Sunday, May 29, 2016

Everything is Growing

"In this world you're either growing or you're dying"
   Lou Holtz

Luckily for many, growth comes in assorted shapes and sizes. Growth can occur throughout the year, but now is the prime season.

The plum and cherry trees are going like gangbusters (planted just two years ago). 

So are the peach and the fig trees (who says you can't grow peaches and figs in Northern Idaho!).

The strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries always seem to grow and set a good crop.
We're getting a bucket a day out of the little strawberry patch.

The one year old blackberries will give their first fruit this year

The two year old raspberries are getting a little too aggressive.

The mushroom harvests has been unusually "growthy" this year.
Morel Mushrooms

Puffball Mushroom (texture like mozzarella cheese, slice thin and saute in butter with salt and pepper)

The Kootenai Tribe has been busy for decades trying to get the sturgeon population growing again. We helped to release the this season's yearlings. These one-year-olds won't be sexually mature for 30 years and they'll live to be over 100 years old. A truly prehistoric ocean fish trapped by glacial dams and converted to an inland fish. They grow slowly, but they're still growing.

The most beautiful conifer in the world is the Idaho White Pine. It was nearly wiped out by a disease introduced from Europe in the early 1900's called Blister Rust, Disease resistant trees are making a comeback in Northern Idaho. We keep planting a few hundred seedlings every year to see if we can reintroduce them to our property. They are growing fast and putting on long leaders.

Even the size of the tractors is growing.

And in a classic example of burying the lede, our boondocking forestland paradise is growing.

We seized the opportunity to buy a neighbor's adjoining parcel this spring, increasing our preserve to a robust 120 acres.

This gives us some new elevations and views, forest habitat types, soil types, more privacy, and another convenient easement in and out of the property. There will be some forest restoration to do and a funky/rustic old home site to resurrect. All of those University of Idaho forestry classes will come in handy (and a tractor).

Western Red Cedar and Larch trees  don't usually co-habitate, but they seem to enjoy each other's company on this parcel.


  1. Who the heck eats all this food that you grow? There's only two of you, and one of you eats like a parakeet.

    1. Food is currency. Sharing builds a lot of goodwill with neighbors. That comes in handy when you need help with a project or need to borrow an unusual piece of equipment. We also trade for things we don't grow. We give a lot of our heirloom vegetables to a young couple with a restaurant in town to help them out a bit.

      I assume you're calling Susan the parakeet. She may look like a parakeet, but she eats like a bear! :-)

  2. Enjoyed your post. Everything looks fantastic way up there in Idaho. Keep doing what you're doing! Congrats on your new parcel. Magnificent spot you all have. Steve & Gari

    1. Come and visit again when you make your way back out West again.