Mulch under the fence, berry patch

Alexis was on call this weekend so I headed down east.  After spending a good part of Saturday visiting with an old friend, Sunday was given over to orchard work.  I had wanted to mow the orchard and mulch around the trees with chips, but the wet summer and recent 3 inches of rain rendered regions of it downright soggy.  The rain had also had a stimulative effect on the grass growing under the electric fence, so I went around the inside and outside of the electric fence with a string trimmer, and concluded that the plastic netting that serves as backup to the electric  wasn’t going to survive very long with grass and weeds growing in and getting beaten back repeatedly.  So I got a big 2-wheeled wheelbarrow (ground way too soft for machinery after all the rain) and schlepped the wood chips we produced earlier in the summer, spreading them in a thick layer under the fence line.  Summer’s rank growth has demonstrated that the small amount of chips we put under the fence this spring were about 10% of the necessary quantity.  My folks showed up to lend a hand, and we got about half of the perimeter fence done.  By then it was lunch time, and I had had about enough of grunting the wheelbarrow over rough ground.  After lunch I spent a couple hours clearing in the new berry patch out behind the cabin, where the hazlenut bushes seem to be taking quite well to their new home.

As I prepared to head back to Boston, I noticed the front page of one section of the Portland Sunday paper, where the two stories were about the rise of electric bicycles in China and a new effort to produce locally-made wood pellets for Maine.  At least for a brief moment I had the sense that the world might actually be changing.

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