Tree protector, and good roof news!

Last night, I finished off a section of chicken wire salvaged from row covers from last year’s garden, and made a protector for the ash tree sapling my mother gave me to transplant. I sprayed it with the high visibility paint last night, so it was dry and ready to set up, this morning.

You can’t see them, but it is pegged to the ground.

This should keep it safe from getting eaten by deer or something!

This afternoon, we were outside harvesting our potatoes, which I will share about in my next post. While we were out, I got a message from my brother, on his way home from our mother’s. Once he was home, we were able to talk on the phone.

The short version: my mother agreed to one of the estimates, and provided my brother with cash for the deposit.

We’re getting a new roof.

As expected, she did start to back off and starting saying maybe someone else could pay for half of it. My brother reminded her that if she started playing her games again, he would simply cancel the whole thing and the roof won’t get done. There is a possibility she’ll try again, but if it comes down to it, he will use his Power of Attorney to make sure the company gets paid. She can’t mess around with people like this, but has a long history of it. For now, she is following through with her promise.

While talking to my brother, I told him about how, in her efforts to lure us out here, my mother insisted that this place was “perfect”. We didn’t need anything. We could leave everything behind and move right in, because everything we needed was here. Everything was “perfect”.

Of course, we knew that wasn’t how it would be, but we were still thrown by just how bad we discovered things had gotten. As I put it to my brother, my mother didn’t keep up her end of the bargain, in her efforts to get us to move out here. Now her habit of making promises, then backing out of them when it came time to follow through, is costing her thousands of dollars more than if she had followed through on the roof situation back in 2019.

There is one possible thing we can do to help with that, though. Since the court ruled against our vandal (and he now owes me $500 in court costs), he had 30 days to appeal. I’m not sure if that was 30 calendar days or 30 business days. Either way, I’ve not been served with anything. Which means we might be able to get a scrap dealer out here to get rid of the old cars and other metal junk our vandal was trying to get money from me for. I don’t expect we’d get more than a few hundred dollars out of it, but who knows. It’s not something we’d do until spring, though.

The main thing is, we’re getting a much needed new roof. The work will likely be done in November, though their schedule might allow for something in October. We shall see.

I’ve sent an email and phoned the company to start the ball rolling. I hope to hear from them tomorrow, though they might contact my brother directly for the financial part of it, first.

I wish I could say I feel relieved, but I probably won’t feel that until the work is done and paid for!

The Re-Farmer

Tree planting, and a different kind of apple

For a while now, my mother had been telling me she had a tree for me to take home and transplant. She’d grown it from seed collected from trees in her town, and it was in her little garden plot.

When I was at her place a couple of days ago, she had it dug up and in a bucket, waiting for me to take home.

I asked her about the tree to try and get a sense of how big it would get, or even where she got the seeds from, so I could see for myself. She wasn’t able to tell me much, but did think that, in English, it was called an Ash tree.

So I looked it up and confirmed it was Ash, but couldn’t narrow it down to a specific variety. This is not something that normally grows in our area. Using the ID function on my phone’s camera, it listed European Ash first, but there was no way that was right. Those can’t grow in our climate zone.

From what I could find, Ash trees can grow anywhere from 30 to 100 feet tall – I even saw one listed as growing up to 115 feet! Given that the trees she got the seeds from were planted to line streets somewhere in her town, I figured this one wouldn’t get that tall, but probably more than 30 feet.

Which that in mind, I decided to plant the tree in the outer yard, replacing one of the Korean pine that died.

Since I have both, it got a double mulch. The grass clippings will break down faster, and both will keep the grass and weeds down, while the roots establish themselves. Wind is a problem, though; even as I was planting it, the wind was pushing it over. The Korean Pine that had been here had a tomato cage to protect it, secure in place with a branch, so I made use of the branch to support the Ash tree. It can stay there through the winter. In the spring, we can see what it would still need for support.

We still have some chicken wire left over. I will cut some to size to put around the tree to protect it from deer, too, making sure to spray it with the high visibility paint, like the ones protecting the surviving Korean pine. I hope it does well.

Earlier on, while checking the garden during my morning rounds, I found a surprise. I don’t know how I missed this!

I’ve been admiring all the little gourds forming on the Apple gourd plants, but never saw this big one until this morning! It had been hidden behind some leaves. There is another one that’s about 3/4 the size of this one. The little ones may not have time to fully mature before the growing season ends, but this big one has a chance!

We continue to have forecasts for mild temperatures over the next couple of weeks. Early next week, we may reach as high as 24C/75F.

Or… maybe higher?

My husband found this article a couple of days ago.

Canada, a perfect storm is about to change your September
Tyler Hamilton
Meteorologist

Tuesday, September 13th 2022, 9:10 pm – On paper, Typhoon Merbok appears unremarkable. An intensifying typhoon in the Pacific is hardly noteworthy, but its location where it’s intensifying is a little perplexing.

The part that caught my attention was this…

The perturbation continues eastward. As the trough digs across the West, there will be a region of adverse weather, including the prospect of a classic fall low developing across the eastern Prairies. The temperature extremes across the Prairies will be extraordinary, with wet snow across higher terrain in Alberta and southern Manitoba pushing towards 30°C.

Across Ontario and Quebec, there’s increasing confidence in temperatures surpassing 30°C, so some daily temperature records will likely fall next week. It’s a relatively rare feat to record 30°C across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) after mid-September, with Pearson International Airport reaching it this late in the season more than 15 times since 1938.

Where we are, we’re not likely to get such extremes, but perhaps that 24C/75F day we’re supposed to be getting is a result of this. We’re supposed to have and overnight low of 14C/57F that night, yet just three nights later, we’re supposed to reach lows of 1C/34F, which would likely mean frost. This would be a week from now. The app on my phone, however, says we’re supposed to have a low of 5C/41F that night, so no frost.

I’m just obsessing over the temperatures forecast right now. I want the garden to be able to squeeze in every bit of mild weather. However, if things start dipping too low overnight, I’ll have to at least harvest the winter squash and pumpkins that I can, and might be able to cover a few beds.

I would really, really love it if the frost held off until well into November, like it did last year! That might be too much to hope for, though. We shall see!

The Re-Farmer

Food forest: silver buffalo berry

Since planting trees and bushes are more long term than our usual gardening, I decided to start a food forest category.

Including for things that were already here before we moved in, like these Saskatoons. It’s so nice to see them blooming again – though you can very clearly see how high the deer ate the twigs and branches! Hopefully, we’ll have berries this year. Thankfully, these are very flexible, so we should be able to bend them down to harvest them.

We are, however getting a frost advisory tonight. !!! Well, our June 2 last frost date is just an average, after all. It’s supposed to dip to just barely freezing, so most things should be all right.

Including…

The 20 out of 30 silver buffalo berry my daughter was able to transplant today!

She does not take progress pictures, though, so I just got a picture at the end of the day.

Even with the holes already dug, it was a huge job. The soil that was removed was so full of roots, rocks, weeds and gravel, she was using garden soil from the remains of the pile we got last year – which is clear across the garden area. After sitting there for a year, it’s full of roots, too, which she picked out as best she could.

She started at the north end of the double rows, next to the highbush cranberry, as the ground is slightly higher there, and the holes were mud rather than filled with pools of water. It didn’t take long before she was having to deal with standing water, though.

Towards the end, I was able to help her out, adding the mulch and watering it just enough to keep it from blowing away. By the end of it, my poor daughter was so knackered, she could barely lift the shovel on its own, never mind with soil in it!

So the remaining 10 silver buffalo berry (I just realized, I’ve been calling them bison berry, because we don’t have buffalo; we have bison. The label says buffalo) will be planted tomorrow. Holes still need to be dug for the sea buckthorn, but there’s just 5 of those. Then there’s the Korean pine, which is going to be planted in the outer yard.

While she did that, I worked on the main garden area and got some decent progress done, too – but that will be my next post.

The Re-Farmer