Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tree planting time

Have I mentioned before on here how much my son loves trees? I mean, really, really loves trees. Loves starting them from seed, transplanting them from pots to ground, trying new varieties, reading about trees, etc. etc. So that is why fall is one of his favorite times -- it is tree-planting time.

That is also why he was so excited to read that a local nursery was auctioning off their tree stock to clear it out. Even my ever-frugal son was willing to take his wallet and browse their rows and rows of trees in hopes of finding something special at a great price. Which he did!

Although he bid on several, at the end of the very long day, Steven took home the tallest tree in the sale -- a 20 foot Dawn Redwood! (Yes, I know you're saying, 'a redwood in Kansas?') He got a $400 tree for $40. I loved the tree as well, but was skeptical we could get it home in my old farm pickup!

After recruiting little brother to help with the heavy lifting, and the digging of a large hole, the Dawn Redwood is now securely in the ground behind the house. (My only requests were: 1) don't plant it close enough to the house that it falls on the house when it gets to be 100 feet tall; and 2)plant it far enough away that it doesn't attract lightning to the house).

It is an awesome tree, or will be. One of the very few deciduous conifers, it will actually turn a gorgeous cinnamon color in the autumn and them drop its leaves/needles for winter, greening up again in spring. The area we planted it will give it access to all the groundwater it wants at about 10-15 deep, once established, and we will clear some of the brush tree out of the area to give it more sun. Steven said, "This tree better live 150 years, as hard as that was to plant!" I told him in that case, he better be preparing to put lightning rods on it!

Yes - it stuck out this far from the truck bed all the way home - even with the root ball clear up against the cab of my full-size bed pickup! We just drove slow and took back-roads.

A big deep hole!

Steven and his younger brother David, after some very hard work getting the tree off the truck and safely into the hole, pretty late in the day. (The boys are both over six feet tall, if that gives you some idea of the tree height!) Some of the leaves have already fallen for winter, so we are anxious to see how it will look out when it leafs out again in spring!

We've done some other tree planting lately, as well, for windbreaks. I will write more about that later.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blog updating

Wow - I have about three or four separate posts I need to get around to putting up here on the blog -- but where does anyone find the time?

My other friends who blog daily, or often -- how do you schedule your blog time? It is always difficult for me -- resizing and editing photos, writing it out and formatting.

One of these days I hope to catch up, and then there will be something new here to read. By the time I get it posted, it might all be old news!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Wasted week?

The last seven days around here have been picture-perfect weather by farm standards. Highs in the low 80s, low winds, just gorgeous. This is the kind of weather we wait for all year in order to get many of our projects done.

And all week, everyone in this household has been sick. Kind of a bummer, to finally have the weather we waited for, but then not feel good enough to do much with it. Steven is mostly well now (bugs never keep him down long), but myself and my mother are still really battling this cold.

On a very positive note, with the help of a very good friend and neighbor, Mickey, - Steven and Mickey were able to get the tractor started today! We have been unable to use it all summer (and you can tell it by the height of the grass that never got bush-hogged!) As soon as I feel well enough, I'm going after it fast and hard. I should be able to get everything cut down once - which is all it needs before winter. Some areas we leave standing for winter grazing for the goats. But we need to mow around the orchard trees, especially.

Won't be long until the days are short, the nights are long and cold. So much to do before then!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Back Home

We are back after nearly two weeks away visiting Texas and stops in-between. This was my first trip to what they call the "hill country" of Texas (we stayed in Kerrville) - and I was impressed. I think Steven was also impressed on the trip down, when we saw many rural homes that had Boer goats! Many more goats than we had! Unfortunately, we didn't have time to stop and talk with any fellow Boer goats owners in that area - but you can tell it is popular in Texas. (yes, we decided we would not be able to take any 'new' goats home in the backseat of our Chevy Impala).

(Speaking of popular - in a future post I want to address the proliferation of driveway gates in Texas - remind me to come back to that. I am a fence/gate person -- everywhere we go, I notice people's fences and gates. That is just my own interest.)

We experienced beautiful weather the whole time there. In fact, the only down side to our whole outing was when the car blew a head gasket and we had to have $1500 in repairs to get it home. But all is well now.

Leaving Texas, I took the long way home, and drove over to be able to meet in person my blog friend Susan of Queenacres. That was a great visit. I just love meeting new people; especially those who have much in common with us! Thank Susan, for the time and visit! I sure wish she were my neighbor up here - I could sure learn a lot from her!

Me with two of Susan's diary goats

I loved her two Anatolian Shepherds -- great dogs!

Steven was looking over their new crop of special chicks

Susan and I at her place! What a great visit!

Steven got to feeling a little under the weather on the way home, but we still made it through Stillwater and Perkins, OK to see cousins on both sides of my family. In order to keep this post from getting too long, I will post about those stops later this week.

Got back late on Saturday, and Steven spent Sunday checking out how everything fared while we were away. He lost his largest hen duck to a passing vehicle (*sadness*) but other than that, things were fine - his brother and grandmother took good care of the place.

He was amused recently to find that his bushel gourd plant had grown up the elm tree behind the house recently, and so now we have gourds hanging from the tree! :)