Today turned out to be a lovely, warm and sunny day!

While doing my morning rounds, I had a chance to check on Potato Beetle’s wound, and it’s looking very good. After the trip to the vet, though, I don’t think he trusts me as much, though! 😀

I called up the company we want to buy garden soil from. I spoke to someone else this time, so I went over what I’d been told before, then said that we were looking to get two truck loads of soil, but first I wanted to know of someone could come over to see where to dump the loads. For one load, it’s not an issue, but for the other, there are low hanging branches that might be a problem, so I wanted to look at that with whomever would be delivering the soil.

She said that she was unable to call any of the guys during the day, as there is no cell phone reception where they are (boy, does that sound familiar!) but she will pass it on to them and call me back on the weekend. The one thing she wasn’t sure of is if the soil was too frozen to load into the trucks or not. They usually do gravel, which will break up, even if frozen, but soil behaves differently. If all goes well, though, I’m hoping well have delivery as early as next week! Otherwise, we’ll see what they advise. We’re going to be above freezing for several more days, so I don’t think it’ll be much of an issue.

Later on, I called my mother to ask if she needed any help with errands or grocery shopping. For now, she’s good, so I’ll probably be heading over next week to give her a hand. Then she asked me what was new.

I made the mistake of answering her honestly.


I told her about the garden soil we were arranging to buy.

She was FURIOUS! I barely finished telling her about it when she lit into me about how she had this big wonderful garden there, and it seemed I just wanted to do things the hard way and had to spend money…

It went on for a while. In a nut shell, I should be growing a garden exactly like she did, back when I was a kid (which isn’t even possible, since they squeezed in so many trees, a significant portion of the garden of my childhood now has either trees, or shade from trees, in it), I should not be spending any money on anything, not even seeds. Also, I should not be thinking about planting trees (I’d reminded her of our plans to grow fruit and nut trees), but should be growing lots of vegetables to store for the winter, like she did, and since she didn’t have a problem with the rocks, I should just plant things like she did, rocks and all. The real problem was the “weeds” I “allowed” to grow, and there wouldn’t be any if we’d have plowed it, which she offered to pay someone to do, but I said no. I asked her if she was offering again? She repeated that she had offered and I said no. I told her, two and three years ago, we weren’t ready. We’re ready now. If she’s offering now, we’re saying yes.

*heavy pause*

She said she’ll think about it.

Uh huh.

So that was an … interesting phone call.

The reason I’d wanted to talk to her, though, was because I finally got a copy of the calls our vandal had left on her answering machine a while back. He’d been saying he wanted to meet with her to talk. She had misunderstood, thinking he meant on the phone, but he was saying in person. I wanted to make sure she knew it was not safe for her to meet with him alone. Not that I think he would physically harm her, but he would be emotionally and psychologically abusive towards her.

We also talked about the possibility of her changing her phone number. She hadn’t thought of that. She doesn’t want to, but at least now it’s a possibility that’s on her radar.

Once the phone calls were done, I decided to take advantage of the warmer weather, and headed out to the garden area.

It was time to do a burn!

The stack of diseased apple tree branches we’d pruned last summer needed to be dealt with.

The pile was just dry enough to burn well, but also snow covered enough for the flames to never get big enough to be a concern, as it would have been if I’d try to do this in the summer. This was no bon fire! When we first moved here, there was a huge pile of pruned wood in the middle of the garden that my family wanted to set a match to. We’d just left a province that had been devastated by forest fires, so we were not exactly keen on having a bon fire with resin torches, aka spruce trees, nearby. This was much smaller and could be better controlled.

As the fire worked its way to the other end of the stack, I shoveled snow over the remaining coals and ashes, little by little.

I was able to spend a couple of hours outside, tending it, but by the time the fire burned away all the small stuff and only the larger logs were left, I was finally chilled enough that it was time to go inside.

The fire itself was so hot at times, I could feel it from 6 or 7 feet away, but it wasn’t enough to make up for damp boots and cold toes!

So the last of it got buried in snow. We’ll finish burning the remains after it’s melted away again.

Even if we’re not able to finish burning the diseased branches here, there’s just a few large pieces left that would be easy to move somewhere else to finish burning away.

Unfortunately, I expect we’ll have to cut down several more crab apple trees completely, not just in this area, but in others. All of that wood will need to be burned. We won’t even be able to use it in the fire pit for cookouts. That’s going to be a lot of wood to burn, so until we can get it done, we’ll have to keep the wood separate from any other wood we clean up that we will make use of as much as possible, even if they end up being chipped and used for mulch. The last thing we want is to have is infected wood chips!

There may still be snow on the ground, but it sure feels good to be warm enough to start doing jobs like this, outside!

The Re-Farmer

5 thoughts on “Buuuurrrnnnn!

  1. Sounds like the ideal time to do work like that actually, so long as you don’t overdo it. The snow still on the ground helps with fire safety after all.

    Maybe in time, you can reclaim the land those bad crab apple trees on for replanting of some sort also. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, fire safety is a thing for us. Especially when, shortly after we moved here, two farmhouses were lost to grass fires.

      As for the trees, that’s pretty much the plan. We still have lots of trees to take out for various reasons. I look forward to be planting more trees, instead of getting rid of them. Any trees we plant will be carefully planned out, though! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your mom sounds like one tough ole bird, hehe! I’ve been looking a lot into permaculture and food forests lately, using lots of perennials and fruit trees, to try to cut down on all the backbreaking work of annual crops before we get too old to manage it. Raised beds help too and we have some older neighbors who use big metal troughs at hip-height for all their gardening and never have to bend over at all, works out great for them, the initial work and expense was well worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve seen some of those! They look fantastic. I really like the corrugated steel ones, too.

      I helped design raised beds for wheelchair accessibility, years ago. That research is going to come in handy, when the time comes. Width and structure of paths is as important as dimensions of beds.

      And, yeah. My mom is a tough one! I just wish it were more appropriately directed. Lol. She’s tough when she should be soft, and soft when she should be tough, more often than not. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, yes, I’m quite familiar with that type of mom! That’s excellent you have experience with raised bed design, that really seems like a skill that’s going to continue to pay off in future too, considering our looming economic situation and all the folks (belatedly) ‘refarming’.

        Liked by 1 person

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