Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fresh Start

We spent the whole summer cleaning up the property (see past posts). 
Dumpsters and truck beds full of debris were carted away. 
A garden was forged out of a rocky field overgrown with invasive English Ivy and Wisteria.
Paths for hiking and relaxation were carefully and painstakingly carved through the hills and forest.
Yeah, we still had some ways to go but, at least the bulk was behind us.
Until the storm came.
The paths are no longer recognizable and blend in with the surrounding land covered in tree branches.
The garden deer fence is demolished.
The orchard looks like a war trauma unit.

Amidst all that... Our home is intact, the poultry are still alive, and there is only minimal damage to the outbuildings. ... Praise God! It was a bit scary and stressful to go through it without my husband here. The 4 days without electricity, the falling trees everywhere, the being "treed and snowed in" on our hill for 3 days.

Let me tell you something about living here. Our "neighborhood is on the top of a 1000 ft elevation hill with a view of Mt. Rainer's cone 30 miles to the east. We make a 3 mile loop of gravel/dirt road with one road in/out. The smallest lots are an acre. Most of us are on a patch of about 6 acres. This is the 1st place where I have felt that this is where we belong. The loop is so big, we have not near met everyone yet but, the folks we have met are (to put it in Texan terms) "Just Peachy"! We all pretty much keep our peace and keep to ourselves. but, when it comes down to it... you won't find more helpful, kind, genuine folks than these up here on our hill!
That being said... Let me update y'all on the post storm happenings.

It was a bit rainy and cold for a while there. But the weather rewarded us for her temper tantrum and gave us a good 5 days of BEAUTIFUL sunny AND warm (if you want to call 50's warm) weather. When you are working  it sure does feel nice! 

I can get to the shed now
We started by clearing the path to the brush pile on the east hill. I cleared most of the garden and the compost area, and the path to the garden shed. Then we tackled the orchard. We got a lot done in the weekend.

I am trying to salvage the good apple tree. Pruned about hald of it off - I still have a little more to go. We  hoisted it back up with the truck and are trying to support it while the east side root structure tries to re-develop - fingers crossed. 
apple tree physical therapy

I found an apple/pear/ fruit of some sort tree felled in the woods up near the shed and re-located it to the orchard to see what happens. I had to prune the heck out of it! When examining its' roots - looks like it had been planted in a burlap sack (roots were circled up) and about 8 inches too deep (whats new?! - right MG's?)! It will be interesting to see if it takes and if so, what it will be. 

My hubby (bless his heart) cut down the only tree that was in the right spot. My little plum. :'-(. 
Oh well, whats' done is done. Now I just went out and had to buy a new one - at least i know the variety this time (an Italian, freestone, prune/fresh variety).

cranberry & Wintermint
apricot, & 2 cherries

The nursery order came in a month ahead of time and so I put them in pots till I can get them in the ground and protected from the deer :-{ - errrrrr!
toro and hardiblue blueberrys

bushes gone - kinnikinnik in
I took out the 6'x8' bushes they planted as a foundation planting in the front (another eye-roll for the MG's). Replaced them with a little native plant called Kinnikinnik (bear berry). And will put annual color in there till it fills in. Re-located the bushes to the front - to help with road dust.

future home of strawberries

Started on adding a strawberry bed to the garden. The birds helped out with that. I let them out with me and they loved to help (waiting for me to flip over the pavers so they could get to the good stuff and scratching in the freshly weeded dirt piles).

It was really nice while it lasted. 
Back to the rain.
the "new" orchard - plum tree in back in "chickenwire cage"

I also have been working on a start-up business to help out with the bills and repairs to the property.

The past few months of research and preparation are finally over and now on to dividing my time between family, farm and business. 
I have my licence and a web-based venue for my photos and other items for sale.

 I am always adding new things - so check the shop regularly to see what's new!


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