Dream Planning

| 1/6/2014 10:44:00 AM

Tags: Dreams, Orchards, Berries, Rhubarb, Herbs, Grapes, Nut Trees, Stark Brothers Nursery, Fence, Deer, Mary Conley,

Mary ConleyDear readers, buying our little hobby farm in 2009 was the realization of a dream. A big dream. I recently ended the last story of our first summer on the farm by using the anonymous quote: “When one of your dreams come true, you begin to look at the others more carefully.” I can’t stress enough the power of that quote , as the set patterns of life so often tell us “no” that we forget that our dreams can be possibilities. Once I read that quote and realized the truth of it, there was no stopping us. It was only January, but we already had a dream-maker book – the Stark Brother’s Nursery Catalog. 


A dream-maker catalog

Are you one to get excited when the newest nursery catalog appears in your mailbox? If so, you most likely know what I mean when I say that I wanted one of everything. Yes, I wanted orchards ... and all kinds of berries ... and rhubarb ... and perennial herbs ... and grapes ... and nut trees ... and ... and basically anything edible that would grow.

You would think that if you had the land and could spare the money, the rest would be easy. Instead, it took a lot of planning before we could even order. We needed to choose tree varieties for disease resistance and pollination purposes, so we chose and re-chose until we were finally satisfied. Thankfully, our son Todd was helping as Larry would become overwhelmed and go off and do a house project instead.  

Choosing where to plant our dwarf trees wasn't easy either. Deer roam, water, and even give birth on our property, so we decided to fence in 20-by-30 feet to 6- to 8-feet-high beds, as deer don’t jump into such small enclosures. Then where to place the beds? There always seemed to be a hindrance to a good place, and that hindrance was usually a tree shading the area. Besides that, our land is low, and we were taking a chance because frost settles in low-lying areas. Our hopes were that if we planted enough varieties and in variable locations, some were bound to live and produce. It would break my heart if that didn't happen.

mother earth news fair


Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!