Amazing what you can get done in a few hours! Ray came home from work and after a quick dinner we headed straight out with the boys and got to work planting the rest of our fedge.
We started by planting a row of aronia behind our blueberry bushes. It is supposedly easy to grow and loaded with black berries that ripen in late summer, but can hang on the bush throughout the winter. I wonder if we could make ice wine with the frozen berries? The berries are very high in antioxidants and are great used for wine, jam and baking.
Behind the aronia, we planted autumn olive, also called autumn berry. This is quite the controversial plant. It is considered a “noxious weed” in many circles and the best kept secret in North America in others. I’m pretty sure we had these lining the back of our property in Michigan but never ate them because we thought they were poisonous. We have three plants, just starts really, so we have put tomato cages over them.
The berries are highly nutritious with more lycopene than tomatoes and can be eaten off the bush, juiced, jammed or made into fruit leathers. According to Wikipedia, the autumn olive is highly invasive and will take over if left on its own. Well, we have plenty of room so bring it on!
That is what we did on the east side of the driveway. On the west side we put up four 8′ posts and planted the hops. Our plan is to alternate rows so we have a row of hops, a row of kiwi, a row of hops, a row of grapes, etc. Before dark, we had just enough time to put the posts up and plant the hops and kiwi.
I couldn’t help but feel proud with how far along our homestead is coming. After talking about it and experimenting for years, we are finally taking action. It’s all starting to come together and I am near bursting with excitement.