Heirloom blueberry, spraying peach trees for fungal health, and supersizing spring squash transplants

Hey hey, it’s been a beautiful spring weekend here on the urban homestead and we got a lot done to ready us for summer growth. As you may have noticed this blog post is going out VERY late in the week; it’s been hectic at work and not much time in the evenings besides keeping up with the indoor grow tents. 🙂
Here’s what we worked on this past weekend:

  • Road trip to see Gram’s house for the last time and pickup family heirloom hand-tools
  • Taking a family Heirloom blueberry home to the urban homestead
  • Transplanted cherry tomato and squash seedlings
  • Fungal treatment: spraying peach trees with compost tea (and maybe some neem oil)
  • Indoor and outdoor videos of the week
  • Backyard panorama photos

Road trip to see Gram’s house for the last time and pickup family heirloom hand-tools
Saturday Paula and I went down to the Oregon Coast to help my Dad with getting things moved and hauled out of my grandmother’s former house. She
lived there for 60 years until being moved to a nursing home at age 100. She lived another 2 and a half years to the ripe old age of 102.5 (miss you Gram). As part of the cleanout was given all of my grandfathers tools (woodworking as well as gardening)…I
mean just checkout this shovel:

Classic 1930's Coal Shovel

Classic 1930’s Coal Shovel

From what I can find and interestingly enough I was watching a documentary on the old coal railroads and in one of the photos a rail-man was holding a shovel handle that looks very similar. Some of these hand tools and shovels, rakes, etc… have been in our family for over 100 years. Anyway, it was great to get these heirloom items to keep and pass down to one of our children that takes up the homesteading life in the future.

Taking a family Heirloom blueberry home to the urban homestead
Sunday was busy on the urban homestead, which started out by propagating Gram’s Blueberry bushes. The back story is that in the back of my grandmothers house in Astoria there’s a blueberry bush of unknown origin. My father said that when he was a
child they traveled up to Canada for a family visit. While there his mother took a number of blueberry bush cuttings and brought them home and ever since there has been this very high production blueberry bush growing in the backyard behind the garage. So, in remembrance of my grandmother I took a number of new growth cuttings from the blueberry bush to propagate. Once home I took these cuttings and divided them up into
around 40 propagation starts. If only half of these survive I’ll be very thrilled knowing that I’ll always have a piece of my grandmother with us. As a surprise for my dad, if we get enough surviving, I’m going to take a few of these bushes down to his
place in Arizona and plant them in some whiskey barrels on the north/east side of his house. Then he’ll also have a piece of his mother with him to remember all the years eating these same blueberries with his family during his childhood. Here’s a picture of the blueberry bush and the resulting propagation in my grow bed:

60 year old heirloom blueberry bush

60 year old heirloom blueberry bush

Blueberry cuttings in our propagation bed

Blueberry cuttings in our propagation bed

Transplanted cherry tomato and squash seedlings
All of our tomatoes and squash plants have been transplanted from the 2″ compost pots into the 5″ reused plastic pots and are now happily living inside the large grow tent, here’s a photo of our progress of the spring veggies:

One of our indoor grow tents with spring garden veggie starts

One of our indoor grow tents with spring garden veggie starts

Fungal treatment: spraying peach trees with compost tea (and maybe some neem oil)
All of our peach trees this spring seem to be having a hard time dealing with fungal disease (a few are pretty bad). I sprayed them with dormant oil before bloom and this week started a regimen of spraying them with compost tea and neem oil. Hopefully we can beat this back and not loose the fruit production. At the end of this year Paula and I will be re-evaluating keeping the worst hit in our yard and will possibly replace them with peaches known to have fungal leaf curl resistance here in the sloppy-wet Pacific NW. Since we have good rootstock already in the ground we’d likely just graft on some cuttings and regrow a healthy and happy tree. 🙂

Indoor and outdoor videos of the week
We’ve uploaded a lot of videos this week, some outdoors as well as the usual indoor grow tent ones. Here’s the link to our Youtube page: PnB Homesteading Youtube Channel

Backyard panorama photos

Stone patio with garden boxes with urban orchard

Stone patio with garden boxes with urban orchard

Center of lower patio with garden boxes and urban orchard

Center of lower patio with garden boxes and urban orchard

Deep clover patch and upper hillside orchard, garden boxes, and perennial berry bushes

Deep clover patch and upper hillside orchard, garden boxes, and perennial berry bushes

Distance shot up hillside showcasing "beyond organic" permaculture yard

Distance shot up hillside showcasing “beyond organic” permaculture yard

Well, this blog post is late already so without further adieu…make it a great week everyone. 🙂

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