Land Update

As promised, I wanted to post a quick update to the land.  I mentioned before that I had concerns about the fertility as we weren’t seeing much growth.  I was SO wrong.  We visited over the July fourth weekend as a family outing.  My sister from DC, her boyfriend, my other sister, her fiance, Wayne, my dad, and I all drove up to see how things looked.  It was the first visit for my sisters and their significant others.  My mom stayed behind to ensure dinner would be ready for us upon our return.

Everything has grown tremendously.  Even with Wayne’s persistent use of his scythe, the grass remains and threatens to take over.   Here we are upon arrival:

And walking up to the top of the property.

Wayne and Dad took a seat in the Adirondack chairs we bought just for sitting and enjoying the space.

While they talked, the rest of us took some time to snap a couple pictures.  Here’s my sister, her fiancée, and their dog Vada.

And here is the sisters shot.  Could we look any less related?

The land was just as gorgeous as I remembered it and Wayne and I had a lovely time filling everyone in on our plans.  It was refreshing and reassuring to see the lushness.

Juxtapose the picture above against my first post about the land.  The difference is just extraordinary.

Next up?  We’re shed building in just a few weeks.  We took the easy route and bought a kit, but I hope to document the process all the same.

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Updates

It’s been so long since I’ve posted, I have quite a few updates.  First, the soap rack (on ongoing project since April) is finally complete and is, in fact, holding all the soaps that we just posted on our etsy site as well as a few others that are curing.

Here’s a closeup of some of what’s curing:

And the finished product:

Moving on to the garden…we have harvested a few things so far.  We had lettuce for quite some time first in our cold frame and then directly from the garden until weather started consistently hitting 80.  We managed only a small number of sugar snap peas (always my favorite) before the heat became too much for them.  Next year I’d like to put them in quite a bit earlier.  I aslo hope to plant another crop at the end of the summer to make up for what we didn’t get this spring.

Just this morning Wayne harvested the beans that we had in the front flower bed.  I’m not sure of the variety, but they are black beans and even raw they are wonderfully sweet.

The big thing we harvested so far is our garlic.  We had planted three beds in the fall and just recently finished pulling it up.  You can see some of it drying on our soap rack (the only cool convenient place we could easily find).  We’ll likely save some for seed for next year and should still have plenty of garlic to last us through.

Wayne has also put in the tomatoes, peppers, basil, and eggplant.  We have  lots of green tomatoes starting, and the peppers look like they’re not too far behind.  The beets he put in are having trouble with the tough soil and are mostly growing above ground.  We’ll likely have to pull them up.  Oddly enough, the potato volunteers seem to be thriving in the same soil.

While my focus lately has been on Belle Terre, Wayne’s has primarily been on the land.  He’s been out there at least one day each week working on clearing.  He purchased a scythe in hopes of being able to handle most of it himself without the benefit of gas powered equipment.   I was (am) quite nervous about that choice.  A large swinging blade just doesn’t seem incredibly safe.  He keeps reminding me that tractors could be dangerous as well.

The other project Wayne has been focusing on is the property’s drainage (or lack thereof).  We visited a few months ago purposefully in the rain to see what the source of the water was in the front field.  As we expected, most of it is coming from a nearby property which has a drainage pipe to the road. Rather than running down the road, the slope of the land causes the runoff is coming directly onto our property and pool there.  In order to divert the water, Wayne dug out a trench, and lined it with fabric and gravel.  The water will now (hopefully) travel directly into our creek instead of overwhelming the field.

My sister and her boyfriend are visiting from DC and we’re excited to take them to see our property.  It’ll be the first time my family (other than my father) as seen our land.  For all my concerns about lack of fertility, the last time I was there the grass was well over my head!  I’ll take some updated pictures when we visit tomorrow and post them soon.

In a fun note, Wayne and I are both enjoying the Fabulous Beekman Boys.  We don’t have cable, so my parents started recording for us on their TIVO and it serves as a wonderful source of entertainment when we visit.