Monday, April 21, 2014
The beautiful Oregon spring has, of course, found us in the yard, pruning, weeding, mulching, etc.
We are never satisfied with the type or number of fruit trees that we possess, so we bought a few more. We now have 27 fruit trees, and I know my dear Mother is looking down on me and shaking her head. When things are in full production, I will be well into my “golden years” and, most likely, NOT really wanting to deal with 10 months of fruit pruning, nurturing, and “putting by.” Dad and I are unable to exert any self-control when it comes to nursery catalogs, the allure of spring weather, or a blank-looking space in the orchard. We are powerless to this primal pull to “farm” and so off we go to seek out just what we need to round out our fruit crop selection. This year that included 3 plums and the planting of last year’s grafted pears and Asian pears. Just to be clear about things, we planted 7 new fruit trees this year and most of us are pretty happy about that.
Dad and I planted a garden again this year. Mostly, the raised bed garden area has been relegated to strawberries. We have 5 beds of them. Dad is a BIG strawberry fan. Craig has always wanted to grow potatoes, so we planted two beds in potatoes. We have herbs, and onions, and asparagus, and will eventually plant tomatoes and cucumbers. The one remaining bed is for arugula, radish, carrots, green onion, and swiss chard. And with that, the garden beds are all full.
Life is complicated sometimes. Our produce yield is never what it should be as I just can’t bring myself to fertilize. We have never had a dog that didn’t think that sort of thing was done just for them. Our previous dog ate compost EVERY day. It affected both ends of him and, via unending cleaning, me too. I can’t begin to describe how 6 months of that kind of action plays out. Perhaps that’s another story. So, suffice it to say, I feared a repeat. Not everyone in this household has the collective memory that the “lady maid” has. And, that said, I succumbed to the family pressure and fertilized the garden. I used a granular organic mix. And, Wiley ate it or dug in the raised beds at every opportunity he had. He has unearthed strawberry starts, and vegetable seedlings. As of this moment in time, all bodily fluids have remained outside and he doesn’t seem to be any worse for wear. My vegetables and I appear to be the only ones suffering. It has been suggested that I install what some might refer to as “old lady fencing,” or the short (15-18” tall) white decorative wire fencing around the inside of the raised beds. It sounds like a Home Depot trip.
Speaking of dear Wiley, the most perfect of all the dogs we have ever had the pleasure of sharing a home with, I can only assume that he has been having a hard time. He lives on the edge of clinical depression, and we are sensitive to this life issue. We are compassionate when he cries hysterically and barks at my ankles when we leave without him. (And immediately thereafter runs to our bed and naps for the duration.) We have given him the blanket covered couch to sleep on. He has a dog bed in EVERY room of the house. But now there is a new ordeal that we must contend with. Wiley moves from room to room, much like Goldilocks, in search of the “perfect bed.”
This is somewhat of a disgusting little habit for reasons that I won’t go into, but just know that what he really wants to cushion his poor old hindquarters with is a nice soft pillow. Most nights I am too tired to really think about it. Truly, this is what happens when you work hard and have a dog.
Please know that if I anticipate company, I will shut the door to the guest bedroom effectively locking him out. So, if you are planning a trip to the farm, I promise you clean sheets, untouched by any part of the dog, unless you should forget this door-shutting tidbit of advice. Then, the Daisies would consider the resulting situation to be a “natural consequence.”
Easter blessings to all!