Felling a tree is bittersweet. I love these alders: they were our first source of shade in a mostly barren yard, and they attract all kinds of little birds. I also love the light that grows vegetables, and I could see the difference in moonlight the night after these alders came down. Fortunately we have several more alders growing 50 feet away, and new saplings sprout in flower beds every year.
We will be using these alder branches for compost, and the trunks will edge garden beds and paths. May our golden, red, and purple potatoes be plentiful so that the alders do not fall without good purpose.
What have I been doing all season?
Working backyard veggie patches, picking friendly orchard fruit, digging rocks on mountainsides, crafting small business web copy, perusing new poetry, and doing my best to stay informed on this wide wild world of ours.
Take a quick tour of my 2013 Pacific Northwest veggie garden:
I’m finally learning to use a pressure canner, and there’s been a lotta apple cake in my house this season. Next, I’ll try to make my first batch of apple cider vinegar. Less than 10 days till autumn! Time to sow winter crops and split firewood.
Poetry book review comin’ your way in a few days!
Late summer greetings! Here’s a peek at our harvest: modest, but delicious. The strawberry plants are 10+ years old, while the black raspberries and trailing blackberries are finally voluminous enough to create handfuls of fruit with plenty remaining for the busy birds. (Salmonberries and thimbleberries have a few years to go yet, but they are getting bigger.)
Oh, and remember that lingering compost pile? At long last I completed its relocation mid-April, providing me two clean slates for future veggie production. Here’s how the new beds looked in April; today they are filled with flowers, bees, and birds.
In place of the compost now sits a big load of firewood logs, appropriated by chipmunks for their summer home. Cold weather work is not far ahead for us forest folk.
Get a healthy dose of tree-time with this month’s Festival of the Trees issue #65, now online at local ecologist courtesy of Dr. Georgia Silvera Seamans.
Behold, the colors of survival! This Japanese maple is making its best showing of fall colors in 10 years.
This tree’s early life included the combined challenges of multiple transplantings, puppy root-chewing, a stint of neglect during the Pennsylvania years, and finally a major hack job following a strange infection. Much healthier now, this tree reveals this season’s wonderfully slow autumn in the Pacific Northwest.