Sunday, October 30, 2011

Snowtober Weekend: Sunday

We woke up to snow covered sidewalks, lawns and roofs - though the sun was shining and it ended up to be a nice day.  I really wanted to get all the bushes I bought earlier this week on "super clearance" planted, but I had to wait until the snow melted enough to see the markers we had left on top of all our tulip and daffodil  bulbs.  After hauling 6 more loads of branches, tree-limbs and weeds, I had enough space to plant the rhododendrons, azaleas, viburnums and spireas - if they take, this will be a beautiful backdrop for the pond!  Had enough time to mulch all of the new plants as well.  Hoping that the weather report is correct and next weekend will be warmer and sunny - as we are still planning on planting another 1000 bulbs (yes...1000, for a total of 2000!)
(oh yes - also moved several loads of gravel with a wheelbarrow into the barn, to get it ready for the cement delivery soon)

Barn Remodeling Continues

Because of the awful weather, Jeff, Jens and Lars worked in the barn most of Saturday, while Tina finally painted her bathroom.  In the barn, the pointing between the rocks continues, but they also managed to put in two new windows.  This involved some pretty tricky rock stacking and pointing, to keep the window level.  One window is completely done, the second one still needs rocks and cement underneath:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snowtober Weekend: Saturday

All  plans for landscaping and planting were delayed as we got hit with a real snow storm in October this Saturday:
Marigolds: after first hour of snow

Marigolds:  3 hours later

My "late blooming" rose

Blackberries - with leaves - in the snow

Grape vines in the snow

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Day at the Long Shot Farm

view of pond with blueberries
We spent most of the weekend visiting family in Pittsburgh and Ohio, celebrating Opa's birthday on Saturday, and Toben's birthday on Sunday.  Samantha however had to be back to work in Carlisle, so she left early and spent part of Sunday and Monday painting the barnyard fence by herself.  She finished the entire fence and took some photographs of a beautiful fall day as well.
backyard flowerbed

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fence Repairs

We spent all afternoon fixing the "barnyard".  This included fixing and painting the fence by the blueberries and moving lumber and rocks. 

We moved our pile of pressure treated lumber, which had been stored in the barnyard,  to the back of the blackberry field, and moved 3 tractor buckets full of rocks and slates over to where Tina is still trying to build a stone wall.

Lars and Tina pulled off the roughest and broken fence boards and replaced them with newer (and straighter) boards.  They also pulled out all old nails and various hardware still attached to the fence-rails from the days of an electric fence.

At the same time, Grace and Sam worked on painting the repaired fence parts white.  It is looking so much better already!!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Stone Masonry Work in the Barn

wall after power-washing
For the past week, Jeff continued to pressure wash all the old mortar and white-wash off the stone work in the bottom of the barn.  He dresses in his hunting rain poncho with goggles, to avoid getting completely soaked by the mud that flings off the walls.  The barn is now probably two thirds washed, and this weekend we experimented with "pointing" the stones.  Luckily YouTube has a lot of very useful videos to help novices as us.  We used something like a pastry bag - only for mortar, which got pretty heavy pretty quickly.  We also had a large assortment of differently shaped trowels.  The pointing process will be very, very slow - but definitely worth it...and there is a long winter coming up to give us time to improve our skills.

wall before power-washing


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Our Favorite Evening Activity

Jeff and Tina enjoying time together planting berries!

New Blueberry Patch Planted...Finally

We had to wait a couple of days for the ground to get dried up enough so that we could finally plant our blueberries.  But after two sunny days, we finally were able to finish planting the new patch this evening.  We now have 3 rows of 14 blueberry plants, 10 feet between rows, and 6 feet between each plant (just like our blackberries).  This patch is right next to the fruit trees, and above the elderberries - and there is still enough space for some other fruit or more trees.  Playing with the idea of some currants for next Spring - to make some different kinds of jam.   Also tranplanted more blackberries and got some carrots from the garden!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Transplanting Blackberries in October

marking the spaces for plants
Our existing berry plants have sent out so many "runners", which have rooted, that we can't even mow in-between the rows.  So as an experiment, we started digging out the rooted "babies", and we are planting them in a new patch - in October.  For the past several years, we have been transplanting in the spring - which worked fine, except for the fact that there is so much else to do in the Spring.  We'll see how this works...they are just extra plants, so if it does not work, we'll go back to Spring transplanting.  Jeff still uses his spray-paint on a stick contraption to mark exact spacing (in addition to metal posts and string as guides)  This new patch currently has 6 rows, spaced 10 feet apart, and long enough for 36 plants.  The plants are spaced at 6 feet apart.