Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bottle and Food Trees

Both here and in my writing blog Criminal Mischief I've mentioned the Blue Bottle Tree, both the novel in progress, and the actual tree above, which is my own rendition of one. It was for looks only and, alas, it is no more. It is not a wise thing to use a dead peach tree for this, as they tend to rot just below the ground. I removed other dead peach trees on the property by simply pushing them over by hand and then it hit me. DUH! The blue bottle tree is in the same boat! I'm surprised it survived the high winds we've had lately. I removed the bottles and it only took the lightest of pushes to topple the tree. I'm glad I saved the bottles. I mean, the blue wine bottles are nice enough, but there are a few collector type bottles in the bunch. Traditionally the blue bottle trees I've known from childhood were on dead fig trees, which must be more durable at root level. Lately I've seen several manufactured steel pipe trees for the purpose. I don't know. I'll think about it. I have the picture, anyway.

Besides all that we've been planting live trees here at Earth Song Retreat. In the past month we've planted three pecan trees, three peach, two apple, one pear, all in the new orchard along the contours. Plus, along the back yard fence I've planted asparagus, artichoke, raspberry, blackberry, and grapes.

Last weekend the City of Bastrop, with Apache Nurseries, gave away free trees to residents in the area who lost trees last summer to either drought or fire. I was busy at Sherwood Forest Faire (opening weekend), but I broke away long enough to get in the looooooong line for free trees. It took about an hour and a half to finally get up to the site and they had cut back to two trees per household. There was a fair selection, mostly shade trees. Mindful of our food forest plan, I selected two Texas Persimmon trees. I don't really have much experience with these, but I do know they bear fruit and are drought tolerant, so they'll do! I haven't selected a site to plant them yet, but recent rains (YAY!) have the ground a bit muddy for planting anyway. In fact, a good bit of yesterday was spent unsticking the pickup from a muddy patch.

Part of today was spent pruning existing fruit trees.

Two of the three graywater tubs have been set in the ground. We are still looking for the third one. With a bit of drier digging conditions we can begin on the wicking beds. All of this is going on around the efforts out at Sherwood.

Never boring!

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