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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Alderwood Archeology

The Alderwood Patch has come a long way from its days as a garbage pit, the way we found it when we bought the property.

Not only has the garbage been removed in a dump truck, and hugelkultur built up underground, but this year, a favorite childhood plant of mine has volunteered, bringing a sure sign of a microclimate shift! Scouring rush (Equisetum hyemale), a wetland indicator plant that sometimes grows outside of wetlands, popped up in the Alderwood Patch this spring, like a miracle in dusty sagebrush/Ponderosa Pine country. So how are things going underground, helping to alter the balances of moisture and temperature?

In March, I decided to rebuild the raspberry trellises as they were not tall enough. I made the circle bigger and as a side benefit, began some hugel-archeology with the post hole digger.

When I hit wood, at first I thought that was as far as I could dig. Then I decided to use the breaker bar (spud bar) to see if the wood had decomposed enough to dig through.

Indeed, I was able to put the post hole right through the hugel wood.

This is the condition of the alder wood in March 2015, after being in the ground since August 2013 (one and a half years). 

The Alderwood Patch with its new trellis posts

A couple months later...


The raspberry blossoms attracted a wide variety of pollinators this spring. 
This might be a Cuckoo bee from the genus Nomada.

The raspberries have been alive with many kinds of bees.

My favorite: the bumblebees!

Fawn says that even the green leaves smell like raspberries.

At last they start to ripen...

...and how fitting that the wildlife got the first one! 
It seems there may be enough to go around this year, though. :-)


  1. I love hearing your updates. The archeology is fascinating, and so interesting. You never really know what's going on under the surface.

    1. So true, Jacki, you just don't know what's happening under the surface... I've been having mushrooms sprout up everywhere in big bunches, another sign of what's happening below. I always enjoy hearing from you.

  2. Have you tried raspberry leaf tea?
    - Ying

    1. Yes, I have used it for medicinal purposes in the past but I had forgotten all about it! Thanks for the reminder, Ying. :-)


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