Early April Happenings on the Homestead

The window is full of green sprouting plants and I have many more to start.    It’s gloriously overwhelming.

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This time of year feels like we’re going 100 miles an hour trying to get everything ready for summer.   We have chicken tractors to modify, baby chicks to buy and raise, garden beds to be built, strawberry runners to separate, planning for new perennials to be done and the areas prepped, a fence to be built, lots and lots of bed clean up, a lawn that needs reseeded, a new water system to be figured out, plants that need planting, a pasture garden that needs redone completely, gates put back up, etc, etc, etc…

But I so enjoy this busy season.   The pond is filling and wild ducks land every day, including one today that was a solid red black…not something I’ve seen before. The blackbirds have returned and they are out in the cattails mating or nest building, I’m not sure which.  They sound like saws! We have heard killdeer, but still no sightings.   I saw a Kingfisher near the pond last weekend ready to dive for nourishment.

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Today was the first day in over a week that started clear and warmish, so I declared it a ‘only math’ day.   It’s very, very rare these days when we take a ‘fun’ day, but today was it.  I love the freedom homeschooling gives. We started the day with the two younger boys and I walking the property, hot coffee in my hand and robins in every tree. We evaluated which aspens made it through alive {2} {they were dug up from our ‘wild place’ in a hidden corner and we lined them down the street, but with all our water issues last year a lot died} and which snow balls still show signs of life {1}.  We noticed a few carrots that were left to overwinter in the garden beds!  They will be left to seed out, as carrots are biennials that seed the second year.   Then we walked the pasture garden/ orchard, which is mostly just weeds, but my head is full of what could be.    I am constantly grateful that we have this place.  It fills me up.

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I then started even more seeds, because it was too nice to go inside and regardless of the couple hundred starts I have, I needed more. 😉   My youngest turned 11 last week and got a new bike, so to the skate and bike parks we went.  No broken bones= a good day.   I got to chat on the phone with a dear friend for a couple hours {Hi, Laurie} and came home to lug wood chips over a small area of a front flower bed.   I planted some hollyhock and peony roots…hoping they survive as it is now SNOWING!!!  Oh, the joys of a zone 4.

 

There is only a single blossom out yet, and surprisingly it’s a single English daisy that was tucked under some straw.   Not even a daffodil or tulip or hyacinth yet, but a straggly English  daisy of all things!  The leaves of tulips, daffodils, and the grape hyacinths are up, as are the first green signs of columbine, shasta daisies, yarrow, feverfew, and the thyme and mint are green and happy.   The first swell of life is on most of the fruit trees and ornamentals, the willows are getting new yellow growth {to the great temptation of the goats on the other side of the fence}, and the chives are already about 5 inches tall.   The Swiss chard from last year’s garden is setting out new leaves, so we’ll harvest those once and then replace them with new plants.   The grass is greening up and the calves across the road and behind us are frolicking about.  I am so grateful I get to witness those melancholy looking faces from our windows.   God forbid I ever get a calf…it may end up snuggling me on the couch.

 

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So despite the snow now spitting its icy breath, I won’t complain.   Spring is here, with winter desperately trying to push it back.   I know it won’t win and my heart and dreams are all about spring {quite literally- I’m dreaming every night of planting and garden designs, with one particularly hilarious one in which the Saved By The Bell cast was helping me.  That’s what I get for rewatching the series with my daughter- Ha! }  I will be content looking through my David Austin Roses catalog that came today {and is magazine quality} and my Chiltern Seed one…my British loving soul loves the British flowers.   My David Austin roses should be shipped in May {I have wanted a certain kind for 10 years or so and finally ordered back in Jan}, and maybe by then it will stop snowing.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Early April Happenings on the Homestead

  1. I love reading about what’s going in your life! Zone 4-no daffodils, still snow? I don’t think I could do it! Your pond is lovely. I could see the new duck in my mind and hear the blackbirds calling (we have a lot of red-winged blackbird here). Blessings on your day, sweet friend!

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    • It has taken me quite awhile to get used to this climate! I have to say, there is something to going through such a long season without growth that makes it all the more joyful and exciting to see it return! You should come move over here, lol. I miss you!

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