Hiya Spring! Welcome back!
Despite the steel handled hoes and stubborn roots clinging tightly to Mother Earth’s womb making for stiff fingers, raw palms and aching joints, we adore the honest-to-goodness hard day’s work this season demands. Hundreds of teensy seeds I tucked tenderly beneath a blanket of rich soil in my kitchen on a gloomy February morn are now leafy sprouts of lusciousness joyfully swaying in the Monday morning breeze down in my garden. They’re so happy to be outside, to smell the sky, to eat the soil, to drink up nature’s nectar, to live in harmony with the wind and sing along with the sounds of spring. I swear we actually watched our Gosh darn salad grow right before our very eyes yesterday afternoon! Unbelievable.
Spring is just that shot of adrenaline we all need to come alive and once again get serious about intentional living. It’s as though we’re finally coming out of hibernation, shaking the stardust out of our locks, wiping away the sleepy sand and honing our vision for yet another round of trial and error, success and failure. More than anything else, the learning process is perpetual and so very rewarding on this, our journey of hobby farm bliss. I’m ecstatic when I daydream on the rest of our lives, so much time to get smarter, to accomplish more together than we did the season before. Such a gift.
So we’re entering into our 3rd growing season here at the homestead and for the first time, we are actually beginning to see our hard work from year’s past coming to life before our very eyes. Our landscape is already flourishing and packed full of color, fruit bearing trees and shrubs, herbs and medicinals are clinging and climbing, spreading and smiling. The soil in our vegetable garden is healthier, more nutrient-packed than ever before. We’ve gotten to know the lay of the land, the way the sun wakes the garden in the morning and the shadow it casts on the garden as it sinks below the horizon each evening. We’ve learned which branches have to go in order to ensure plenty of light-fall for our growing veggies throughout the summer and we’ve identified which natural canopies offer up the best protection for our shade-loving foliage throughout the scorching months of hard summer heat.
The “TO DO” list is endless and grows literally by the hour. In two weeks we’re picking up our first nuc, filled with buzzing honey bees and we haven’t even built the hive. We’ll soon have 50+ quail to house and we are yet to finish building their coops. We have 25 or so Cornish hens out back who will be ready to harvest in just a few short weeks, we have chicken coops to paint and cleanout before the heat moves in and one of my turkey hens wants to be a momma. She’s diligently sitting on a pile of about 9 eggs at present – more mouths to feed in the very near future. My ceiling in the art room is begging for a giant mandala, which will probably have to wait until next winter. Our pond needs stocked, our deck needs sealed and guess who wants goats? I do! We’re waaaaay past the desperation stage for a real fence and mini barn construction. We have big plans to build our greenhouse by the end of the summer and clear the “soon-to-be” orchard of all the downed trees from Hurricane Matthew’s demise last fall. We still have compost to spread on the garden and our next round of seeds and sprouts will be ready to put in the ground by the end of April. In just a few short weeks my gal pal and I will pick about 50lbs of strawberries, which means lots of preservation and pie baking on the horizon. And sometime this spring or summer we’ll install the outdoor shower, place the sink in the outdoor kitchen and hopefully build the outdoor brick oven. The oven might have to wait. I’m sure someday we’ll finish that bathroom down in the mudroom too.
Thank goodness we’re here to stay. These things might take a while. But that’s the beauty and promise of tomorrow. We prioritize. We look forward. We embrace what we can, when we can and however we can. We get busy. Then we get slow. It’s all good.
Dear God, the gratitude is sometimes too much to put into words and all I can do is breathe in the goodness and breathe out “thank you, thank you, thank you”. Friends, my cup runneth over and some days this life seems so much sweeter than I deserve. I love every ounce of the rain, every failed project that turns into a lesson learned, every sting of the bee (not really) every munch of the mosquito (that’s a lie) and every ray of the sun (doggone truth) that comes my way. Spring reminds me of this truth every stinking year. Gratitude. It is all I’ve got to give. And gratitude shines in everything we do. The way we raise our kids, the way we speak to others, the way we cook, the art we create, the home we make, the way we love our friends, our husbands, our wives, our partners. The life we live reflects our gratitude.
We are blessed at our worst, we are blessed at our best, we are alive and spring has sprung.
All the best,