Mid-May’s Notes From the Homestead

My muscles hurt.  How I’ve not dropped 20 lbs just going from winter’s laziness to full spring work is frustrating and surprising.

 

A few weeks back we saw an ad offering for folks to come dig up free plants.  We went in their small window of time, right in the midst of a massive wind storm.  Lucky for us the wind was blowing right towards their garden with a freshly plowed potato field behind it.  I was literally eating dirt…it was caked in our ears, our hair, my cleavage… lol.  It was worth all the free currant and gooseberry plants we got though!   So grateful for generous gardeners willing to share their bounty.   All won’t {haven’t} make/made it… they were placed in the pasture garden willy-nilly.  The pasture garden/orchard is where the strawberries are, and weeds 5 ft high.  We hope to eventually reclaim the area into a wild food forest type place, but it will be years in the making.  Oh, and did I mention there’s no water out there?  We take a wagon load of 5 gallon buckets and water by hand.  It takes about an hour. lol.   I can’t wait to see it develop into my vision.

 

Speaking of the pasture orchard garden, I think we officially lost 2 peach and 2 cherry trees.   Other than the cow, we believe the rest are due to voles.  There are vole holes all over the root areas, to the point where some roots where fully exposed.   SO sad and such a waste of money. And it just pushes back fruit production years farther.   On the bright side, the cherry we transplanted last month is in bloom, along with one of the plums we purchased our first year here.  The pear trees are leafed out, as is the remaining nursery-bought cherry.

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Another vision of mine is getting a little clearer…yesterday was Mother’s Day and Jerad and the younger boys built my rose arbor/garden entrance.   My David Austin roses, ordered last winter, serendipitously arrived last week so timing was ideal. I still need to paint it, and there will eventually be a picket fence around the whole garden.  Again with that long term plan stuff.  If only money and time were’t an issue!   I am so, so grateful for how hard Jerad works all week only to come home to a million homestead projects that need done.

 

Jerad came and woke me up way too early on Mother’s Day.  Really?  On Mother’s Day?!   But he said I needed to get up because -birds.  And so of course I jumped up happily.   There were nuthatches mating and fluttering into a bird house Jerad had put on the tree right off the back porch and they were the source of the bird sound I’ve been trying to identify for a while.   We have also found a robin’s nest in the grape vines, but I wasn’t willing to scare mama off the nest any more in order to get a picture.  With the amount of robins around here, I know there are more unspied as of yet.   Swallows are also everywhere and we’ve seen them dive into a birdhouse or two.  I love swallows.  We has 2 Sand Hill Cranes land in the pond right near us a few weeks back, and tonight they were in the neighbor’s pasture doing their mating dance. The photos are at a distance, so they are hard to spot.

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The willow trees had their week of bees two weeks ago.   When I say a week of bees, I mean it.   The trees are so incredibly loud with buzzing that they sound alive.  I love just standing under one.  Once all the dandelions open the willows must no longer be first choice, for the volume drops.

The crabapple trees are in blossom and the old peach has a few blooms open.

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The peony shoots are all up and the daffodils are slowly fading.   We transplanted a few more lilacs.   Hollyhock seeds planted our first summer are finally sending up leaves, so hopefully blooms will   happen this year!  Hollyhocks are one of my favorites and they grow like weeds around here.   It’s shocking this property was void of them when we moved in.

 

My peas are coming up, along with lettuces, spinach and kale.   The garlic is about a foot tall. IMG_0017.JPG

 

My chives are close to blossoming and last year’s cilantro and dill reseeded everywhere! If I’d known it’ do as well as that I wouldn’t have wasted space growing more from seed.IMG_0018.JPG

 

My green beans are planted, I’ve transplanted out some cabbages,  and beets were seeded.   I will transplant out some broccoli tomorrow.  We aren’t *supposed* to have any more freezes, but there was one late last week so I am going slowly.  I take out all the plants everyday to start the hardening off process.   It’s quite the chore. lol.   Next year I need to NOT start the cukes and squashes as early.  I counted FIFTY-TWO blossomed cucumbers starting.

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I lost count at the broccoli starts somewhere upwards of 60. I think I must have had every single seed I started germinate this year.   I certainly won’t fit them all in the garden beds.

The air smells of cotton wood sticky blooms, which I love and most of the family hates.  A good reminder to make my cottonwood salves, along with some dandelion and stinging nettle salves or tinctures.

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In other news, all the homeschool curriculum for next year has arrived.  It’s always so fun to get those boxes.

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And my oldest 2 kids went to prom.  My son to his girlfriend’s public school one, and my daughter to the homeschool one.  My son had  fun when he didn’t expect to, and my daughter danced to every single song and had a complete blast.  They are growing up so fast I don’t want to blink!IMG_9937

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I hope your May has been as beautiful as mine.

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