Spent most of this beautiful day in the field today. The ground is still too wet and hard to work. In the perennial beds I cut down the asparagus ferns from last year and checked on the fruit bushes. Rhubarb and garlic is starting to peek out of the ground, and the currants and gooseberries either have some green showing or buds swelling. Too soon yet on the raspberries to tell if I will need to replace any. I watered the apple and pear trees and did the last of the pruning until the trees are dormant again. I cut the two pear trees and Knobbed Russet back to the sprouts on each that grew just above the graft and will give them a last chance. I'm told that the trees are shot and will likely die, but I will give them another chance. If the rootstock peters out I'll order some more trees and plant again in the Fall. The trees I put in last Fall came through the winter excellently, and I am looking forward to seeing my little trooper Fameuse bloom. No sign of the horseradish yet. Tomorrow if the weather is good I'll spray the fruit trees with Neem Oil.
I had a nice surprise when I went down to the creek with my bucket to haul water to the trees: I found a blackberry patch with at least 11 good canes that are sheltered from the wind by a big balsam to the North and alders let in the Sun on the South. They are just far enough from the water not to have wet feet. I cleared away the dead brush from around the canes and I will keep an eye on them. Blackberries hardy this far North would be a good species to propagate so I will tend them and when they get a bit bigger I'll take some cuttings and start some new plants and see how they do. Sandy, our yellow Lab, found the water chilly, but not overly so! She startled a loon on the other side of the creek -- must be a nest there. I haven't seen any new trees chewed down by the beaver so I wonder if something got him. Come to think of it, I haven't seen that fat racoon again either.
Last night I went to the Price Direct meeting. I really enjoy being a part of this group. I have a feeling I will be learning how to start a Community Kitchen. Well, that's fine with me; maybe it will help me get over my self-confidence block. When I finish with the one, I may look into starting another closer to home! Next meeting is in two weeks. Boy, the tasks are really starting to pile up!
Have to go put the chickens in the coop now, so I'll catch up with you later.