, the valleys I can breathe.  The crick in my neck loosens and my heart can beat fully. I feel home.

I think within these opposite pulls, we need to find the similar thread, and I think this thread is part of the fabric that makes us us.  The Sarah-ness of Sarah, or the Julia-ness of Julia.

One day I may find myself living in van down by the river or climbing crag moving with the seasons, or I may find myself on a small permaculture farm  tending to my roots.  I may also be working for a corporation BUT I’m sure I’ll always crave wide open spaces.  I’m sure I’ll always dream.  I’m sure I’ll always come up with wild ideas and I’m sure I’ll always, always be changing my mind.

Comfort comes from seeing the consistency of my wild dreams.  It makes me feel not so much like a flailing teenager.  It makes me feel like my pendulum of desire is no longer swinging as wildly from one extreme to another, but quietly swinging back and forth like a porch swing in a spring breeze.  (Please note: this breeze is decidedly in the country and NOT in any major metropolitan area)