Friday, February 17, 2012
Free Blueberries ,Like Free Heat
Just like our free heat experiment ended up costing hundreds of dollars for a wood stove and then the stove pipes, our free blueberries may do the same.
Blueberries do well on a well drained slope and we have a slope near the water for the garden. It is behind our fenced in vegetable garden and beyond the "orchard". It's pretty steep, but Lee thought the tractor could work there. It is also at the edge of a steep hill, so there is not a large margin for error. Unfortunately us city folks have the capacity for exceeding that large margin.
First, Lee put the plow we bought from a neighbor on the tractor in place of the scraper. It is a good thing he bought a quick connect because they are forecasting snow for Sunday and we may need that to clear the drive! It makes it easier to change out implements for the 3-point hitch on the tractor.
Lee turned the new compost and then started bringing up buckets of the seasoned compost in the front loader.
I got the sulphur from the barn with a shovel and a rake and we thought we were in business.
While Lee did the tractor work, I spread the sulphur with the scientific method of flinging it off the shovel. I figured the plowing would distribute it throughout the soil for me!
Here comes the part that we did not anticipate and is probably making any REAL farmers laugh their nether parts off. It has been raining and the compost was wet and slick. We were working on a slope. Do you see where I am going? Every time Lee tried to just drive across the "blueberry patch" to be, he slid towards the edge of the hill...or maybe I should call it the cliff, so you can see the fear that I had. There is no amount of blueberries worth Lee rolling down the hill. Not even REALLY good berries and lots of them. Plus, the tractor was expensive!
Not only was the compost on top of the ground slick, and I mean boot sucking, face planting slick, but the grass under it was wet and slick, although Lee had been able to drive across it with no problem to dump the compost. So I got out there with a shovel and a rake and spread everything out. My hopes are that the slick compost will dry out and then we will try again. And if it rains, some of the compost will soak in the soil anyway! I just don't want it to wash over the "cliff" after all this work.
Hindsight being 20/20, we realized that we should have plowed up the patch first and them dumped in the compost. But we can't undo it, so we will wait and see if we can plow it after a few days of sun. Not this weekend with the potential snow, however. Worse case scenario, I will have to rent a rototiller and do it by hand. I don't want to do that, however. Working with heavy machinery on a slope is very hard work. And the area is pretty big. It's about 21 feet X 36 feet. I'd rather use horse power than people power. That's an idea. Hitch up the horses! If only...