Farming,  Gardening,  Homesteading,  Projects

Springtime Flurry

It’s the springtime flurry! Activity everywhere and non-stop. I start my days early and fall asleep by 9 most days, completely and blissfully exhausted.

It’s been a very busy May, but it feels so good to be active after this past winter and the slow start I had to spring! I’ve been able to walk regularly the last few weeks, and what a difference it makes! Sure, I do get tired some days from all the activity between the gardens, house, and walks, but I can feel my strength and energy returning. The saying “You don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it,” is so true. I don’t enjoy cleaning all that much, but I hate not being able to… It was really hard to not be able to do anything all winter between morning sickness, other illnesses, and other pregnancy side-effects, and I was getting desperate to be able to DO things again!

My 6 mo. doctor’s appointment was this past Friday, and all looks good. I’m keeping my appointments as minimal as possible for a number of reasons, and I am glad for the change this time around. The ultrasound tech confirmed… it’s definitely a girl! I’m starting to get pretty excited. Not that I wasn’t before, but it’s starting to feel more real. The other morning, I could distinctly feel her back and rear end, and it’s becoming quite noticeable to others who feel my belly (like the kids) that there’s a little person in there!

Thankfully, pregnancy hasn’t been slowing me down too much recently. My energy is back in abundance! Today, I spent from about 8:30-4 working on planting the gardens. I’m nearly finished, just a little more to do!

This is my last week babysitting our friend’s baby regularly. We may still watch her occasionally, but we knew they’d need a different sitter before this baby is born, and with all the garden work that’s starting. I’m glad we’ve been able to help them out through these last few months.

Two weekends ago, I finally got the spring wheat planted. I’m not sure how it’ll do… it’s very experimental, and I really struggled to find good information on growing wheat, so we’ll just see what happens. I’ll probably get more experimental with the winter wheat when I plant in the fall. I did see that the wheat is up in at least some places in the field when I walked it today! However, I’m thinking it’s going to be kind of a rough crop. I should have spent a little time cleaning up the field from clods of grass and such after I planted or marked my rows. AFTER I planted, I finally found some helpful information on planting, so the next attempt will be done much differently.

Last week, Scott got some manure from a friend, and I got that spread out as much as possible. We’re hoping to pick up some more, but it’s so chaotic this time of year, it’s hard to make it happen. If not, I already amended the soil where it was needed, and I used the manure on the areas I know struggled last year.

We tilled over by the barn again, so the beds there are ready for others to plant gardens here if they’re interested. The kids will be planting in the next week or so, and we have at least 2 other people planning to plant here. I’m throwing more stuff in over there again this year, mostly my vining stuff. Over the weekend, I tilled up what was the kids’ garden in the past, but is now going to be a small strawberry patch. I got a little planted, but will be picking up more from my friend later this week to put in. I feel a lot better about that space now that I have a plan.

The garden planting began with me throwing in onions one day after our neighbor dropped off some extra starts they had on hand. I was prepping garden beds prior to planting those, and I discovered a bunch of volunteer sunflowers, so we transplanted those to areas I actually wanted them. I found a few volunteer garlic plants randomly around the yard, so I dug those up as well and transplanted them to some place I can maintain and care for them better.

Scott ordered comfrey root cuttings for us to plant for animal fodder, and I finally got those tucked in one of the kitchen garden beds. They’ll stay there until they start to develop, possibly until next year, or at least until fall. I had to borrow my brother’s small tiller to clear the kitchen garden beds and the new strawberry bed as those are areas I can’t get the tractor to… that was interesting as a pregnant lady! Glad I’m only 6 months along, or there is no way I could have handled that. It was difficult enough as it was.

Well, we hit a roadblock with the pigs today. The guy we were going to get our pigs from made an error, and now we can’t get them from him. I’m a little bummed and frustrated, and we’re scrambling to make something else work. I stopped at the mill today to order the turkeys for next month, and it seemed like we’d be good to go, but they called me back and said that the breeder is out of turkeys for the year. I was beginning to feel pretty exasperated! But they do still have broilers, so we’re getting those next month instead. We want to be sure to have SOME meat supply for next year! I’m not sure what we’ll turn out with in the end, but I’ll keep you posted.

Scott is taking off the next two days from work so we can tackle certain tasks around here that have to get done soon. We’re hopefully going to borrow our neighbor’s boom truck tomorrow to pop boards off the barn. It’d be great if we could get a ton of that done, but we’ll see. I have a dentist appointment in the morning, so unless he’s able to get other help, I’m not sure how far that will get.

I’ve got the Secret Garden cleaned up pretty well. Weeded all the flower beds in there, put some manure down, planted a few seeds and some plants, did the weed whacking and mowing, and the boys helped me start building a bridge across the stream! It only took me about 5 years to get around to it, but it’s finally happening! I’m using materials we have on hand since materials costs are so insanely high right now. We bought some large pallets early this spring, and I’m using those to create the bridge. Right now, it’s nearly done, but I need to take another pallet or two apart for parts.

I got some blueberry plants for Mother’s Day, and then I grabbed a couple more recently to plant in the Secret Garden. I added two small raised beds to the garden using some tires we had on hand, and I’m hoping to use concrete to secure stones around the outside of it to hide the tire. Not sure when I’ll get to that… maybe after Memorial Day.

Our days have largely been spent outside recently. So much to be done! We’re doing alright with housework, but today I was disappointed to see what a mess the kids made throughout the day when I came in from planting. Oh well… the good news is that’s mostly done, so if I can just get on a good maintenance schedule for the garden and yard, I think we can keep some sense of order throughout the warm months!

Scott and the boys have been on the dirt bikes a lot recently, the kids are biking a lot, the big kids are taking walks on the trails or around the neighborhood, and sometimes they even join me on my long walks. There’s lots of tree-climbing, tire-swinging, and joyful outdoor sounds of children playing, and I LOVE it!

I hope you’re having a great spring so far! I know we are. I’m so grateful for this life and that I’ve been able to go at a *slightly* slower pace than usual, because I’ve been able to soak it all in more this year. Drop a line in the comments and let me know how your spring/garden planning is going!

Love and Blessings~Danielle

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