Backwoods BrandonIt usually takes a while to shake out the stiffness that comes with a winter as long the one we’ve had in Northern Michigan. Thankfully, the muscles I’ve been using to shovel all of the snow and swing my 12-pound splitting maul thousands of times during the cold months, are the same muscles that I need this spring to run a pitch fork and a post hole digger. I’d be awful sore already if that wasn’t the case. The frost is out of the ground now, which means it’s time for our hands to go in.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for us. The plans are coming together, but with each checkmark on the to-do list comes another entry at the bottom of the page. With full-time jobs and all of life’s other happenings, it seems like we never stop moving for long. The splinters in our fingers and dirt under our nails now will turn into baskets of fresh veggies and shelves full of canned goods this fall. We know it’s worth it. It’s time to saddle up and ride.

Getting dirty while planting seeds.

A few new fruits have been planted here on the corner, and they’re soaking up the late April rain as they settle into the sand. A friendly neighbor of ours, who just happens to have the most impressive garden I’ve seen, gave us a mature blueberry bush. He hooked up to it with his tractor and gently tugged it from the dirt. I had a hole in the ground waiting for it. We grabbed a bucket full of peat mud from the swamp to provide the bush with valuable nutrients to help it survive the shock of transplant. We mulched around it completely with sawdust, and it has already started to bud. It’s going to do well at its new home in the woods.

Transplanted Blueberry Bush

The same neighbor kindly gave us three Concord grape vines. He knows that if he ever has any extra food, I’ll find a place to plant it. I re-purposed some old deck posts that were no longer being used and buried four of them two feet in the ground, eight feet apart. The posts reach five feet above ground. I planted one new grape vine between each post. I made sure to dump some composted cow manure in the hole first to help the vines get established. I mulched them all with sawdust, and I’ll tie them to wires this summer if they grow tall enough to need support.

3/9/2015 10:58:06 PM

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