Chronicles of the Long Shot Farm

A Little Orchard

Our tree order from the Cumberland County Conservation District arrived today – we had ordered 6 pear trees and 10 White Pine seedlings, but when we went to pick the trees up, they had extras for sale, so we bought 2 additional pear trees and 10 Colorado Spruce seedlings. Anja and Duff had given Jeff 4 of these pear trees as a birthday present and Jens and Grace had given us two peach trees for Easter.

We mowed the field on the road side of the garden and measured two rows, 20 feet apart, then drilled 5 holes in each row – also 20 feet apart…and planted our trees, which are probably 4 feet tall and are dwarfed by the large field. But we’ll call it our orchard despite the tiny trees.

  • 4 Bartlett Pears
  • 4 Bosc – Golden Russet Pears
  • 1 Elberto Semi-Dwarf Peach
  • 1 Belle of Georgia Semi-Dwarf Peach

The pine seedlings are still wrapped in newspaper waiting to be planted. But we did plant one pack of Melody spinach seed, which we had forgotten the other day.

Vegetable Garden Update

Before the blackberry plants arrived, we had already planned the vegetable garden, plowed and disked the soil and put in the cold weather crops. (The picture shows Jeff and Zach in the garden)

Here is what we had planted by April 5:

  • 20 lbs of Kenebec potatoes
  • 20 lbs of Red Pontiac potatoes
  • 3 seed packs of Hollow Crown parsnips
  • Green Ice lettuce ($1.25 worth of loose seeds)
  • Detroit Dark Red red beets ($1 worth of loose seeds)
  • Little Marvel peas (~ half a pound)
  • 300 onion plants ~ about 260 Candy, and 40 Spanish
  • 50 asparagus roots in a separate trench

This evening we also planted 1 lb of Early Frosty hull peas. And Jeff and Lars put down drip irrigation hoses for the vegies. Then we decided this garden was not going to be large enough, and Zach plowed another plot for extra sweet corn.

Meanwhile, the tomato and pepper plants (and some flowers and herbs) are growing in flats inside the house – in sunny windows.

It’s called The Long Shot Farm because….

Well, Duff (in the picture with his wife Anja) came up with the name while we were all brainstorming about what to name the farm. The entire exercise was more difficult than naming a baby. It took a while to sink in how fitting The Long Shot Farm name really is and how flexible and appealing to everyone. Good job Duff!

It turns out that everyone we mentioned this name idea to interpreted the meaning a different way, here is a sampling:

Jeff: “Great, and for our website URL we could use 25.06” (his favorite caliber)

Tina: “You are right, I never thought we’d pull this off and actually get a little farm”

Sam: “I thought it’s because everyone in the family is a really – REALLY – good shot, you know, we are the long shot family”

Zach: “you are not allowed to post anything about me”

Rachel: “As in ‘slim chance of succeeding?'”

Knud: “As in the extra tall shotglasses at a bar? Perfect”

Anja: “I was really surprised to come back from Germany to find out that you named the farm after Duff”s idea – wow”

On a more practical note:

  • We are just about a “long shot” from the borough of Carlisle…meaning it’s a relatively short drive.
  • A photographer would think of the beautiful scenery being captured by a wide angle lens.

Irrigations Lines Drip on the Newly Planted Brambles

3500 feet of tubing, 600 emitters, assorted fittings and (most importantly) a bunch of “goof plugs” later – the irrigation lines are working and dripping slowly onto the newly planted brambles. We set it up so that we can connect a water house from an outside spout to the irrigation feeder line as needed, right by the garage. With the current water pressure from our well, we can run three of the blackberry rows at once. Jeff set it up so each row has it’s own on/off valve, giving us lots of flexibility. Since the irrigation is working so well, and was rather easy to set up, Jeff wants to now irrigate the vegetable garden also.

Teamwork gets the brambles planted


By 8:30 this morning we had figured out how to work together to get the brambles into the ground rather quickly: Jens and Zach took turns running the auger to make holes for each plant.

Jeff trimmed the roots of each plant and dropped them into the holes, Tina followd and planted each bramble. Then Lars inserted an emitter into the drip line at each plant.