Thursday, May 21, 2009

Operation OP-367

If you know what an OP-367 is, you might be as big of nerd as I am. Last night my wife, my parents and I planted 300 hybrid poplars on our acreage. Clone OP-367 to be specific. What was the purpose, you may be thinking. It is the birth of my future wood lot. Why poplars? Poplars grow fast and can regenerate from the stump once cut down. Poplars are a hardwood, albeit a softer hardwood.

Here's the plan: you plant a quarter acre a year of the poplar cuttings for four years in succession. Every year (after the fourth year) you harvest a quarter acre for firewood. The trees will be about 4-6 inches in diameter, a good sized log that doesn't need to be split. Just cut it into length for the wood stove. Each quarter acre should yield 3 cords of wood their first cutting and 5 each cutting after.

Poplars aren't as good for firewood as say oak, but they will yield more BTUs per acre when planted on 6' centers.

The little buggers came in bags of 25.

You plant them so that only one bud is showing out of the ground. That's a Sakakawea dollar next to it. It was the only change my Dad had in his pocket.

My Wife and my Mom doing some final watering.

I tried to mulch around each one with mulch to retain moisture.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Garden Update

Our first salad cut from the garden. This was cut for our supper last Saturday. It contains giant mustard and spinach. We discovered that my wife severely dislikes the mustard greens. I think my immense pride overtook my taste buds.

One of our favorites, Sugar Ann snap peas!

The broccoli is still hanging in there, despite mother nature's efforts to destroy it.

Cold frame plants are doing well.

I planted a stick on our 12 acres! Actually I planted three raspberry canes. Two Boyne and one Fall Gold. I'm excited but I am trying not to get my hopes up since I killed a few of the same varieties last year. To be fair, the wild life nipped off all the leaves. Still, I blame myself. This year I protected them with chicken wire. Cross your fingers.

These are our tomato seedlings indoors. They are about ready to potted up.