Sunday, April 24, 2011

Then and Now- Part 5

 The Great Outdoors
When we first came to look at the acreage, it was still winter.  There were pockets of snow on the ground and the landscape was brown and dead.
 But there were streams with running water where the children poked sticks into the water.  There were rolling hills, woods and meadows.
We fell in love with the rolling hills and the wetland at the bottom where the creeks come together.
Spring arrived and with it, the green grass.
I found a garden space in the barnyard for my garden. It is high, flat and was already fenced.  This:
 has become this:
 We still have a long way to go with weed control, not only in the garden but all over the property.
Although what many people consider weeds
 I consider wildflowers.  The meadow, ungrazed now for three years (the property was vacant for a year before we moved in), has sprung into life and become a haven for butterflies and bees.
 Much of the 5 acres that we have isn't useable as agricultural land.  More than an acre is a wetland and we have opted to leave the farthest, wooded corner totally wild.  It was there that I discovered elderberries last year.
Last spring we planted an orchard with 5 apples and a pear.  We have blueberries, red currants and last year we planted manchurian apricots, bush cherries and hardy kiwi vines.  This year, we will add cranberries.  I hope to construct an herb spiral and an herb/flower bed for the bees and butterflies (as well as our use).
When the house construction work was getting to be too much and we were getting discouraged. We would purposefully take a break and take a walk around the property to remind us why we are doing this.  The land called to us and we listened.
It is still talking to us and we're trying to work with the land to make this place a welcoming, productive oasis.


  1. I can't wait to see it all develop, you have already done SO much! Love the new header photo, Happy Easter to all of you! (And how is J16's dress coming? Inquiring minds!)

  2. Thanks for all the recaps, its been fun to watch all the changes--you guys seem to have endless energy :)

  3. Thank you, thank you...

    "...the land called to us, and we listened. It is still talking to us...."

    I had a bit of a rough day today, for various reasons. I was so relieved to get back to my little piece of dirt! And I got out the box of leftover seeds from last year and decided that since it's so wet, I can start some seedlings tomorrow, and I immediately felt a sense of PEACE flow from my head to my toes.

    We are some kind of lucky ducks, you and me....your place is looking great.

    Are you planting edamame this year?

    Nighttttt Zzzzzz....

  4. Oh, that sounds like paradise! So lush and fertile. I really like the variety of habitats you have all in your property. I can see why you chose the place. Whenever I've bought a home, the house was important, but it was more because of the trees or natural setting. If you are ever interested in having bee hives I want to point you to Carol at Wildlife Around Us. She lives in Florida, has taken up bee keeping and includes a lot of practical information she is picking up along the way. You have a beautiful home.

  5. It's so amazing. You all have put in so much sweat and tears into your place in such a short time. You must be excited and so tired!! Can't wait to see what this summer brings!! ...debbie

  6. your place looks amazing!I don't know if a lot of people are aware but if its the same where you are as in MN,you can get benefits from the DNR for preserving your land for certain wild life,my brother did it it northern MN,just saying...

  7. Erin- Justine has been so busy with other stuff the dress has been on hold for a bit. But she needs to get cracking- prom is on May 7th!!
    s- I wish for boundless energy- there are many days we fall over exhausted.
    Akannie- I'm glad you got to play in the dirt to restore your spirit. As for edamame- I'll probably put in some but I'm not sure I'll go for the volume of last year.
    Suzanne- bees are on the list for next year. In fact, I'm going to a bee keeping class next week! I'm so excited!!!
    Debbie- I can't wait to see what this year brings either. I decided V and I need to sit down and get our short lists of projects coordinated- I don't think our priorities are quite the same this year.
    judy- we've looked into the tax credit. I would like to qualify for the wetland conservation program but we have to have more than 2 acres. We would qualify for the wildlife conservation program which can be less than 2 acres but we have to coordinate with one of the state wildlife biologists to come out and inspect the land. That hasn't happened yet. One of the reasons I had hoped for the wetland program is that the field to our West is up for sale for development. All their runoff comes through our property. With the wetland program we would have a bit more leverage... although having one of the state wildlife biologists on our side wouldn't hurt either way.

  8. Good luck with the wild life thing,I know my brother did something with ducks. I REALLY CAN'T ASK HIM MUCH ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW-HIS WIFE IS ON HER 4TH WEEK OF CHEMO-BUT I have never seen so many prayer lines going at once-with tons of success we hope. That deck is something else-TO DIE FOR:) On the news they reminded everyone of the past years problematic weather a lot of people had . To make sure and check those joints,joyces whatever which I HAVE YET TO DO!


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