The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Blueberries and mud

BlueberryI hope my poor, malingering blueberries will malinger no more!  The little things haven't had much going for them in the two years they've been in the yard.  I bought them for a few bucks at Wal-Mart when they'd barely grown a root apiece, then I stuck them in sweet soil and mulched them with nitrogen-leaching wood chips.

I'm hoping to remedy the damage with a little TLC.  Yesterday I treated them to some soil acidifier, as well as a nice mulch of mixed pine needles and decidous leaf mould from the hill above the house.  I also used a gift certificate to order a few larger plants from a more reputable nursery.  The pullets are busy scratching up and fertilizing the new ground in preparation for our second round of blueberries' arrival this spring.
Grain seeds in Lucy's track
I also decided to experiment a bit with the mudhole between the nectarine and grapes.  The soil there is pure clay and in our recent wet spell the chickens churned it up into a mass of mud.  I found some old grain seeds hidden behind my desk and sowed them in the muddiest spots.  If I remember right, the grain is rye, meant to be planted in early fall as a cover crop.  But maybe it'll do something to hold the soil together and outcompete the Japanese honeysuckle which is what naturally grows in that area.  Only time will tell...

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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