This is what I woke up to this morning: Snow!

First snow of the season, October 2011.

Welcome, winter!

When summer blogging fell to the wayside, I shrugged it off. Summers are for gardening and playing outdoors. I had hoped to continue blogging on a lesser scale, but I was okay with taking some time off, too. I had every intention of beginning again in September, meaning on or about September first. Here it is October 17. I’ve managed a couple of posts over at Ari’s Garden and I’ve posted a few thoughts in the S4L Book Club, but that’s it. And it’s October 17th!

This is nuts!

My excuse is that although the garden was put to bed several weeks ago, I’m still working outside. I don’t regret what I am doing; I only regret that I can’t do it all.

Today I finished hauling topsoil to the new raspberry beds. The area we disturbed when building was a wonky shape. I’ve had a mind to smooth it out a little, expanding the strawberry/raspberry bed, and we’ve finally done it.

New raspberry beds.

The raspberry/strawberry bed extension.

The picture was taken before most of the snow melted. The new beds are the ones that look shiny and new. That’s where the hill starts to get steeper, and that’s the area we just dug out. Most of what you see in the picture are strawberry beds. You can see a few raspberries on the left side of the image. Old beds will get new wood…well, sometime. New walls and beds trump spiffying up old ones.

Though we had a decent crop of strawberries this year, I can’t say we’re “swimming” in them yet—especially what with the resident squirrels—and that’s the goal, swimming in strawberries.

We’ve had a terrible time with moose and hares eating our raspberry plants, but we managed to grow some waist- and shoulder-high stalks this summer, and I’m thinking the hare population might have crashed, as it does every seven or so years, after it builds up to an unsustainable high. Unfortunately, our successful raspberries are too much in the shade by the house, so they don’t ripen until September, and then only the earliest berries ripen at all. Sigh.

I’ll transplant a bunch of raspberries to those new beds next spring, and I’ll get rid of the old never-taller-than-twelve-inches raspberries in the lower beds, re-making those as strawberry beds. Runners got away from me this summer, and there will be many babies to transplant next year.

Mike’s building retaining walls/terraces for our cut bank on the other side of the house, and I’ll probably stick more strawberry plants over there. In the picture, on the left side, you can see the tundra stairs that end the just-finished retaining wall behind the house.

When we get to terracing the front slope of the house pad, oh, that will be a sweet, sunny strawberry location. Then—then—we might be swimming in strawberries.

2 Responses to “Jumpstart”

  1. Shelly

    I love the photos, I love the work you’ve done, I love the terracing, I love the beds, I love the berries, I love the writing.


    October 21, 2011 @ 5:23 am
  2. Jen

    And I love YOU! Thanks, Shell.

    November 2, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

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