This past weekend started out with a Saturday morning hike in UBC’s Research Forest in Maple Ridge. The hike was great, but it ended in rain and the rain kept coming – all day long. Rain is great for many things, but when you’re itching to get outdoor farm projects done, it gets old pretty fast. Luckily for us, the sun came out on sunday – in FULL FORCE. Yay – FINALLY!
The sun brought everyone outside – humans and animals. Julie brewed up some Sunday morning coffee and whipped up some homemade scones and then we all spilled outside. For the first time since bringing them home, we were able to move the rabbits out from under their shelter so they could enjoy the sunshine and nibble about in the grass. The chickens sunned themselves and scratched around for worms and the cats spent the whole day running, crouching, leaping, and climbing about in the grass and the trees.
And the humans got some work done.
The flower bed alongside the chicken coop got weeded, revealing tulips sprouting up out of the soil; finishing touches were put on the deep beds, and our blueberry project got started up. Chris picked up 50 blueberry bushes a week ago and decided that it would be cool (and we agreed with him :) to plant some of them alongside the driveway that wraps around behind the house, leading to the barn. A large, soggy hollow runs along the length of the driveway and we started filling it up, preparing to turn it into our pathway of blueberry bushes. I haven’t read it myself yet, but Chris read in his book, Gaia’s Garden, that you can build up a base for blueberries to grow out of by layering sticks and twigs, then upsidedown sod, followed by a sawdust/ manure mix. You create this layer, letting the manure mix sink down among everything for about 4 weeks and then you plant the blueberry bushes right into it. The height created will help us fill in that soggy moat that has been the bane of every car tire that has slipped into it while also helping our blueberries get the moisture they need without drowning in the water that gathers in that part of the property. That’s the plan anyways. We think it will look pretty nice when it’s done too :)
We quickly used up the piles of sticks I’d been building up and as a group, broke down and collected the rest of the fallen branches in the back of the property, using them to create the first layer. Not only did we manage to get our first (and part of our second layer – sod) completed, but while doing so, we tidied up the back part of the property – so satisfying!
I’m looking forward to seeing what it will look like when it’s ready for those blueberry bushes. The transformation of this 2.5 acres is coming along!