The day finally arrived! This blueberry bed was years in the making. We first planted potatoes into it, then tomatoes the following year. In autumn 2009 a thick layer of pine needless was laid on top and left there over winter. In the spring it was rototilled. More soil amendments were added the next year. Only now in spring 2012 is the soil sufficiently loamy and acidic to nourish theses 12 blueberry plants. Hooray!
Our CSA members only see this plant in fruit. Nowadays it is flowering. It’s called Juneberry or Service Berry. It is extremely slow growing because the new suckers come up thin and far from each other making them easy accidents with the lawn mower. The tall inner shoots never thicken, no matter how much they age. Last year’s wet spring gave us abundant berries. They are sweet, but not as sweet as blueberries.
I used to be so annoyed by Henbit. This weed comes up before any other. I would pull it out of all the garden beds. Then I began to notice the bees like it. It comes up even before the dandelions thus giving the little darlings some nectar when they venture out in early spring. Can you spot the honeybee in this photo? Hint: it’s near the bottom.
This row of Osage orange was well mulched with leaves last fall. The young trees are doing better than they appear, given the poor contrast in this photo. I’m at the far end of the sheep pasture, near the edge of the reforestation area. The fruit of the Osage orange is a natural alternative to mothballs, containing a substance that repels many insects.
These young people are completing a degree in the Environment at University of Michigan. They drove up from Ann Arbor one warm March day to spend a day planting trees. Greg dug up the poplars from a spot near the house where they had rooted but were not needed. He uses them to fill spaces in the reforestation project where our original plantings failed.
This young man came along too. He is graduating from MSU and will be going on for a D.O. after taking a gap year. He’ll start off as an intern with us next month. He’s preparing a hole for a poplar.
The colony from last year survived the winter. Its the same queen from 2 years ago because they survived last winter, too, and never swarmed, which is a minor miracle. The hive is so active, I’d like to split them, but have no queen to give the split. Queens are in short supply, I’m told. Meanwhile, I hived a new colony and they are doing well.
This ewe was the last of our 7 ewes to give birth. Her 2 little ones looked so strange to me, until I realized that they resemble their father more than any of the other lambs. Their mother is very protective of them. I will take a photo of all the lambs on pasture soon. They are so cute and playful, chasing each other around the yard and leaping in the air with delight.