Big tree down

I mentioned that we lost electricity in the storm the other night. Found out why. A huge water oak on a neighbor’s property took out the power line when the tree snapped. The oak was huge – no kidding, it had a 3′ diameter and must have been 75′ tall. Along with the power line, it took out two newly installed fence lines. I went over this morning and helped with the tree removal all day. George uses loads of firewood so he and I were cutting and stacking really large logs for splitting some time in the future. Most times we’ve lost power in the past years, it’s been this same stretch of power line and either storm felled trees, tree trimmer screw ups, or squirrels that made a bad decision. That stretch of power lines has more splices than you would ever think possible.

Potato report – looks like maybe a 90% recovery on the first batch that was hurt in a hard freeze and the first Yukon Gold’s are just popping out. So things are happening big time in potato land. I’m almost certain now that I’ll try sweet potatoes this year. Last year the garden was just too small to grow potatoes but now I should be able to spare a 15′ row. With regular potatoes you cut the tubers into chunks with eyes; with sweet potatoes, you start with plants. After studying the catalogs, I’ve homed in on a variety called Evangeline offered exclusively by Burpee. According to Burpee, it’s particularly resistant to Southern root nematodes. I assume my nematodes are the Southern variety. I’ll wait a few more weeks to order the plants which are supposed to ship at the end of February for our climate zone. The minimum order is 12 bare root plants and it doesn’t say anywhere how many potatoes one should expect per root but you have to guess it’s a few, right? Most varieties yield about 5 pounds/plant so if I cut that in half, it still puts out a few month’s worth of goodies. It’s a $15 experiment but the real downside is that it’s a 100 day crop – meaning it ties up a sizable chunk of real estate for the whole season.

Made a literal breakthrough on the jungle project today. That means you can sit in the recliner and see the lake. It worked out to be roughly 40 linear feet and currently 10′ wide. It took five 3 hour work days, which is about what I had estimated. I’ve got another day to widen it in a few places and then a day to chip and clean up so, weather and back permitting, it should be finished by the weekend. I even have a spot to hang the big red ribbon on Valentine day. Or maybe I’ll move Nancy’s Valentine Day flag from the driveway to the cut through so she won’t forget the reason for all my labor. We ordered a new camera so next week I’ll post a picture of this infrastructure project.

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