Sunday on the Homestead: New Path and Blackberry Patch

Hey Everyone,

Well, it’s been awhile since I posted for you guys! Sorry about the delay. We’ve been crazy busy for the past two weekends (this weekend was our first free one). We’ve had a few bumps in the road with bills and such (verizon sucks) and I’ve been trying to gather some cash at the farmer’s markets, so the bakery has been busy.

But, we’ve gotten most of that straightened out so we could have a long, relaxing weekend. So instead of relaxing we decided to cut a 4ft wide path through the 4ft tall grass in the backyard. Why not.

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You can see the bamboo at the bottom of the photo and the path winds out into the Savannah. Justin is out there in the distance, mowing it. So, to start, I cut the top 2/3’s of the grass off with a sickle for the whole path. Then Justin mowed it once on the highest setting, dropped a couple setting and mowed again, then again at the lowest setting. But now we have a really nice path, or at least the beginnings of one. The path will eventually wind all the way through the Savannah, but we are taking it in pieces. This is the largest piece we have done to date and we finished it, with plantings of blackberries, in about 4-5 hours. Not bad.

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Here are the wild blackberries I stole from dad’s house. We dug up a few plants (he has thousands) and brought them home. I even buried some of the tips of the branches to encourage them to spread.

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This is the view from the other end (you can see the house). We surrounded them with logs to show the edge of the bed and to give Justin a border to mow around. We plant to let these fill in for 2-4 years, let it get nice and thick, then we’ll mow it down every other year. Justin will continue mowing the path so we won’t have to worry about stray canes that we don’t want. The logs will also hold moisture for the berries and a bit of heat in the spring to help them warm up faster. Eventually they will also rot and contribute to soil health.

We’re working on plans right now (these blackberries being the first step) to rearrange the homestead and turn it into a permaculture model. Our first goal is to feed ourselves. Our second goal is to turn cash crops. All this is to be done while trying to make everything as sustainable as possible. I’m reading as much as I can to make this permaculture thing work. As soon as I (if ever) have the extra money to take a permaculture class, I will.

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We had a nice sunset last night while we were working on the path.

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There are a few of these shrubs out in the Savannah. They are a woody shrub and I haven’t seen any flowers….any idea what they are?

Well, next up we need to get the chicken coop underway and get more things canned and harvested. After that it depends on our financial situation to see what can go in next. I want to get some full size fruit trees out here (in the Savannah) and put in some more soft fruit patches. We do have 10 blue spruce on the way here and a couple lilacs. Some of them will go out in the Savannah while the other pines will be put somewhere to have blueberries grown around them.

We need to rip out the front landscaping still and mulch it all down, but I have all the supplies for that. I’ll be putting a large herb patch and heat loving veggies/melons in the front yard next year to catch the heat off the house. I’ll also be putting in many more butterfly bushes to shade the house a bit while the trees grow up. It should be pretty neat by the time I’m done.

Well, that’s it for now! I’ll try to post more often! I’m ready for fall so we’re not so busy anymore.

Don’t forget to subscribe.

Ben

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. pioneer1718 says:

    Keep up the good work !!! Looks like a fine path with something to snack on along the way!! I’m so ready for fall too.

    1. I plan to have a large, winding path with a food forest planted around it. That’s the final goal, for now I’m adding what I can.

  2. Glad to see you getting established – been a while since I saw you last

    1. Yeah, we’ve been super busy. As fall and winter come on, I’ll be posting a lot more, but for now the outdoors is calling.

  3. gaiainaction says:

    Ye are doing great, and yes winter is a better time for the indoors activities 🙂

  4. Grower says:

    Great looking berry patch! Blackberries are just the best. You’re making a lot of step-by-step progress with your place. Good work!

    1. Thanks! I think it’s going well so far. Here’s to a successful blackberry patch.

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