Spring has arrived. And we have only come inside for sleep, food, and a bath here or there to wash the earth from our fingers and clothes.
All the while knowing that by tomorrow, the temperatures will have plummeted back into the frigid zone.
We’ve owned Cartwheel Farm for just over two years, and this is the first spring where James and I have invested time and sweat into a proper spring cleaning of the property. We’ve been raking and pruning and poop scooping and planting like mad. All the while, our dependents running around the dull brown lawn awaiting the Vitamin D boost to inspire shades of green to usurp the doldrums of winter. Swings and hammocks have been hung. Bikes and wheelbarrows and see saws and sprinklers have been unearthed. Bathing suits have been pulled from the depths of our drawers. Life has looked a bit like this of late…
^^She had never before experienced a sprinkler. I think you can all see that she took to it quite unabashedly, proper water dog that she is.^^
^^Our sweet Hanna heads in for surgery on her rear left ACL the last week of April. Fortunately, recovery will be swift, far swifter than that of our bank account.^^
^^The flock was put out during our bi-annual deep clean of the chicken coop. Bunty was less than pleased. But they were quite delighted when they experienced the resulting cleanly quarters. A dozen baby chicks will be arriving chez Cart the last week of April. The girls have no idea what’s coming. And James and I are readying for the adorable, albeit shockingly messy, onslaught.^^
^^Can you find the potbelly pig? We’ve been giving Penelope free range of our back yard. She’s been mighty helpful in ridding the lawn of last season’s fallen apples. She’s also very likely intoxicated (ya know, given the state of those apples). But she doesn’t seem to mind in the least.^^
^^We have quite the green house going in our laundry room slash downstairs bathroom slash future residence of baby chicks. Such a multi-purpose space! This season we’ve really made an effort to get our vegetable garden going early. We had a rather major set back when Gladdy overturned a fully germinated tray of tomatoes and peppers (our most precious plants!) – but we’re trying to regroup, confident that we’ll still wind up with plenty of farm fresh veggies this season.^^
^^Waiting on forsythia cut from our back yard to bloom inside, while Kaki helps James prep our kitchen garden beds outside.^^
^^The zip line – a Christmas gift – is an even bigger hit in warmer climes.^^
^^The always popular horse tire swing!^^
^^Garlic (which we plant over Columbus Day weekend and cover with straw for the winter months) has been unearthed and is going strong. We’ll try to document our garlic growing slash braiding process this year. Such an easy and amazing crop to grow – I recommend it highly to all.^^
^^This fall we redid our retaining wall and front porch, and we’ve been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to plant some fruiting plants in the resulting fresh dirt. We’ve invested in two crops of blueberry bushes – including the “Pink Lemonade Blueberry.” How could we resist a literal pinkberry?^^
^^We’ll resume our house painting project in just a few weeks, beginning with our renovated front porch – in the hopes that all sides of the house finally match one another by fall’s end! We’ve also started some strawberry crowns along the inside edges of our fence as delicious delicious ground cover. While we won’t have any for harvest this year, by next year we should have enough homegrown strawberries and blueberries to get us through a full year.^^
^^We’ve also begun an asparagus patch. As we’d read, time and time again, the most challenging part of starting a perennial asparagus patch is the work on the front end. That trench was not yet the necessary 18″ deep – but we got there eventually – and in a year or two – should have our own crop of asparagus annually. Oh, I am beyond excited!^^
It’s been a busy, exciting few weeks on the farm, and I am continually inspired and awestruck watching green life emerge from the recently thawed Earth and our future food burst from seed to seedling seemingly before our eyes. Every year I learn something new. And every year I’m inspired to have more and more of a hand in these important, amazing, magical life processes. I now understand why spring was always my mother’s favorite time of year.