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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:38 pm
by mannytheseacow
Had a long day today planting - what will be the first of several long days planting. I received 350 hybrid hazelnuts as part of a research partnership with Badgersett in MN, and a local genetic stock facility where Badgersett grows and selects their stock from. Got all 350 in the ground today, with another 650 on the way. These 350 went into 5 350 ft. rows, spaced 5' apart in row, and rows spaced 15' apart (three passes with my 5' woods mower). All planted by hand by yours truly. Phew! I'm wooped!
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Sorry, it's kinda hard to see the rows. Ended up being one row of nut size 1, two rows of nut size 17, and two rows of nut size 21.
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Lots more news to update, coming soon!

Re: Another Illinois 'stead

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 2:17 pm
by matt walker
Awesome Manny!! Dang man, a lot of work, and super exciting too. Very cool partnership you have going there.

Re: Another Illinois 'stead

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:32 pm
by mannytheseacow
Picking almonds this weekend. This is the third summer the trees have been in the ground. I've read in some places that Hall's Hardy Almond don't taste good, but I can testify that these taste just like almonds. Very tasty, growing fast, producing a lot, and surviving the northern Illinois' winters. Highly recommended.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:06 pm
by pa_friendly_guy
I planted 2 of the hearty almonds about 3 years ago. They blossomed but I have not gotten any nuts yet. I am looking forward to tasting them for the 1st time. I also planted some pecans and 2 Chinese chestnuts and some hazel nuts. Two out of 3 hazel nuts died so I need to replant some for pollination. maybe next spring. I don't know if I will ever taste a pecan from my trees because they take so long to mature, but I figured that I might as well try. Like the old Chinese proverb says, The best time to plant a tree is 20 years age, The 2nd best time to plant a tree is today.

Re: Another Illinois 'stead

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:46 pm
by mannytheseacow
Well hello, friends! I was on here P.M.-ing PA_GUY recently and was reminded of the community that we have here. It's been super slow on the board lately, but that's ok. That might mean that lots of people have arrived where they wanted to be and are just enjoying the fruits of their labor. That's my excuse, anyway.

So, I'm sitting on my porch on this fine Sunday afternoon sipping some fine apple brandy and thought I would post a little update on things around here. First of all, the brandy is really good. It's aged on toasted and charred apple wood from the same tree that gave up the apples. How's that?

All in all, things are really good here. Spring has broke and everything is in bloom. I had some duck eggs, asparagus, and morels for breakfast, and looking forward to a home raised, home cured, home smoked ham for dinner. I have bags of salad greens in the fridge already, and so much food on the way that it is ridiculous. Carrots are up, peas are up, mushrooms galore... a pile of wood that needs to be split, and wood shed that is still almost full.

It was such a pleasure to put my houseplants outside. They were getting attacked by aphids and all it took was a day outdoors for the wasps to come and take care of that problem.

I recently cleaned out my compost piles and topped off my gardens and hugel beds. All in all, I added about two feet of broken down soil food to the garden, which will likely break down further to about an inch by the end of summer!

We don't have much in the way of livestock anymore. I'm still working on the pork from several years ago now, and still have a freezer stocked with goat, lamb, rabbits, and fish. We've been making a conscious effort to eat less meat. No more than one meal a day, if that, which really stretches the meat supply out longer. I think it's probably healthier, too.

We're giving our land a rest this year. I'll miss the animals to keep the grass mowed but we've built up quite the parasite load over the years so things need a rest. More room for veggies!

The solar water and electricity- can't say enough good things about it! I'll never go back.

In fact, my only complaint about life at this point is the cold Illinois winters that keep us from growing food year round. I've been working really hard on that, too, and hope to be moving soon to a winter-free homestead, but no real news to post about that yet. All in due time.

I only have one photo for you today, here's two of my almond trees in bloom:
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They had less blooms than this last year and gave me about a 5-gallon bucket of almonds. They were really tasty- almost like they had "almond extract" added to them. Not sure why they don't taste like that from the store. Hopefully we don't get a hard frost to set them back. All of my orchard came back and is in bloom. I l love it when a plan comes together. 8-) The Mirabelle plums even survived, which I was worried about, but still no blooms on them. Maybe next year.

Time for another brandy.

Re: Another Illinois 'stead

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:09 pm
by pa_friendly_guy
Relax, enjoy the day, and the brandy, and really enjoy a day of rest as it was meant to be enjoyed. I took a walk in the woods looking for morals today, unfortunately I didn't find any. Now I am enjoying a cold beer and relaxing for the rest of the day. :D