The next generation

I love planting my Fellowship Forest and one of the things Romain and I are doing this week is planting all the trees we have been growing and accumulating over the summer.  My favourite Fellowship Forest is right down the back. It is too far for a hose to reach and young trees need lots of water so we fill the bucket of the tractor with water from the hose by the house and sometimes add a measure of fish fertiliser, then drive it down the back (very slowly so as not to spill the water)  and then one person drives along the trees while the other walks, bucketing the water out for the trees.  john deere tractor

They  also need to be mulched and have protection from the rabbits in preparation for the winter.

This Autumn we are planting Hedge Apples, Maples, Oaks and Mulberries.saplings

Here is a collection of oaks and mulberries heeled into a bucket of potting mix awaiting their planting day.   Many will go into the Fellowship Forest and into the three or four jungle areas that I am planting closer to the house. I love my jungles – I want them to eventually be impenetrable, dark and mysterious.  The next generation of visitors or dwellers here should have a good source of shade and wood and wild native fruits. And the birds and butterflies and wildlife have a source of food as well. The secret to a jungle is to plant natives – or at least trees that want to grow in your area.

They are called the Fellowship Forests because many of you do not have enough land to plant trees in so I am planting them for you. maple

Last year I planted piles of black walnuts – they love to grow around here and the pigs LOVE the nuts, shell and all.

black walnuts

Also I fly a lot during the winter so planting trees every year is my way of helping to compensate for my flying carbon footprint.

Sheila. See that white chicken in the background – she is frequently seen sitting on or standing on Sheila’s back. Sheila is unperturbed by her bird.  They share her meals through out the day. I have yet to get a photo of the chook riding the pig but it makes me smile every time. sheila

I have a smoker cat.

smokey cat

And Devil cattle.

Oh and one buyer has put his name on all 10 of the piglets. He comes well recommended. So that is a relief. They will be leaving in a few weeks.  So fingers still crossed that the sale goes through but it is a good beginning.

I still think Poppy is quite small for this stage of her gestation so she may not have many piglets at all which would be a relief. Her piglets are very active. She is still so busy, her jumping up and down terrifies me –  I hope she settles. She did well last time.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi







All 10 piglets are sold though it will take a few weeks for the man to come down and collect them. He has good references so fingers crossed.

56 Comments on “The next generation

  1. Kim’s mulberry! If it isn’t claimed already. Yay for the sale of the piglets!

  2. Some relief coming. Odd to water when you have nothing but water all summer – but so it goes. Love the big bucket to little bucket imagery. I absolutely love mulberry trees and black walnut ice cream or black walnut pie are my fathers favorite deserts. The wood also makes beautiful furniture if one falls.

    Smoker Cat – He/she needs a nice velvet jacket! And Sheila and her hen! That would make a great Tee if you can get a photo.

  3. Fresh walnutSpanish, yum…we missed ours in Spain by leaving before they were ready! What a very elegant smoker cat, I agree it needs a silk dressing gown and some velvet slippers!

  4. Looks of total innocence under those budding horns 🙂 Your underground water table level must be pretty close to the surface after all the rain you have had this summer. Laura

  5. We used to live at the top of a hill in one of our previous towns. The street went about 5 blocks down toward the river. Our walnut trees were prolific. Our young son and I enjoyed gathering them in his wagon, then rolling them down the street.

  6. In Kentucky where I’m from, black walnuts are treasures. People run over them in their driveways to hull them, then dry them in baskets a few weeks & crack them in November in time for a Thanksgiving favorite, boiled sweet potatoes whipped with cream, butter, bourbon or sherry & black walnuts. Other treats are black walnut pound cake & Kentucky Colonels, a pulled brown sugar cream candy topped with the best half piece of a black walnut you can pick out of its hard hard shell. Edna Lewis’ cookbook The Pursuit of Flavor has the pound cake recipe. That & black walnut ice cream (mentioned by Pat) are just the very best sweet tastes of autumn.

  7. Super news about the 10 piglets sold! And love that the Fellowship Forest is growing and expanding. I didn’t know that pigs love black walnuts. Do they just chew right through the green husks and then through the very hard shells? We have so many here I must rake them up each fall. Now, for sure, I’ll be throwing them to the pigs! 🙂

    • Throw in the lot – husk, shell and walnut, it gives them something to do – I can hear them cracking through the shells from up here! great source of protein too..

  8. I have the regular walnuts in my garden. Do black ones taste any different or is it just the colour?

    • Black walnuts need to ripen before you eat them or they will bring up sores in your mouth. They are very different, just as Celi said, a strong earthy taste and generally you would not eat them to snack on, as you would English Walnuts. My mother used them in baked goods because they added so much flavour.

  9. How wonderful that all the piggies are spoken for! And your tree planting and watering is brilliant! Have a lovely day!

  10. I am sure that the sale of the piglets is causing your spirits to soar! Good ON ya, Miss C! Good ON YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Much of the same from me, the same.

  11. CongrTulations on sale of piglets….one swoop and all sorted..thats the powwer of fb

  12. Hurray for the piglets! A weight off your mind if all goes well. When I lived in London, I had a huge old walnut tree in the back yard. Every year there were dozens of walnuts on it, but not a single one ever hit the ground. Squirrels got the lot.

  13. It’s so different where I live, along a river in central California. I never plant trees, they plant themselves. If anyone in our valley plants an ornamental tree, within 5 years they’re growing everywhere. One of my jobs in the fall, as I plant tulips, is to pull all the baby trees out of my flower bed. Even native trees like Valley Oaks lose their common sense when they sprout in our rich riparian topsoil. We keep them away from the house because they grow too fast, then fall over in the first spring wind. Locust, black walnut, sycamore, cottonwood. I just spent $3000 to have a 30 year old cottonwood cut down (it had died). It was 6 feet across at its multi-trunked base. I only plant dwarf fruit trees, otherwise they’ll be 40 feet tall. It wouldn’t take very long to grow a dense forest here, where you’d come home from the store some day and not be able to find your own house. On the down side, we get no fall color. Even liquid amber trees just stay green in their misguided optimism, and the green leaves finally drop when frost kills them.

      • Wow – that does sound amazing – so tropical – we also have a lot of ash and elm and maples planting themselves, I let them go in the jungles but they are a right pain in the gardens. I can pull out 10 ir per square foot. if I don’t keep on it. One of my dreams is to have the house disappear into the trees!

      • There are a few bigger farmers in the area who have combines and they come round to the smaller farms to harvest for everyone charging by the hour. When I say big farms I’m only talking 10-20 hectares (30-60 acre) and the combines are all from the 70’s and 80’s 🙂 I guess it’s a system that goes back to communist times here in Poland, but it works well for the may small farmers in this area. The good thing about oats is that they will grow anywhere with little intervention and pretty much all animals will eat them. We mill\clip them for the pigs food.

  14. Walnuts on trees! instead of in stores—shelled, chopped, and bagged. . . What an idea! I’m going to show this to my granddaughter, if I can get her to put down her smartphone and take a look at my ancient desktop monitor. Oh, the prices we pay for convenience. The cost of truly living keeps going up. But there’s this small hope that communities like this can be found around the world, and open to all.

    • Send it TO her smartphone! Then she will read it in her own medium. I must investigate whether the other kinds of walnuts will grow here – the black walnut grows SO fast!

  15. Plant some hickory trees if you can find any. I had wonderful white mulberries at the house and I miss. The berries were big, sweet and juicy and with all the rain it was probably a really good crop this year. Glad the piglets are sold. Sheila looks very happy, she probably enjoys her pet chicken.

      • Yes, they’re native. There were several on the grounds of the former Rockome Gardens in Arcola, IL. Sadly that was sold for a zoo and “wildlife” park. The gardens were lovely, there were odd rock walls and other constructions, little houses made of bottles cemented together. I have a few hickory nuts from there and will plant one or two in a pot and see if they’ll germinate. From the leaves I’d say they’re related to walnuts, probably pecans too. The wood is beautifully grained, lighter than walnut.

          • Try Stark Nursery, they have them as well as persimmons and quince trees. I read that they’re good pig feed too and bear every year once mature. Nana was a wonderful woman and I was deeply blessed to have her in my life till I was 21 and living in the same home with us.

        • Has anyone ever seen Watts Towers in Los Angeles? Built on a pie-wedge shape of land by an immigrant, Sam Rodia, quite a while ago, they are a testament to this man’s love of his new country. My Auntie took me there when I was a teenager. He built concrete walls and imbedded them with shards of colorful glass. It’s a wonder. Much love, Gayle

  16. I buy a bag of black walnuts every year when I get the honey. Gotta be careful, though. “Ted” cracks them all by hand. If you’re not careful, you could lose a crown on a piece of shell.

  17. I love the way you are preparing the land for the next keeper. I always do the same here with trees and local plants birds/creatures need- but on a much smaller scale. Many feel you can’t really own land, you are just the current guardian and custodian of the land and it’s inhabitants

  18. Am literally jumping up-and-down about the hopeful piglet sale! Money in and not so much money out especially if the next piglet litter is smaller! What a difference a day makes! You have been so busy I had not dared ask about the Fellowship Forest and whether you still had time to even think about that . . . Late Viv and I were kind’of there in the beginning. So glad you have found a gap in your busy time to do some autumnal planting!! ‘Tis the first month of maybe still ‘Indian Summer’ which will count in the watering: not hard when you have two to tango . . . best of fun and satisfaction 🙂 !

    • Your tree is growing great guns but sadly Viv’s began to die of mid summer – I still cannot work out why. I avoided photographing that garden as I know she watched out for it .. I am planting another for her this week. c

      • Don’t want to make ridiculous comments but perhaps the two of them are watching over us now and loving to be remembered . . . a memorial to a lovely lady will be heart-warming tho’ . . .

      • Maybe her tree knew something we didn’t know. I loved her. We corresponded a bit. Much love, Gayle

  19. All your tree planting sounds wonderful – I look out over a bush reserve so I feel very lucky. Have you heard of TreeSisters – they are promoting tree planting as a way to help restore our planet.

    • You might be interested to know that Sacramento, California, gives out free trees and classes on how to plant them. The tree folks will come to your house and tell you where the best places to plant your trees so as to provide maximum shade. Sacramento holds the title of having the most trees per capita in the world! Much love, Gayle

      • Oh, and you can pick which trees you want to get. This includes fruit trees. I had so many fruit trees in my back yard that I had trouble keeping on top of the crops! Miss them. Sold the house and the new owners removed several trees. Sigh. Much love, Gayle

  20. We have a lot of mulberries in the woods. This year the oaks put off a good crop of acorns and the walnut trees produced a bumper crop. The wildlife should do well here this winter. Already, orphaned fawn Ronnie is doing like the big bucks and packing on the winter protein and fat by eating lots of acorns (that I pick for him and Emma). I think your tree planting is a wonderful idea!

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