Saturday, May 10, 2008


Here we go...What do I have in my hand?

OK, how about my yard:

one acre with road on three sides
house is uphill from all three roads
mostly covered with trees, shady

poor soil, rocky, sandy, lifeless around the house
beyond the immediate yard many years of leaves have been composting on the ground

types of trees include:
oak - Chestnut, Northern Red, Pin
maple - Red, Sugar, 1 Crimson (Norway) Maple
birch - Gray, 1 Paper (a baby transplanted from Minnesota in 2007)
hickory - Shagbark, Mockernut (white)
pine - Eastern White, Eastern Hemlock, 2 Balsam,
spruce - Norway, Red, 1 Blue
chestnut - American (unfortunately they die when they reach about 10 feet)
cherry - Common Chokecherry
ash - 1 White, Green
Shining Sumac
Big Tooth Aspen
American Hornbeam
American Elm - gone now

miscellaneous shrubs including:
1 Mountain Laurel
1 Oriental Arborvitae
couple other flowering shrubs

fruit producing bushes:
wild blueberry , black currant, red raspberry, wild black raspberry, gooseberry

day lilies, comfrey, hosta, lily of the valley, miscellaneous flowers

edible perennial or wild plants:
dandelion greens, strawberries, rhubarb, asparagus

garden vegetables:
potatoes, onions, radishes, carrots, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, sweet peppers, garlic, sweet corn (in my daughter's garden), marigolds

Most of these are already growing, some are to be planted in a couple weeks, and some are newly planted. The wild fruits and nuts are eaten up by the resident rodents. Squirrels are voracious eaters. Chipmunks, too, are constantly eating. About three years ago I bought a have-a-heart trap just the right size for chipmunks. Whenever I looked into the yard it seemed to be moving. Definitely time to relocate some of the residents. I placed the trap just outside my basement door on a cement block wall (their favorite "king-of-the-mountain" site). Bait was not required. They just walked into the trap. One day there were two chipmunks chasing each other so closely that both got caught when the doors slammed shut!! In one year I relocated sixty (that's 5 dozen) chipmunks and one opossum.

While out in the yard listing items, I found a spot we had overlooked that is suitable for another raised bed. Tomorrow, Mother's Day, we're going to trim tree branches (this makes mother happy) in order to eliminate some of the shade over the potatoes; and, remove a hickory limb that hangs over the house. It is quite messy and we want to collect the rain water runoff from the roof. Oh, speaking of rain water, our Berkey water purifier arrived yesterday! Looking forward to regularly drinking the rain water since our well water is so hard. I've already used rain water to make coffee. Wow, what a difference! (My days of coffee drinking will soon be over, but while I still have some coffee...mmm)

Next - How 'bout the house? What kind of stuff will I find there?

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