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Welcome to Our Vinland! I like to share stories of our travels, our homestead and our lives, thanks for stopping by! 

Spring 2016

Spring 2016

It has been an unseasonably warm Janurary… We had our first wet, sloshy snow one of the first weekends of the month. That Saturday was a winter wonderland, I romped through the woods enjoying the snow, and spent the evening cozied in our home enjoying soup, music, pine candles and reading. Sunday, it was spring temps and breezes that left the fields of snow steaming as they melted. Although I do love all seasons and winter is a magical time of year, I can’t say I minded our muddy woods walk unburdened by coats, hats scarves and gloves…

We have left January behind and begun February with a dusting of snow. I wonder what this month will bring...

BUT, back to what I am really posting about...I am desperately trying to catch up on our homestead progress, so I am going to do a post for each season of 2016, so this post is all about last spring, just writing that makes me think of the early blooms and the smell of earth as it thaws... 

Spring 2016 was a flurry of progress around the homestead. As soon as warmer weather hit (the end of February) we went to work! (I posted a little last spring about some work...titled Mud Season, check it out!) ALSO...not the greatest photos of these stages...but oh well. 

(we did a lot of work on the house itself, but I didn't feel like listing all of that, but here in this post I show a few of our project!)

More Terracing and Swales

Johnny did more terracing in the front and in the back,...he terraced the hillside and created several areas of flat land. We sort of rouged in the series of terraces in the front but this spring/summer we will move some plants around and finalize their shape.

Trees on hillside cleared and swales roughed in

Trees on hillside cleared and swales roughed in

Stone work

With use of the excavator he excavated and placed large boulders around the property as benches and vertical elements.

He built another quick stone wall as a part of the terracing in the front, it was fast, but it is solid, perhaps someday we will redo it. He also built several stone staircase in the front and back of the property and set a sitting stone at a high point with a view.

Before he finished the wall and staircase

Before he finished the wall and staircase

finished product, photo from the early june

finished product, photo from the early june

the day he set the stone

the day he set the stone

same spot in the beginning of june

same spot in the beginning of june

bottom stone stairs up to the first swale out back

bottom stone stairs up to the first swale out back

staircase wrapping around the stone out cropping up to the top terrace.

staircase wrapping around the stone out cropping up to the top terrace.

the front right after Johnny set the boulders

the front right after Johnny set the boulders

boulders and staircase, photo from summer

boulders and staircase, photo from summer

out front

out front

Root Cellar

Johnny also used the ex to dig out the beginnings of our root cellar…which just looks like a huge gaping hole in the hillside. But our vision for the root cellar is the build a beehive structure using earth bags. It will be nestled into the hill and it’s front will have a stone wall and a door into the hill…our inspiration is a hobit home.

root cellar beginnings

root cellar beginnings

Clearing

We continued to selectively clear out / thin out our property.

Burning

We had a hug bonfire to burn excess brush form our tree removal (I forgot to mention in the fall we spend a day with a rented chipper to chip as much brush as we could in an 8 hour period…we had a lot of brush)

Firewood

Continued to slip and stack firewood into the spring…and because of poor planning we got to be warmed by moving said staks of wood around the property…

Hugel culture

We set aside the hard wood brush. And created hugelcultures in several areas of our property, there are two rows on the lower portion, and they are on the front side of all of the terraces that have been completed.

front two hugel beds, brush piles and compost / soil being added

front two hugel beds, brush piles and compost / soil being added

Here is those two bed this summer...planted and green! There is the beginnings of a hazelnut / raspberry hedge (interplanted with annuals) and a row of fruit trees / shrubs (peaches, cherry and seaberry, underplanted with annuals and perennial shrubs)

Here is those two bed this summer...planted and green! There is the beginnings of a hazelnut / raspberry hedge (interplanted with annuals) and a row of fruit trees / shrubs (peaches, cherry and seaberry, underplanted with annuals and perennial shrubs)

Plantings

We did a big wave of plantings this spring, flowed by smaller waves of planting in the summer and then again in the fall.

Here is a more or less complete list of what we planted so far...

Trees
4 pears (3 asian pears, 1 bosc pair), 1 apple, 3 paw paws (but sadly 1 died), 1 sweet cherry, 1 sour cherry, 2 peaches (one just got eaten by some creature...it ate all its roots and left the rest of the tree lying on the ground), 2 apple service berries, 1 hinoki cypress, 1 chicago hardy fig, 1 weeping mulberry

Shrubs
5 Seaberries, 5 raspberries, several elderberries (we bought some and some we took cutting of and propagated, so I am not quite sure on the final tally) 2 high bush blue berries, 2 low bush blue berries, 1 lilac, 1 witch hazel, gooseberries, currants, hazelnuts

Herbaceous Pernenials
Comfrey, lavender, sage, thyme, oregano, catmint, wild bergamot (bee balm), chamomile, lemon balm, mint, asparagus, jerusalem artichokes, ferns (painted and ostarich), hosta, artemisia, phlox, echinacea, yarrow, black eyed susans, bulbs (daffodils, crocus, tulips, snow drops), coreopsis, sedum, wild flower mixes, perennial arugula, sea kale

Ground Cover
Ligon berries, woodland strawberries, white clover

Annual Gardens
daikon radishes, zucchini, butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, basil, fennel, bok choi, kale, swiss chard, garlic, a moon garden flowers

 

Around the Homestead: Spring Happenings

Around the Homestead: Spring Happenings

Homestead Update: our first summer–winter

Homestead Update: our first summer–winter