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.
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.
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.
We continued to selectively clear out / thin out our property.
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)
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…
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.
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...
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
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
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
Ligon berries, woodland strawberries, white clover
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