Movin’ to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches

Fun fact: One of my childhood nicknames was Peaches. Though I honestly don’t know why.

OK, so this peach tree is actually pretty small, and I don’t think 10 peaches are even developing on it at the moment. But I’m delighted to see that I will have peaches this year, provided nothing happens to them before they are ready to harvest.

(This tree was originally identified by one of my nature ID apps as a plum tree, so I was mystified until now because I distinctly remember being told by the previous homeowner that there was a peach tree on this property. And I keep finding peach pits in the raised beds.)

We seem to have a few cherry trees, too. And we thought we only had one. A few days ago, I identified a black cherry tree growing at the edge of the wooded area. Pretty sure it wasn’t planted by the previous homeowners. It’s developing a lot of fruit, and I am very much looking forward to eating those cherries when they’re ready. I love black cherries.

I think we have at least three fruit-producing cherry trees. And at least one ornamental one. Though I noticed a problem this morning with one of the cherry trees.

“Tiny, pear-shaped aphids suck the fluids out of soft plant tissue including leaves and shoots. They excrete sweet, sticky honeydew, which attracts ants. In exchange for the sweet meal, ants protect aphids from other predators, allowing them to feed uninhibited on your cherry tree.” — SFGate

That is exactly what’s going on here. Fortunately, the aphid and ant party was isolated to one branch that isn’t even producing fruit. I grabbed my trusty loppers, clipped off the branch, and threw it in the burn pile. Problem solved. For now, anyway.

So, here’s an inventory of the fruit trees/vines/shrubs I’ve been able to confirm that we have:

  • apples (variety/varieties unknown): multiple trees
  • pears (variety/varieties unknown): multiple trees
  • cherries (variety/varieties unknown): multiple trees
  • peach: one tree
  • black raspberries
  • blackberries (wild)
  • mulberries
  • Concord grapes
  • strawberries

And then I added two blueberry bushes to this, but time will tell if those produce. And three of the apple trees honestly look iffy, so I don’t know how well those will produce.

The war against weeds continues. It’s a war I won’t win, but I can at least clear out the worst areas. Like the flower beds right at the back of the house.

Stinging nettle is a huge issue, but most of the weeds in the photo on the left are false dill. It is thriving in our flower gardens and raised beds.

We still have a lot of work to do in these flower beds, but we’ve made some progress, as you can see. I was able to sow some seeds: sunflowers, zinnia, dame’s rocket, coleus. And we’ve cleared away the weeds around the plants that are supposed to be there, such as the geraniums and sedum.

In other news, we will have a worm farm for vermicomposting here in the next few days. I ordered 250 red wigglers and a starter kit (1-month food supply, worm blanket, and a coco coir brick) from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm.

As for the actual farm, it will be composed of 5-gallon buckets. I bought food-safe ones from Home Depot. I am using these instructions to assemble it.

We don’t have a garbage disposal, so this is a great way to use our food waste to make quick compost. Though I know the worms multiply quickly, so I’m a little worried we’re going to end up with more worms than we can deal with. Though I suppose it would be fairly easy to get rid of extra worms on Facebook Marketplace or something.

I’ve started saving kitchen scraps in a bag in the freezer so they don’t get moldy. It’s mostly asparagus ends at the moment.

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