Monday, April 18, 2016

Rhubarb and Asparagus--- The First Stars in the Garden

Well, Spring is here. Heat wave last weekend, freezing temps for two weeks before that.   This gives me a chance to get ready for summer..   I don't have a big greenhouse so I just try to take what the weather gives me.  So my first crop is Rhubarb! Wow! So good as sweetened sauce, and pie, and cobbler..... in my imagination, I am licking my lips already.  I've got some time to wait, I have wood chips on the bed to slow them down a little. With a warm rain they are about 2 weeks away...
After the rhubarb will come the Asparagus. Ive got a long bed for them and after the next rain and a little warming they will start coming too. I've mentioned rain twice. The plants in the woods and in the garden seem to explode out of the ground after a warm rain. In this picture The asparagus bed is just weeds and wood chips. This week I'll trim out the weeds before things get started.But with this warm weather by May a few will start coming up.  The maple sap season is done, the softwood trees and bushes are starting to bud.  Spring is started.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Sustainable Life

Today is a cool March day and a big snowstorm has just swept over us.  All the tension and excitement of the storm; now the calm of Sunshine, warming and quiet air.  This morning I remembered these posting and the storms in my life that Blocked my words. Today I feel my Recovery and I can write again.

Last week I was on my knees outside enlarging the homemade strawberry frames. In the middle of my concentration I heard the faint 'Qua' sounds of a Snowbird flock flying super high. I quit my job and started searching the sky. A V flock and Line flock were up there going so fast to the west. The sunlight was flashing off their white wings. Just 'WOW.'  In the line flock, there were 7 black spots scattered among the white.  I puzzled then decided they were young birds just coasting along.  I won't even look in a book to see if there are black swans.... I like my 'truth' better.  With a light heart the strawberry frames got bolted together. I can bring in some dirt from the old chicken yard after the snow goes away.

I tromped up the hill into the woods to the '3 pines' spot that I had started de-brushing last Fall. It looks pretty good. I can partly mow it and see what happen when the May flowers come out!!

This is what it looks like now. The '3 Pines is about the size of a baseball diamond. I will mow it next week before any of the little plants start to come up. Yes after the snow melts and the ground is not mushy.    There must be 20 sapling trees in here.  I trimmed some to balance them. It will be great to see them with leaves........     

From the Ark,  I wish you calm.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Busy Day

Today was busy, this evening I hurt and feel so good. The birds got their food, water, and running room by 7. So I had some time to play.  I cut brush and cleared trails all morning. It was so quiet and peaceful.  I even found a bear trail from a raspberry patch into a grove of trees ---shaded and cool.  Thank you Bears.
When I came past the coop on my way home, the flock was hugging the shade.  They are so smart.  I filled some feeders and stirred them up for a while.

Enjoy the shade....

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Downs and Ups this Summer

Shortly after my last blog in June, I strained my back from bumping around on my little tractor.  It seemed to have dulled my life into a day-to-day existence.  So I would make lists, and do something and let the rest go.
So it was a Season of Less. The solar panels worked. I raised the chicks into big hens. I mowed some of the lawn. I planted some of the garden. Just living around the pain.
Then 2 weeks ago, I started working with a physical therapist.  I stopped the Ibuprofen stuff and started stretching/flexibility exercises.  The pain is much less and I feel like doing things again.  But not so much tractor. I'll try moderation.
The birds are healthy and through their big growth spurt.  The organic feed and being out of the coop in the grassy yard all day seems to be agreeing with them. Yesterday one of the hens was trying to catch a butterfly, it was fun to watch...  I didn't think much about chickens being so curious.

In late June a little Thunderhead storm came through and hail smashed the tomato plants, the apples, the leaves and just left a mess. I was sort of numb.  Now everything is pretty much recovered except for the apples. I am starting to pick off the worst apples and brace up broken trees.  What a big lesson.  I certainly need to use more technology to compete with Nature's surprises. If you have ideas I could use them!

More good news later, It is nice to be excited again.



Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Starts Now...

Summer Starts Now.....

Today the sun was shining all day! I felt like I was 60 again and I got so many projects done!!! A Wow Day!
 May has been cold and wet.  We got caught in rain storms plus a couple of Rain trains and the puddles just kept coming back. Sunday the ground squished wherever I walked.  I have all these plants in pots waiting for me to get into the garden without getting mud all over.  That could happen in a few days!

Then last month I had to get my eyes fixed. The cataracts were getting badder faster. So for 3 weeks I was supposed to move slow and not put pressure on my eyes.... No weeding, no mowing, no exciting tractor rides. So by now I am in better shape so I can do something again.

Back to today.  I got the fabric down on a new flower bed. There are no flowers yet, 4 little balsam trees and 4 lilac trees set in 2 rows.  It is a picture in my head so far, with clusters of echinachea, that grow larger as the pines and lilac get taller. Good huh?
Then the last picking of asparagus. The bed got a short mow job,some ashes to feed the slugs, and fabric on both sides to slow up next years weeds. The bed will last the winter better and be a lot cleaner for picking. So that was a good job done!
The last thing was the fencing. I have 'maybe miles' of fencing with green plastic wind block.  The winter/spring winds just tore them up and off the wire. So two sections are repaired now, with strips to keep the plastic from tearing.  The hot weather slowed me down, I'm not used to summer at all.  Tomorrow I get to do the fence around the chicken yard. That will be good.

I'm 69 now and days like this are rich and mean a lot.

do good                                      FIRST IRIS

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Spring Test

Here is a memory from last winter...

 We made brush piles in the woods of old tree tops and brush during the spring and fall of '12.  So while there was snow to limit forest fires, I would snowshoe up hill into the woods and burn the piles down.  There are about 25 acres of woods here and  about 2 are kind of park-like.  Here we cleaned out about half an acre of brush and dead trees around a giant black spruce tree. This was a big pile, 10'x20', and it burned so fast.  Anyway this spot is called 'Picnic Pine' now. It used to be 'The Bear Tree.'  It is easier for me to relax at 'The Picnic Pine.' So we changed it.  I  hope it works....

 This is a funny season.  Winter won't give up.  So I watch what the farmers do.  They have their equipment ready, seeds stored and as soon as the fields dry out a little more they will be out there, working 18 hour days to get the seeds in as quickly as they can. So I am cleaning, frost-seeding clover, cutting the old weeds, getting the wind damaged fences ready.
 This year an organic farmer is going to be harvesting crops from my fallow fields.  He will put in chicken fertilizer, plow, plant, and harvest. At the end of the season we will compare expenses and yield-value to decide who pays who. I have trimmed around the fields. Thursday I pulled out 3 giant old fence posts that were in the middle of a  field. The farmer, his adult son and their Black Lab came over and we walked the fields so we understood each other and how it would go.  I have some little trees and some brush piles to move . I will get good grazing fields and he will get some crops. I trust him and I feel he will help me make this a better farm. This seems good. I have been using Organic practices and supplies. But next year I will be checked as a part of his farm.  So this is a big deal for me.

 With the short spring, I am raising transplants for the garden. So that is ok. The orchard is mowed, the trees are pruned and the apple tree buds are starting to form. The bees are flying when it is warm enough. I am feeding them, planting clover, and watching for flowers. Even with all the cold, the plants in the flower gardens are starting. I am raising a flock of organic chickens... next month when there is more grass and warm nights.

Ready, set, go!  I feel like I am running already!!!

Joy to all of you!



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Moments

Thanksgiving Week

It is hard to believe that it is the end of November in Northern WI; I am wearing a T-shirt outside.  The honey bees quit their cluster and have been flying around the yard.  The ground isn't frozen any more. It is just so nice to have this mellow weather.
I wandered around and cleaned the gardens a little better. I'm inventing my own Hoop house and I got it repaired from the winds just in time for winter. Well if it survives it will be a nursery and a warm place for transplants. A lot of the garden tools and mowers are stored in the Chicken coop.  So Now I Can Dream About Next Year's Gardens!
Now I get to go up in the woods. Yes that woods in this picture. It was a foggy morning and the sun was rising.  So beautiful and quiet....   Let's see--chainsawing firewood, hunting, clearing brush, making trails and brush piles. When I clean a little place, or sit along a trail, it is really something.   Just like real Thanksgiving moments.

Do good.