I haven’t blogged from the farm for a few weeks, but I have a very good excuse. The truth is, with the amount of hard labour that needs to happen each weekend there is barely even time to turn the computer on.
Over the past two weekends here’s what we did:
- Installed the irrigation system for the raised vegetable beds. The WorkHorse took this on as a solo gig. He actually buried the whole thing, which involved digging up the driveway. There were pickaxes involved. I stayed as far away as possible. Stunningly, he got the whole thing done in just a few hours, and now the veggies are being dripped upon daily.
- Pruned the old apple tree by the house. It was old and gnarled and desperate to be pruned. Again, I take no credit for this project.
- Cut down a whole bunch of skinny maple trees that had grown in a little spur just off the front porch. The previous owners must have become tired of fighting the endless maple seedlings that pop up, and they just planted hostas and the like beneath. The WorkHorse did this too. You can only imagine the sore muscles he has these days.
- Removed all of the leaves and dead branches from the maple patch above. This brought back horrible memories of the fall leaves. I would tell you about clearing the fall leaves but I regret it still may not be spoken of…perhaps in time… The good news was that there were some lovely little things hiding beneath those leaves, including a purple trillium plant. I can’t wait to see what else will grow there now that we can actually see it.
- Began planting the vegetables! So far, here’s what’s in the garden beds:
Leaf lettuce mix, head lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale, leeks, onions, peas, radishes, red beets, golden beets, parsley, rhubarb, one kind of potato and some violas.
(I’ll admit that I’m very nervous that nothing will come of all of this careful planting. I thought maybe something would be poking it’s head out this weekend when we got to the farm. Not even the tiniest shoot of anything was up. And my watermelon seed experiment is looking a bit poorly as well. After two weeks we haven’t seen any movement from the watermelon seeds – I think we’re done for on that front. Could you imagine all of this effort if we can’t grow any vegetables? Unthinkable at the moment. Here’s hoping something will turn up by next weekend. I’m sure a gardener is supposed to be much more patient than I am.)
Returning to what’s been done in the absence from the blog, we…
- Planted strawberry plants (just a few) in the long bed in front of the crappy shed. The rest of the bed is for tons of sunflowers, cosmos and hollyhocks (I hope), but we haven’t planted any of that yet.
- Scattered wildflower seeds in the rocks adjacent to the barn bank. This was a leap of faith and it may take a few years for this idea of mine to bear fruit – or flowers in this case. But I’m going to hope anyway.
- Nearly finished our first batch of homemade compost.
- Continued work on the flower beds in the front of the house. There is still much to be done – I’ll be working on the house and pool beds well into spring, I think.
- Dug the bed for the watermelons (or not!) and pumpkins. We still need to fill the bed with new soil – that will be my job next weekend.
- Built a trampoline. This was much harder than we could have imagined, and while I helped as much as I could, the heavy lifting fell to the WorkHorse. All of it was worth it though, when the kids got on and bounced to their hearts’ content. I’m looking forward to years of fun on it.
You can see why the blog has been low on the priority list. We’ve been working just about every hour we can. There has been lots going on that has been keeping us from full weekends at Northbrook. I for one am looking forward to settling back in to longer weekends at the farm. Oddly, despite the seriously grueling work, it remains the best place I could imagine being.
I’ll leave you with this image. Do you know I can’t remember ever seeing them roll down a hill before this? Pure bliss, although I’m not sure who enjoyed it more – the dizzy kids or their happy mother.