Homestead round-up

(I struggle to write about the everyday goings-on around the homestead because it just seems so… ordinary and boring. But I really enjoy reading other’s regular gardening updates and such, so consider this the first in a semi-regular series.)

It’s that time of year. I’m sunburned and sore in all sorts of imaginative ways and frequently filthy. There’s a perpetual pile of dirt-crusted clothes just inside the front door. The garden could be a full-time job but it’s not paying well enough so we fit in as much time as we can and accept that it will never be as much as we’d like. Dean and I have both been putting in lots of hours prepping ground for planting and trying to address the crazy weed issues in our garden. The bushels of grass roots that we’ve unearthed and raked up and hauled out are humbling. I know it’s only a fraction of what must exist and yet it is really gratifying to see the sheer mass of what we’ve managed to remove. And finally, it seems that there is an end in sight. To the prepping and planting, not the grass or the garden work, of course.

The potatoes and onions and peas that we planted a month ago are coming on. After losing all my brassica seedlings before they ever got started (mice seem the likely culprits), we bought replacements and got the cabbage, broccoli, kale, and chard in the ground last weekend. Yesterday I planted carrots and beets, so we’re down to the heat-loving tomatoes and cucurbits and some odds and ends. It feels like an end is in sight, anyway.

The bees are back in the garden, which makes me happy. Or more accurately, the honey bees are back in the garden; the native bumble bees have been thick on the early flowers for awhile. My hive didn’t make it through the winter, so I brought in a new colony that arrived last weekend. It’s hard to tell if bees are happy or thriving, but it doesn’t stop me from staring at the hive wondering and hoping.

The new herb garden is filling up and looks great, I need to take some photos. I had some extra space this first year so in addition to the herbs, I planted some early greens – just arugula and mizuna. It’s so nice having salad greens right outside the door! Our vegetable garden is several hundred yards away and we don’t have enough soil or sun near the house to relocate it, but this little taste is only reinforcing the idea that we need a few beds of a kitchen garden. It’s on the someday list, along with a hundred other things…

So yes, spring on the homestead. It feels utterly boring and overwhelming at the same time most days. So much to do and so little to say about it. Soon there will be baby animals, so it’s bound to get more exciting!