Merry Christmas on the Farm

70° on the farm today! It’s just us this Christmas on the farm but we enjoyed spending our time outdoors. We haven’t found someone to excavate the next two feet of our pond but hoping in January someone can be hired. We are spending this weekend clearing our future tea garden. It has been a difficult ordeal getting through very thick brambles, dead and half dead trees, tree trunks on the ground and more. It’s looking better and a few passes with the tractor should be helpful. The hill should provide plenty of dappled shade and good drainage.

Like everywhere else on the property where we dig, we find a lot of buried junk. This area is turning up some more modern metal pieces and things we have not a clue what they are for. You have to wonder if back in the day they just had little junk heaps all over the property. We’re finding plenty of barbed wire in the area as well.

The area we cleared had some dead pines and cedars. The undergrowth probably choked out any trees that were trying to grow over the last few years. I have moved some of my baby cedars and pines and replanted them where we hope they will grow as tall as the trees that once stood here. We plant three or four and hope that at least one will survive and thrive to maturity. It’s kind of a game to find little trees and move them around to somewhere else on the farm. The cedars seem to transplant better than the pines. We have also found that trying to transplant the larger pines is less than a 50% success rate.

We also planted one of our Christmas gifts – a Black Bamboo plant! Black bamboo is another invasive runner type that grows about 25′ tall. North Carolina has optimal growing conditions for this type of bamboo so it should do well on the farm. In about two or three years, the canes will be much thicker and black. We’re thinking about returning to the bamboo store next week to pick up some more Moso bamboo. The bamboo nursery is co-located with the camellia nursery, so an opportunity to pick up some more tea plants as well.

Slightly in front of the new black bamboo berm is a tree that has grown curved (once again the brambles had pulled on it as it grew.) It made a perfect spot to put a new wood twisted spinner with a koi motif.

I’m hoping every Christmas will be this warm. Not missing the snow and cold of Little Siberia (even though it can be quite pretty). Next weekend I need to start some veggie plants from seed. We’ll see how the greenhouse works for seedlings. I’m hoping that our vegetable garden is more successful this year. So many things to learn… Merry Christmas!