Planting Our Red Huckleberry

Thursday, March 01, 2018
Red huckleberry likes to grow near or out of rotting wood, and I had the perfect section of a birch tree we had to take out when we moved here with a big rotting hole in the center.  I had initially though I'd plant it inside the stump, but when we got it home, I decided to break up rotting wood and mix it into the soil, planting it next to the stump instead.  I then planted a bare root sword fern in the stump, and eventually I will cover it with moss.  I'll keep adding dead wood to the soil as the microbes are needed for its soil system.

Vaccinium parviflorum (Red huckleberry) near birch log.  Bare root sword fern planted inside log.  Rotting wood next to red huckleberry, with two other pieces broken up and mixed into the soil.  Cedars on either side with sword ferns in background and wild ginger to the left outside this picture.
 Red huckleberries are a native plant to the Pacific NW and Willamette Valley and are deciduous.  Birds love the berries, and they are edible for humans, too.  Yum!   Check out the list of ways Native Americans found to use the red huckleberry.  The bright red berries follow creamy blossoms in late summer, and its foliage is delicate.  It likes shade, so it is beneath our four cedar trees, and it always grows near rotting wood in nature, so its root system will be growing next to a rotting birch log.  I'm excited!  I also planted wild ginger nearby, which is an associate of the red huckleberry.  These plants have evolved over thousands of years to grow together and when planted together help the ecosystem thrive optimally.  Beneath the cedars are also many sword ferns--our backyard is really starting to come together and will be so beautiful one day (I already love it, spending long mornings looking out my bedroom window at the plants and birds while I drink my coffee).

And just in case you might not know, we have four sweet hens that love our backyard garden, too.  Here's a short video of them this evening--enjoy!  x o, Karli


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