Monday, April 30, 2012

Phew! What a day!

My hands are work sore. My skin feels sun worn. Since early this morning I have been hard at work in the garden.  I'm makin' hay while the sun shines.

I sorta have to. I find it funny that there are times, usually around this time of year, when the work piles up very  easily. Saturday we drove down to Clinton to the Fedco tree sale.  We go to the sale every year. I place my tree and potato order in the winter and we drive down to the sale to pick up the order. I also like to pick up any amendments I may need for the garden there. It saves a ton on postage and handling.

It is also a social gathering. We run into old friends from our time in Milo. One friend, who owns Checkerberry farm, has a greenhouse set up. I usually try to find some herbs from him. Nancy works for him. She makes a wonderful pine scented soap that I pick up at the sale.

There are also more trees, perennials and herbs for sale. I was able to find some arnica, astragalus and stinging nettle for the garden. All these plants, on top of my order; which included potatoes, onion sets rosa rugosa, cranberry, hazelnut and ever bearing raspberries, came home with us.

I also was given some bachelor buttons, lily of the valley by my aunt when we went to visit her recently. Another friend, Wendy, mailed me some jerusalem artichokes. The ones I had planted last year seemed to have gone  missing. I think it may be the same culprit who ate my parsnips.

So, needless to say, my to-do list was significant.. We instantly got to work when we got home on Saturday. I had seedlings here that needed to go into the ground.Onions and cranberry  and hops plants made it into the ground that afternoon.

Yesterday was another busy day. I made bread, dandelion jelly. I planted the hazelnut.I planted the the jerusalem artichokes and roses. I have been clearing areas that have been overgrown since we moved here. In the process I have found a couple of forgotten peonies, horseradish and rhubarb. I planted the rhubarb in the apple tree guild. I am using the guild as a nursery for future guild plants. I have bunching onions, paperwhites, comfrey, yarrow under the first tree I am working on this year. Mark finished a gutter project and connected the rain barrel. He finished mucking out the boys ( sheep) side of the sheds. Now that Rama-lama  has moved and Leroy Brown goat is residing with Sadie we have an extra shed. We plan to use this as a place to keep hay in the winter. Their old yard is richly amended with poop. So we are going to make this another garden this year. Maybe some fodder for the livestock. Mark is working a barter of shearing 20 sheep for two Rambouillet.

Today, I started clearing an overgrown area. There is a bunch of chokecherry saplings that have over taken an area that I would eventually like to put some grapes, maybe next year. I turned one compost pile and made a new one. I planted the raspberries and finished planting many of the smaller plants.I cleaned up and amended a bed in the front of the house. I plated hollyhocks and other flowers. I have some sorghum to plant there for birds and some dyers broom for this bed when the weather is a bit warmer. Tristan had a list he was working off today. He was a big help. Evan, too, helped out today. He picked dandelions for me. I will make some wine this week with some friends on Wednesday.. He helped me dig some post holes for staking the raspberries. He also helped  water plants.

I love days like this. I can stand back at the end of the day and see the results of good hard work. This time of year when the garden is waking up, small sprouts of spinach poke through the soil and there is so much promise of what will grow and be on our table, I can forget about such things as slugs, cut worm and late blight.

Tomorrow it may rain. My work will bring me indoors where the housework has been neglected these last few days. The to-do list is shorter...for now.

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