Monday, March 21, 2011

Tree Protection and Fairies

When Buck and I planted apple and pear trees last June, we did it a little oddly. We had stopped by the local farm store to look at what kind of trees they had so we could start planning a new orchard. As luck would have it the supplier had brought in all kinds of exciting varieties I had never seen at a local store AND they had just gone on sale for half price! We couldn't help it, we bought 5 trees, three apple and two pear.

The original fruit trees on this farm are, like the buildings, on their last legs and we knew from experience that the first thing you want to do when you land somewhere is plant trees.
You can always cut them down for firewood, but you can never get the time that has passed, back. Plant trees right away.

When we got back to the homestead

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fruit Trees

We love fruit trees. Apples are my favorite.  We have planted a few young trees
up here, and will certainly plant many more.  We have some old trees too. 
We gave this old gal a big structural pruning a few years ago, and it looks like it is time again. 
There we go, much better now.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dealing With the Invaders

Buck and I spend a fair amount of time here at the Homestead dealing with plants that don't belong. You would think that being so far out in the middle of nowhere, there would be more native and less invasive, but alas, birds fly and with them, so do seeds.

We have to deal with the ever encroaching Himalayan Blackberry and the pernicious English Ivy, but we also have the fluffy, dandelion-like flying Tansy Ragwort seed and the "Pop in the Air" flying seed of Scotch Broom. The Scotch broom seed

Monday, March 14, 2011

My New Buddy

Warning: This blog post has an unabashed product endorsement!  We have not been paid or compensated in any way for this.  (Not that we would be opposed to a little something; Alas, that is not the case.)

We have a lot of land that used to be pasture. Now much of that is covered in 4-8' tall Scotch Broom, interlaced with blackberry.

We could mow it, but the Scotch Broom has big stumps and they grow back right away.  We don't spray on the Homestead, so that leaves pulling them.  

A friend described a shrub pulling device he saw a highway crew using.  A bit of Googling brought us to the Weed Wrench.  It had positive reviews and seemed like a good option for us.  It's made in Oregon by a small business, which is always nice.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Rio the Mustang

We have a new/returning character at the Homestead. Rio.

Rio is my Mustang baby who had been living at boarding school while we got the pasture fenced and is now finally back where he was born 12 years ago. Thanks to Buck and his fence building stick-to-itiveness we have Rio back where we can play with him every day.

I adopted his wild Mustang mom from the Warm Springs herd in Eastern Oregon in 1999. She is a beautiful blue roan I named Cielo. She turned out to be pregnant