Back to the Farm Routine

It feels so good to be back to the farm routine, it makes me feel like I am home. When we had the farm in TN each morning Norman would get up have coffee and watch the new for a half an hour and then go for his walk. I would get up and go out to weed or water and tend the gardens until Norman got home from his walk, then come in a make breakfast. Now here I have a routine that I’ll follow for at least two weeks then cut the watering down and put in weeding, pruning etc every other day with the watering. I get up around 6, write to Rosemary and wait for Gina and Patty to come to say good bye for the day. It is a nice way to start the day, I love my visit with Rosemary every day and Gina signals time for me to get to work, they leave for the bus at 8am. I fix Otis a little breakfast and I get my fruit for my breakfast and play a game while I eat just as I used to with Norman. Then I water well all the new plants and new grass. This is the workers yesterday putting in the sea grapes. They also put in one new tree and moved one tree. They did such a great job and then cleaned it all up so I didn’t have to do anything this morning but water again. Patty got me a new 125 foot hose was the old one would not reach all around the cottage to get the new sea grapes.
Here are some pictures of the sea grapes now. They begin along the back fence over in the south east corner. Tyler wanted something growing up the fence so we could sit out in our back yard without having the neighbors looking right into our back yard at him. These will grow but they are pretty good even now at covering the fence. going along the fence beside the cottage. They put five grapes in every two sections of fence, 24 of them in all. You can see the holly tree they moved for me. We put it here near the cottage so it can help block the sun from pouring into the cottage each afternoon. That is when the sun is the hottest so any shade I can get the better it is. Then to the west side of the fence. There were three extra bushes so I asked them to go around the corner with those to hide the rubbish there at the corner. They look so nice. Gina wanted to know why we needed those so I began to think maybe you are asking the same thing so I took a picture of the ones Patty has in her yard and you can see what a nice hedge they make and make such a great frame for the back yard. . These are Patty’s. It has taken a long time to get them this big and full. She got all her sea grapes from Ralph. He took care of the ones at the golf course that he worked at. The sea grapes will spread over the years and they have been there for many many years so now the pop up about a foot or two away from the plant and instead of just mowing them down Ralph would dig them up and pot them. Then nurse them for a year or so and replant them where new plants were needed. He had done this so many years he had several bushes he could not find room for so he gave them to Patty. I was lucky and found some at the local nursery that someone else did all the nursing work and so I have big healthy bushy plants and they will fill in like Patty’s in just another year or two. We will keep these cut back so they will bush out and make a solid fence there over the years and then let they grow up to 6 or 6.5 feet tall. There are quite a few such fences down on Indian River Drive and they are so pretty and so carefree because they are native to the area.
This is the holly tree they moved for me. The birds have already eaten most of the berries. The berries are not good for us but the birds love them and I love watching the birds so it is win win situation. Greg and his boys moved this tree from the south west corner of the yard to this spot since we needed the place this was in for our live oak. The live oak is a native tree that Patty really wanted on this lot. It is the best native shade tree. Just as in New Hampshire every front yard needs a big old maple tree, every Florida home needs a live oak tree. Of course the best time to plant an oak tree is ten years ago because they grow so slow. Patty put on in her back yard 23 years ago and now it is just beautiful. So big and stately. She has a mahogany in her front yard and that is nice too but nothing can compete with a live oak for Florida. This is our new live oak. We were very lucky here too. Patty called all around looking for a good looking ten foot live oak and found them of course at every nursery most were $200 plus about the same to plant them one even was $350 but when we went to Weatherbee Nursery we found some very nice ones for $97 plus tax and when I saw this one it was so much better than even the others there I said we have to get this one now. Patty was leaving for a two week vacation so could not take it right then so I asked if they would hold it for us and they said yes if we paid for it right then. So that is what we did and when we got the sea grapes we picked up the tree with the grapes and Greg planted it too. yes we paid Greg but we got a great job on all of them, much better than we could ever do and right away so we didn’t lose a single plant and he is so reasonable.
Then of course there are the blueberries. These are the three new ones I got. They are small but they have fruit on them already so they are much bigger than the ones I got for the villa two years ago. I wonder if they are still alive. I told them how to feed them and about watering them all the time but most people don’t pay any attention to that and with blueberries if you don’t take care of them they die. Blueberries are not native to Florida. In fact they never used to grow at all in Florida as they need a cold dormant period of several month which they don’t get here. The University of Florida worked for years and finally developed a good looking blueberry that truly grows in Florida but all blueberries need lots of water and so do these. I still have two in big pots that are just loaded with berries but I do water them. Greg and his boys planted those also with the others so now I have four different kinds for cross pollination and can water them along with all my other plants and I got special fertilizer for them. I will not try to cover these, I am planting them for the birds as I love to watch the birds and they just love blueberries, I can buy my blueberries in the store, the birds can’t.
Greg and his boys took all the sod they had to dig up to plant the grapes and tree and put that over on the side of the house where they had left a ditch where they put the electric under ground. Without sod it kept washing out with every rain. Now it will not because they put all that sod there and it looks great and will save that side of the house from washing away.
Long enough for today. Time to do some more genealogy. I may tell you about that tomorrow. I am finding things I never knew or at least didn’t remember and those might interest you. Have a good day, I will !

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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