Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Time

Today is the first day of spring. This winter has been cold but hey, what is winter for?

This winter we were able to clear more land and remove enough trees to plant our 53 bushes.

We will sow spring oats by the end of the month.

The bushes will be planted this fall.

I still have to get permission to run a water line over the gas pipeline right of way that runs through my property.

We are placing our bees hives this spring too. We want the honeybees to pollinate the blueberries.
If we get some honey out of the deal that would be perfect. But we just want the bushes pollinated.

We moved all our bushes to the farm this winter in preparation for the coming spring.

We have run irrigation line so that we can keep our berries watered this summer.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New land

Earlier this year my father gave me just over an acre of land.
The first thing I wanted to do was remove all the trees and plant new ones.
My first thought was Cherry Trees. But Cherry trees do not do well in part of the world, based on the knowledge of a local expert.
My second thought was to plant prune trees. That would work in our area. So we bought a couple and put them large pots to stay while we cleared the land.
BUT then I had an epiphany. I could make money from blueberries. So I decided to clear the land and plant blueberries. This started my awesome journey to being a farmer.
First hurdle.
I starting reading everything I could about the regulations in my area for growing blueberries.
The land I was given is for residential property. Getting the land converted to farm land would require the assistance of my neighbors, $200 dollars, and the approval of my county council.
One of my neighbors did not cooperate. So the rest was useless.
I did learn that I could plant just about anything I want and call it edible landscaping.
SO, the next part of my plan was to get a quote to have the land cleared. Can you believe that it would cost me $10K to have a crew clear the land and level it. IT IS ONLY 2 ACRES.
Since I did not have that kind of cash, I said no.
I bought a chainsaw and started clearing the land by hand myself.
My wife and my daughter have assisted with this part of my journey. As I drop the trees and limb them, the girls moved the limbs out of the way.
Since we have too much to do before we can plant the bushes, we will clear the land on the weekends.
The next step of my plan was to buy the bushes.
There are 3 bushes that will grow well in my area. A few searches on the web revealed where I can get the best deals on 2 of those bushes.
Now we own 30 of one bush and 20 of another bush was paid for today.
The 20 bushes should arrive the week after Thanksgiving.
We will plant all bushes in 5 gallon pots. The soil is made up of pete moss, vermiculite, and perilite.
I did some searching and found that I can get a 4cu ft bag of the vermiculite and the perilite for MUCH cheaper than buying the small 8 quart bags from the big box hardware stores.
The 5 gallon pots were cheapest from one of the big box hardware stores but only online. The shipping was free because I bought more than $50 of them.
We mix 8 quarts of vermiculite and perilite with 83L compressed of the pete moss.
Then we filled up the growers pots and added a handful, literally, of soil acidifier. We got the soil acidifier from one of the big box hardware stores.
I bought a tiller / plow to loosen the soil on the land. This works wonders for planting a cover crop this winter. My wife chose to plant clover. No reason to it just wanted to plant it because we can feed it to our rabbits. I will be planting oats in a couple of weeks. Great cover crop and we can feed it to our rabbits AND quail.
So we have 30 potted blueberry bushes. YAY! 20 more on the way.
We have trees that need to split and burned. Not sure what we will do with the rest yet. But you can be sure I will be posting that information here. Have fun for now.