Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Dream is Alive

Note: I wanted to include pictures of my children and our new exterior, but the only ones available to me are on Mark's facebook page which I used to be able to copy here, until Facebook changed them to a non-jpg format. So, I really do apologize for no pictures...but check out Mark's facebook page if you haven't in the last month or so. On to the post...

This seems an appropriate title for my blog post considering that the shuttle Discovery was retired yesterday. From one dream to the next and I have a MUCH grander to one to replace it. Who really cares about the vast expanse of boring old space, anyway? (Honestly, I think space is pretty amazing!)

My dream? If you recall from a few posts ago, I would really love to have a sweet cherry tree in our yard. This dream was squashed due to our harsh Minnesota winters and late arrival of Spring. Enter the Mesabi Cherry tree. It produces a semi-sweet/sour cherry somewhere between the Bing and typical sour cherries. If this is the closest I can get, I'll take it! I also decided, prior to this discovery, that even sour cherries, while nearly inedible when fresh, would be tasty treats if dried and covered with chocolate. The Mesabi however is the best of both worlds: edible when fresh or dried (or pied/tarted/jammed/sauced...). Did I mention it's a natural dwarf? It grows to about 10-12 feet with the bottom branches a mere 2 feet off the ground, making for easy picking!

I also decided that Tulameen raspberries, while not promised to thrive in our climate, were worth the risk at a mere $3 per bush. So I'm out about $10 or I'm in raspberry heaven. The Tulameen produces the giant sweet raspberries you often see for $1/ounce in the store.

Kate also asked about blueberries. I was under the uneducated impression that homegrown blueberries were basically small, tart and seedy. A simple internet search proved me wrong and introduced me to the beautiful Chandler Blueberry. These are HUGE and supposed to be sweet, juicy and all around delicious. Again, I'm not overly sure that they'll thrive here, but they're supposed to be ok up to zone 4 (which is us) and I'm willing to risk it. I'd probably have to winterize my blueberry and raspberry plants, but the hassle required is well worth it when you consider quantity, availability and cost compared to the store!

Guess who is a fruit farmer at heart? :)

Mom did mention that I should be sure to note the pH of the soil, as different plants require different soils. There's always one more thing to consider, isn't there?

And praise God it won't be spring for at least another month because I can't garden very well from the confines of modified bedrest! (Let's not talk about the difficulties of gardening with a 3 yr old, a 20 m. old, a newborn and a postpartum mom.)

By the way, re the coffee maker, thank you! to all who contributed your comments; it was very helpful. We're leaning towards a glass French Press for the cost, simplicity and excellent coffee (and we already own a grinder, so no prob there).

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