Monday, April 29, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
So, we didn't get the sweet golden retriever-shar pei mix. But we did get THESE GUYS. Emmy, June, and Maybelle, one barred rock (like Patsy) and two Buff Orpingtons (like last year's Dolly and Tammy). I didn't expect that we'd be raising chicks this year, but since we are, I'm pleased. It's enjoyable. Watching Pete covet them might be the best part.
After recovering from my compost/chicken yard fencing marathon, I took a load of garage debris to the dump, built supports for the raspberry bushes, planted twenty broccoli seedlings and one long row of potatoes, and swept out a corner of the garage. I'll show you pictures of all of that next week.
My parents are coming for dinner tonight, which I'm excited about. I love giving "homestead tours," especially in this season when so many things are recently finished or about to be in the works.
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Friday, April 19, 2013
There's a point in every spring where my blog-barometer swings quickly from "nothing to write about, lots of time" to "WAY too much to write about, no time!", and I think it's safe to say I crossed that divide this week. It was so sudden. It had me completely hoodwinked, to be honest. All last week was cold and uncharitable, and I spent it scrubbing plaster dust and grout off every horizontal surface (and most vertical ones) in our upstairs. Sunday was cold and gray, and I walked around halfheartedly, looking at the totally uninspiring progress everything was making-- barely any daffodil buds, crocuses still trying to open in slow-motion in the front flower beds, lots of dead stalks and last year's weeds to address, and still no sign of anything I'd planted recently in the garden. I had the better part of the afternoon, though, so I made myself break out the edger I'd bought new last year and never used, and I edged this bed by the driveway.
It was amazing. It's like someone had flipped a switch. I guess it was the first immediately gratifying outdoor work of the season, and it set the tone for the whole entire week.
(Arguably, the fact that it was sunny and mid-60s every day ALSO set the tone for the week.)
My spring mojo, which arrived so quickly and so completely last year, has been sluggish this year, but edging that bed set it free. On Monday, I crouched in the garden prepared for a frown, and saw kale seedlings instead. I crouched in the orchard and saw the False Indigo (Baptisia) I'd planted last fall coming up, its pointy purple shoots so dark I'd missed them against the moist ground.
I worked hard. I repaired the greenhouse roof, a third of which blew loose over the windy winter. I turned another 4x8 bed in the garden, repaired the back fence, hauled beaucoups horse manure and finished compost to the garden, built and filled two cold frames, hauled fence posts, and spent more time with that magnificent edger.
In between, there was rejoicing.
The lawn is fairly electric green, the chickens have roamed part of every day this week, suddenly everything is coming up. Peas, spinach, kale, arugula, mizuna, radishes.
We have turned the corner. Jody tilled for us on Thursday, working in all that wonderful horse manure and compost and piled last autumn's leaves, and next week planting broccoli and potatoes is on the agenda. Also: rebuilding this shambly chicken run/compost pile area, which I built very quickly and nearly for free our first summer here. That was a big summer for "quickly and nearly for free." Now it's time to slow down, step back, and spend time thinking permanently.
I am going to try very, very hard to resume three-times-weekly posting here. My photos are better than they've ever been (thank you camera!), this place is prettier than it's ever been, and spring's a-comin, strong and finally.
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Monday, April 8, 2013
Saturday was sunny and almost fifty. Sunday was sunny and almost sixty. It was lovely. Both days, we hiked. THAT has not happened in, I think, years. Saturday we went to Gilbert Lake State Park, where it was still winter, apparently, and hiked around in the snow-slush. We saw a beaver, which was super neat.
Sunday, we walked down along the river, just a few hundred yards from our back door. My memory card was full, so Patrick took pictures with the panorama mode on his phone.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Monday, April 1, 2013
I also spent time planting: carrots, and beets. I also have peas, spinach, shallots, scallions, radishes, kale, mizuna, and a few other cold-weather crops in. Plus, arugula seedlings in the cold frame. This spring, I have hoed snow off the garden in order to plant. This spring, I have worn long underwear while planting, while tying trellis, while digging. It has been stubborn, but today I checked the ten day forecast, and after Wednesday it looks like we're finally about to be released into the land of warmth. Pete will be happy for that, for he has developed a love of hunting the small rodents which have colonized the hugelkultur beds I made last spring...
While it continues to be cold and rainy/snowy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I am going to work on the bathroom. It is ready to be made splendid, and I am ready to get it there.