Monday, April 7, 2014

A Story About Working Together, Elderberries, Roots and Creeping Myrtle

A lot of my day tends to cycle around animals, with a little time left in between to take care of other things that need to be done. Managing my time seems to be my biggest struggle. There is so much to be done, especially in the spring, I go to bed quite exhausted. I am not getting any younger either, that fact alone adds to the time frame. So, when I can get help...I take it!

This time of year, it is of the utmost importance to set priorities. When planting seeds there is a window of opportunity and if you miss it you'll have to go to the garden shop and buy plants for $3 each (or more!). When you purchase those plants, you have a certain amount of time to get them in the ground or they won't fruit.

This is the finished elder planting

So our elderberries came. I only bought two (you have to buy two-they need each other). We knew they were coming, and we did not procrastinate. The plants we got were bare root plants. They need to be put in the ground right away, the roots can not dry out.

Mr. Home-Sweet and I decided on a location that was going to be a challenge to dig. It is at the edge of the woods, which makes for lots and lots of underground roots snarled together in a tangle that would make the best un-knotter in the history of taking out knots hand in their trophy - if there was such a competition! (I googled it and did not find such a competition - on the first page anyway.)

Well, Sunday was a bright, sunny day. A bit breezy. Warm-ish.

I watched a little Youtube clip on 'How to Plant Elderberry'. I took notes. I walked to the planting area. Mr. Home-Sweet decided now was the time to pick the spot for the 12 blueberry plants that are coming. So, he sent me back inside to look for information on planting blueberry bushes. See, the elderberries did not come with any kind of specific instructions for planting, so we figured the blueberries wouldn't either. Generic...oh yes, but nothing specific. I need specific and Mr. Home-Sweet definitely does as he was brandishing utilizing his tape measure as is his custom. I am very detail oriented, Mr. tends to be careful about placing, and does not worry about the surrounding environment. This makes working together very interesting.

The area we decided upon was covered with creeping myrtle. Anyone who has ever tried to rid an area of creeping myrtle knows with what a shudder I shudder upon remembrance. It was everywhere with it's gnarled top 2" of root masses intertwined like a city road map of New York City or Chicago. Oh my!

Mr. Home-Sweet just wanted to dig in and make a hole. I insisted upon clearing at least a space 3 feet around. This Mr. tolerated.  :) Not without a bit of commentary about knowing a few things about planting. I would have torn out all the creeping myrtle if I was allowed...but alas, the elder roots would have dried out and it would have taken me at least 3 days of ripping, tearing, nonstop work. Where does creeping myrtle come from anyway? A little bird must have planted it and it has been allowed to run amok from the time it sprouted! That and I have never cared to plant anything of any value there before.

In the end, we managed to plant the two elderberries, although I was inside watching Youtube videos while he was outside digging the first large hole. When I went out with a mason jar of blueberry herbal iced tea he had the first hole finished and informed me he near had a heart attack digging it. So, I started digging the second one...well, I did not have a heart attack, but such a mass of roots has not been seen in a hole since God first placed a curse on the ground! Poor Adam and Eve! Mr. Home-Sweet got the splitting maul and took to hacking through the roots. After some time, we had success. We filled the holes with rabbit manure and good chicken worked manure/hay mix and planted those elderberries in the ground! Success!

I was informed that I need to hire someone to dig the 12 holes for the coming blueberry bushes!

Anyone want a job?

Oh the blessed and wonderful life of getting a little one acre homestead started. I am thankful we had success at planting our first elderberry bushes, even if we had to rest a bit now and then. It was a lovely hard-working day together with laughs and discussion and a good finished product! Praise the Lord!

What are you doing at your Home-Sweet this spring?

Thank you Father for the gift of spring! For learning to work together as a team, using each of our talents to bless the other. Thank you for your gift of life and especially eternal life in Christ Jesus! Amen

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