Plums and Superphosphate

IMG_1615It’s killing me that most of the fruit this year will go to waste.  This evening after my shower I went walking in the yard and just from the low hanging branches on the plum tree I gathered about five pounds of plums.  They are delicious!  Tree ripened plums are almost unrelated to grocery store plums.  I’ve discovered that picking plums is much like picking blueberries.  You must tickle them off the branch.  A truly ripe plum will yield to the brush of your hand – any resistance at all indicates sourness ahead.  I’m sure there’s a relationship metaphor in there somewhere!

I would spend more time picking fruit but there is still so much to do.  Fence to build, buildings to repair, a garden to till and prepare for next spring.  The list goes on but it is not infinite thank goodness.

When I dream about the future of this place, and I still do, I dream of an English smallholding.  If I could I would cover the land with small paddocks surrounded by stone walls and hedge fence.  I would decorate every corner post with Seven Sisters roses and plant lilac around white lawn furniture.  I want two geese to waddle around and terrorize the neighbor’s cat.  I want the buzz of a bee yard, the smell of a barnyard, and the cooing of a dovecote.  I want to make my own bacon and apple cider.

I want to make a cheddar cheese, cover it in wax and hide it away to age until friends arrive some autumn night.  We’ll eat it on the deck while the evening turns purple.

All of that stuff doesn’t happen overnight and I am so enjoying overcoming the challenges of this place that I can give up a fruit season or two.

One of the previous owners left us the gift of 1600 pounds of superphosphate.  Superphosphate is a fertilizer.  I think it’s the middle number on most fertilizer bags you can buy.  Now personally I am kind of ambivalent about fertilizers and most chemicals.  Everything is a chemical after all.  I think where we get into trouble is not when we give nature a little help but when we try to supplant nature.  So I’ll use a little fertilizer… and a little herbicide now and then if it’s really necessary.  But 1600 pounds?  No way.  So this afternoon I loaded 21 bags each weighing 80 pounds each into the back of the truck.  Tomorrow it will go to the transfer station where it will be treated like hazardous waste.  In that quantity I suppose it is hazardous waste.

One more step on the journey to the smallholding will be complete.

Today was awesome!


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