As many of you know, Belle Terre is more than a soap company. Belle Terre is the name we have given to our transition to a more simple, sustainable and purposeful life. The biggest part of this transition is the small sustainable farm we hope to move to next year. For now, this farm is 6 acres of raw land located in the foothills of NC, just north Morganton. In the past we have posted about this transition on a separate blog, http://willowhermitage.wordpress.com, but we have decided to consolidate some of our posting to make it easier for our readers. With that having been said we are very excited about the progress we have made .
We made it out to the land on Wed. and had a great day. It was 70 degrees and sunny with a slight breeze. Absolutely perfect for working outside. Started out by getting the last of our blueberry bushes in the ground. We have 18 bushes total which we hope to begin harvesting a little next year. The 18 plants should give us plenty of berries for morning cereal, pies, smoothies and healthy snacking. Here is a pic of one of the young plants. They are currently only one to two feet tall.
We also got a couple of sweet cherry trees. One Bing and one Black Tartarian. We hope to get more in the coming weeks.
After planting the bushes and trees we were going to till some of the garden rows that had weeds growing in them. Upon closer inspection we realized that it wasn't weeds growing in the middle of the rows but the rye/hairy vetch mixture that had been planted last fall. We will let this continue to grow for several more weeks before working it back into the soil. Here are the 7 rows we have so far. The three on the left are the more recent and the cover crop hasn't sprouted yet. The four on the right that look like lighter strips of green are the original rows we dug last year.
Here is a close up of hairy vetch. It is a legume (think beans, peas, lentils). It takes nitrogen from the air and puts it back into the soil, which is the opposite of most vegetable plants. We are doing this as a cover crop, then will do black beans (another legume) before starting a more traditional crop rotation.
Finally, we spent some time just walking the land and enjoying being in such a beautiful place. Down by the creek we discovered these four trees reaching for the sky. Words can not describe their strength and majesty.
After some more quiet time on the land we headed home. We were remiss to leave but had the consolation that every day we are a step closer to moving out there for good.