Archive for July 19, 2008

Rare “Dacha” Moment in Idyllic Minnesota

Yesterday evening was perfect with the usual splendid sunset but mostly it was idyllic because we participated in watching the full moon come up ORANGE in the eastern sky.  Ken and I sat in our lawn chairs to watch it as if watching a parade procession.  I had earlier finished a game of horseshoes with my Dad.  For those uninitiated in such sport, it is an old farmers game with two stakes in the ground about 12 meters apart and using two horseshoes each to try and get a ringer (3 points).  I enjoyed a come-from-behind victory and beat my Dad to 21-17 points.  We hosted my folks to a vegetarian type dinner last night.  That is a new diet for my Mom after her “episode” at the hospital.  Then I walked her around the farmyard so she could see what weeding I have accomplished thus far.


We first looked at the gooseberry bush that had been freed from quack grass and that is when we saw the beetles eating away at the potato plants.  Fortunately, Ken had the immediate remedy for those bugs with plenty of  Sevin powder, he took care of that problem.  Then I showed my Mom, the overgrown flower beds that desperately NEED work and the petunias I had put in where black earth was showing.  (only two places out of about 15 qualified!)  I bemoaned the fact that I have a clematis that has many purple flowers and buds but the trellis is not sitting up properly, seems that tall, stalky weeds are supporting it.  I showed her a thistle that is nearly two meters high in one of my flower gardens. 


Then we briskly walked over to the old vegetable garden where about 75 irises were transplanted.  The irises mostly bloomed despite the transplant this spring but all are purple it seems. Sadly, the corn my folks planted is not doing well.  However, we discovered that the salvia plant I put in last year is actually a perennial along with the oregano plant. Both are thriving.  I was hoping for basil but not to be.  I’ll have to make pesto with the cilantro that volunteers itself every summer.  The plum and maple trees seem to be iron deficient, they are looking rather yellow with age but are only about three years old.


We also looked at my dopey looking peonies that were past bloom and then on to the five grape vines that I had also freed up from quack before our trip to TX and AZ last week.  I am happy to write that our apples are coming along nicely from a tree that my brother Tony planted about 25-30 years ago.  Ken thinned out the little apples the other day, so we should have a good crop of big juicy apples to harvest when all my siblings and nephews and nieces come up for “Cousin Camp” in a month.  I showed my Mom the three Raeburn apple trees I had dug around, they are struggling but will prevail.  She planted them from seed several years ago and now they are about a half meter tall.


We ventured into the back glade behind the two barns and there were the two walnut trees that Liam planted about four-five years ago.  They are nearly 3 meters tall and then I proudly showed my Mom our BIG apricot tree and three pear trees. They haven’t produced any fruit yet as they are only about 4-5 years old. It must be in a different growing zone due to these trees are south of our large wooded area which gives good wind protection from the howling northwest winds from Canada and get full Florida type sun most of the day. 


To complete our tour we were back at the bonfire I had started with all the extra paper I’m churning out with our build up of junkmail.  Fortunately, yesterday I discovered our World Perks card with Northwest airlines and also our car tags that had gone missing.  I thought logically where both could be.  Once found, I felt free to BURN and I also have many piles of excess grass clippings to add to the fire.  I already dumped about nine wheelbarrows full in the ditch for mulch.  I probably have about 10 more to do, just like last year when I carted 20 loads full of newly cut grass.  Our lawn looks dandelion free and very lush. (Thanks Dad for keeping our lawn under control).  It took me two hours the other night cutting grass closest to our house and outbuildings.


Much to do inside and as it is raining today, I get a blessed relief from the outside tyranny of weeding and landscaping.  Yes, life on our Minnesota farm, which we lovingly call our dascha, can be idyllic especially when there are NO mosquitoes or flies.  Now that IS rare for Minnesota, indeed!

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