Windbreak trees, 1,600 blueberry plants, and 15 college students

wo weeks ago, on the eve of our small home remodel, Aaron and I tackled more farm endeavors. It started with picking up 225 small evergreen trees from Rice County Soil and Water Conservation (SWCD) to plant as a windbreak. They gave us the award for ordering the most plants this season...which looked very similar to a bill...hmmm. As these trees grow, they will provide vital protection for our bushes from strong winds. For our first round of planting, we were accompanied by some family, a friend, and hail. Yes, hail. The pellets were small but they were driving into our faces like Nerds out of a bee-bee gun. It was less than pleasant but we got a few rows planted. As the weather continued to worsen (i.e. snow, rain, etc.), outside help began to wain, and Aaron was fully immersed in the house project - our planting went on hiatus.

Fast forward to last weekend - We picked up a few more plants from the SWCD for myself and some college students to plant on Saturday. Meanwhile, Aaron and his dad embarked on their journey to South Haven, Michigan at 4:30am Friday morning. They returned home the next day with a trailer and truck full of 1,600 blueberry plants. Thanks to my dad, brother, and some vibrant, engaged, and willing college students from St. Olaf and Carleton College, we were able to plant the reminder of the windbreak trees, begin marking blueberry rows, along with empty the trailer and truck of blueberry plants. Their many hands completed the work in roughly two hours. Wowza.

The blueberries are safely nestled in our backyard, waiting to be ferried out to the land for planting this week and for the planting party. We have six different varieties of plants and we are getting to know their size, stature, bushiness, and someday, taste. When first looking at the varieties you may think, they all look the same! But, like a parent with identical multiples, you can always tell even the slightest difference between your little ones. As they grow older, they too will become more distinct.