Around the Homestead: Spring Happenings
Well April, you started out a little cruel with your April fool's Day blizzard, you had your blissfully warm days, and you had your down right cold days... And now we are already mid May and the weather is nice, but it is looking like my dreams of a early season mother's day swim are looking far too optimistic.
It is has been a busy winter / start to spring...to be quite honest, there were too many things on my spinning plates. All these things wore me a little thin, and I think as a result, I found myself not being my best self. So as the classes end (both teaching and taking them) and the days get longer and warmer I am committed to find a better balance!
With April's little joke of a blizzard, we got a little bit of a later start in the garden than we would have hoped, but since that melt we have been in full swing. We launched our companies website, hurray!!! and we dove into projects at the homestead! So here is a little bit of what we have been up too... and beware, this is a little all over the place and disjointed, but that is what happens when you start a post and then don't post it for 3 weeks...
So many blooms on our property right now...the apples, cherries, pears, strawberries, daffodils, tulips, violets, lingonberries, and blueberries!
For both our home and as a part of our business we are starting a plant nurseries on our property. Johnny and I grafted apple scion wood onto rootstock (some standard, some semi-dwarf and a few dwarf), 26 trees in total. Some of the scion wood includes, Fireside, Macs, Liberty, King David, Rhode Island Greening, Baldwins and a few others. At the end of April, we finished prepping the the bed and now the tree babies are all tucked into the nursery :)
Since planting all 26 apple babies we have added paw paws, Saskatoon, gooseberries, currants, American persimmons, sweet cherries and American Hazelnut to our company nursery.
I started sooo many seeds, some perennial herbaceous plants for our plant nursery and a lot of our annual veggies! There are so many more trays to start! Some of the plants include...bee balm, winter savory, black eyed susan, echinacea, dill, fennel, basil, radish, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, sorrel, arugula, lemon balm, alpine strawberries, snap peas, beets, hyssop...there are more, I forget...and more to come!
So where would we house all these seeds...well, we built a greenhouse! We ended up going with an inexpensive pop up greenhouse that we are going to put up to serve as a temp greenhouse until we are able to install our permanent green house (possibly multiple greenhouses...that would be a dream). Having it has been glorious, I love tending my little seed babies in it!
Here is the green house before we added tables and plants...
We ordered more bare rooted trees and shrubs this year, so exciting! A few of our orders came in and is happily in the ground...we added a peach, 5 black raspberries (we made some beds for these and more up by the chicken coop), 5 beach plums, 5 grape vines, bloodroot, a few more gooseberries and currants, hazelnuts, saskatoon, strawberries...
We moved some existing plants around as well...always trying to find the sweet spot where things will thrive!
The chickens are cranking right now...which is amazing, egg salad is becoming a staple lunch item! We are also selling eggs...so if anyone is interested send me a text or email!
We just started again on the root cellar...can't wait for that to be done, then we can redefine the patio and design / build the deck...one thing at a time though.
We started the children's garden! The area is rough out, overall shape and where paths will be. The weeping mulberry is still too young to be a fort, so we built a tepee, which Anna calls Eeyore's house, that we will grow annual vines up to make a fort. A friend gave us a sweet doll house that we put in place, now we just need to make it a little more weather resistant. We started planting it over the weekend, so far only a few things are in the ground, many of the plantings will be edible, a mix of annuals and perennials. We picked up a few things from Cedar Rock Garden in West Gloucester to add to the garden. Anna was so cutie. She picked out a little parsley plant and asked if we could bring it home to put in her garden, of course we could say no to that little request.
We finally got the hammock set up...it is amazing! My mom had gotten me this hammock as a birthday gift the summer we bought the house. We always had a hammock growing up, it was my mom's favorite place to rest. I can remember spending so much time with her out on it. There are certain things that my mom enjoyed so much that they really stuck with me and became things I loved as well...hammocks, watermelon, rhubarb (even eating it raw from time to time). It makes me so happy to have it up, I can imagine her here, passing the afternoon chatting on the hammock with her, telling her about all of our projects and about how much Anna has grown.
Back to April...Easter weekend was dreamy...warm sunny days...easter egg hunts on the marsh...
Dollar Cone Day with a bf.
All the while Anna is growing way to fast, she is a total independent girl, wanting to do everything "by my own self"...I keep becoming more and more aware of just how much she is growing and how fast it all goes by. I have found myself over committed this winter / spring and all I want to do is slow down / scale back, I want more time with my little girl!
I seem to be even more aware of this passage of time as we are thinking ahead...to Oct. 3, and the arrival of the next little one :)