Thursday, May 5, 2011

Green Futures Fund (a.k.a. planting small trees)

Planting trees is an investment in the future...mine, ours, our children's and the farmer's who will manage these fertile fields long after our time here has ended. Buying and planting saplings is like a green futures fund.

Last week, my trusty companion, in true-to-form composure,

road tripped with me in the pick up truck all the way to see the Maine Potato Lady in Northport, ME, via Clinton to pick up our cover crop seed, potato seed and an order from the FEDCO tree sale.

We order a variety of flower and vegetable seeds from FEDCO and every few years, we put in a large order for trees, woody flowering perennials and other sundry things. The order is due in the winter and the catalog comes in the late summer/early fall. Suffice it to say, that time of the year I do my best reading in the bathroom, making this catalog's primary location on the back of our commode. I love to read the descriptions, the anecdotes and the wisdom.

Flora and I left for the 5 hour round trip drive in the morning. I promised a viewing of the Royal Wedding upon return (uhhmmm, yes that would be called a bribe (a bride bribe)). Our first stop was the tree sale. When I called John to ask if there was anything he needed me to get in addition to our order, he said,  "more potato seed"

and then added...."and, get whatever you want". Well, give a girl some go-ahead and guess what happens? Indeed, I made a few indulgent purchases.....including: a black flowering Japanese tree peony, a dwarf weeping Japanese maple,

 a magnolia tree and some speedwell. This was on top of an already enormous order of which I still haven't finished planting.

The thing about buying trees from FEDCO is they are small when they come to you. They take patience and they require vision. We created a Google Earth Map of the farmstead to plan where to put everything. The approach so far to the tree order has been to order first and plan for placement afterwards...all based on the fine descriptions of the trees in the catalog. We experiment with new flowers, we envision shade trees and we consider flavor.

FEDCO does a fantastic job of employing our farmer friends in the winter and seeing them and their blessings on our order form are always a treat.

Consider a visit this weekend to FEDCO as there are always plenty of trees, shrubs, perennials, potatoes, soil amendments, books, tools, supplies, and seeds available for purchase, even if you haven't pre-ordered.

 Inevitably, you'll see a friend or two while your there,

pick-up a seedling grown from FEDCO seeds


and find just the right fruit tree. I recommend the Red Haven peach, which fruited the second season with peaches more flavorful than words can describe. I might say the same about some of our other previous purchases but I haven't tasted them yet.

....On another note....If you live in the area, consider joining us for the Scarborough Land Conservation Trust's Annual Meeting, May 25th at 7PM at the Town Hall. SLCT owns the land we farm and live on. The foresight of this almost-all-volunteer organization preserved the farm with an agricultural easement, allowing us to rent the property for an affordable price. Their portfolio of properties in the town allow for birding, hiking, dog walking, hunting and space for wildlife and agriculture. There will be food, drink and merriment. Free and open to the public.

Finally, if you haven't already heard a newsy little piece about us in MaineBiz from this past week.

(Flora helped me unload these pallets of seed potatoes and cover crop seed into the barn and then we collapsed in front of the computer to watch the Royal Wedding on YouTube, as promised, momma equipped with the requisite glass of wine.)

Blessing on the meal,


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