What I did with the stupid tax refund

I figured after ranting about the tax refund, I should probably explain what I ended up doing with it:

That is two water barrels, a plum tree and a peach tree. There were also a flat of ground cover (ice plants, thyme), a few other plants for eating (three rosemarys to see if I can find a place where they will survive the winter) and a planting shovel and some other plant like stuff that sort of brings me into the neighborhood of my 600 dollar refund.

Take that, you vote buying herd of sock puppets.

Uh, anyway, I am not sure how well the trees will do, but they should do OK. There are surprising amounts of fruit trees that can handle 7200 feet cold winters here on the cusp of Zone 4. Apparently peaches are a bit high altitude sun sensitive, but clever pruning and painting apparently does them well. I like having fruit on the property and the local bees, birds, racoons, skunks, deer and possibly bear all seem to enjoy visiting the yard. The rain barrels are filled and half filled after two short thunderstorms this week, maybe I need a couple more? We have a big roof. I probably should get some gutters for the back side of the house too...

The rest of my working the land around the house goes well:
Last years grapes are doing a-ok after a late start to the season, not sure if we will get any grapes, but probably next year.

The cherries are actually outproducing the birds ability to eat them, so we have eaten cherries galore this week:

Our giant apricot tree seems completely devoid of fruit this year, early flowers+late freezes are not great for it. Our old apple tree might have a few apples this year, we had lots last year, but could not reach most of them, this year the few we get seem to be on new growth lower down. Our compost heap pumpkin volunteers are thriving along with tomato seedlings we started indoors. The peppers are not doing great yet, but we have a couple more months for them to make it. I think I should have mixed some compost in with the soil this year. Next year. Really...

Due to the late winds this year we have an absolutely astonishing number of chinese elm seedlings coming up. I think I hate that tree more than populist tax refunds. Garg. Even the super hippy dippy stoned out of their gourds nursery in Santa Fe recommends poisoning the crap out of them.

The bees got a third deck last week, so they seem pretty happy.

PalJill informed me last week that "bees are the new chickens". I for one am just glad to be ahead of those damn portlanders in something.

Finally, the catnip protectorator seems to be working just fine

Good times on the fraction acre indeed.

Along these lines I am really enjoying reading ramshackle solid and homegrown evolution for DIY family scale farming efforts. They cheat by living where it does not freeze, but I forgive them as their blogs are so entertaining. I just ordered Homegrown evolutions book, the urban homestead (available on their webpage or through amazon depending on whether you want to support them directly, or trickle a few dimes my way) and should post a review one day.


Marrock said...

This is why I hate living in an apartment.

I'd love to be able to start up a decent garden and all.

As it is we're begrudged the one parking space we use for the van...

Mark Bishop said...

There is a wonderful cameo by elena in the first picture.

What wonderful irrigation system have you devised for your water barrels? I can only hope that it is cycle driven a la maya pedal.


Tarik Saleh said...


Yep, best part of having a house is the doing what you want to the yard and house, worst part: mortgage. I try to focus on the good part.

Good eyes on seeing elena there, thanks for the link to mayapedal, great stuff there. Fortunately I have chosen locations for the water barrels where gravity provides all the water spreading work I need. I will have to look more carefully at their pumps for future projects.

Jon Livengood said...

So like what happen when the barrels fill up? does water just overflow around the foundation of your house...make sure you have an overflow hose (I just made my rain barrel tonight)