Monday, June 16, 2014

Blueberry Season

We are at the time of year when Smoky Mountain Fibers shifts into serious gardening season.   The peas and lettuce are finishing up and the beans, cukes and squash are coming along nicely.

When I had my solar panels installed, it seemed like I had to move my 6 blueberry bushes (turns out I probably didn't have to).  They went from being in a line to a large (10 x 17') rectangle.  Since they are beginning to ripen, it's time to foil the birds. Sorry birdies, but there is lots of other food for you here in the temperate rainforest.

Now I'll say that my Dad was a master at figuring out how to make things work,  even without much of a blueprint.  So over Father's Day weekend,  I honored him in one of my favorite ways...the wacky DIY project... Making a cover for the blueberries that holds up the netting, is still easy to get under and keeps the birds out.

Think of this as a big hoop house covered in anti-bird netting.  I used 3/4 inch flexible pvc pipe and these great plastic 3 foot tall fence posts that have spike on the bottom.  You just step them in. Because the netting is in a few pieces, there are seams, mostly tied together with the biggish twist ties that Whole Foods uses (anyone who want's to analyze my diet, feel free to use the look up numbers and you'll find plenty of lentils, dried fruits and popcorn).  It's pretty self supporting, though I doubt it will stand up to too much wind. I tied up some of the connections (using handspun yarn of course) and may do a few more.  I bought the BIG container of staples to hold the netting down to the ground, so no rationing (or making them out of wire coat hangers) was required.

Lots of head scratching and only four trips to the hardware store. I think Daddy would be proud, but he might have made a few improvements. I'll find out how well it works as we get through the blueberry season.  More fine tuning and adjustments may be required, as well as few more trips to the store!

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