farming, Uncategorized

Spring Planting

I bought some dormant rose bushes today – Sadie loves knockout roses, but a full-size rose bush is about $20.00 a pop. I went straight back to the clearance wrack, they had these little root balls wrapped in paper and plastic, with trimmed rose bush stalks peeking out of the top. The branches were covered in a think layer of wax, which helps keep the plant from blossoming too soon. I have been wanting a few roses to plant next to the shop since around Christmas, but Lowe’s didn’t start stocking them until a few weeks ago.

So I brought home 5 little baby dormant rose bushes, get this, they were only $5.00 a piece! Sadie likes to watch plants grow any way. I dug 5 little holes by the shop and spent way too long looking for small rocks to make a bed, and voila. A successfully executed project in less than half a day. I have not gotten mulch yet for them, that may have to wait until next month.

Unfortunately, Sadie and I do not spend a lot of time or resources on these type of ‘beautification’ projects. What I mean is, typically what we do from day-to-day is either playing catch up, making sure everyone is fed and watered, the firewood is dry, or the bills are paid, before we fall into bed and call it. It’s not a bad thing, I think we have come quite a long way since I have moved here. But it’s just where we are right now – so it’s nice to be able to spend a little time investing in something that will be really beautiful next year.

A few weeks ago, we prettied up the barn lot entrance, which Sadie had been wanting to do for a long time. We have a big, red gate leading to the barn and the pasture, so we framed it with lumber and it spruced it right up. Almost like something out of Kentucky. We were pleased as punch. If I could wave a magic wand, I’d have roses at the entrance of that too, although the horses might be tempted to reach through and have a taste-test.

Spring is coming to the farm, slowly but surely. The grass is poking through the clay, buds are appearing on all the ends of the trees, and just yesterday, I saw a few iris stalks coming up from outside my bedroom window. Tonight and tomorrow will be cold though, but at least the days are getting longer. I only have one big brush pile left to burn, the other two sites have been raked and combed over for nails. It’s amazing how many nails that old barn left behind. We still have several large logs up there from the post-Christmas work day, but I’ll borrow a tractor to push them all together so they can smolder down.

On Friday, Sadie and I went up to White’s Hardware and got 25 pounds of potatoes, our onion sets, bush beans and a few ounces of beets. Once we get the garden spot re-tilled, we will start those on the lower end. I walked over it today, all the dark, soft dirt is just waiting to be dug up.

Several months ago we raked bags and bags of leaves over it, which are mostly mulch by now. Pretty soon it will be time to turn the earth, and till, and plant, and pull weeds, then pull more. Before I know it there will be fresh veggies on every available table and counter space in the house, and mason jars taking up the rest. But not quite yet. For now, it’s nice to watch the world wake up from winter as it does best – nice and slow, with a new surprise to look forward to every morning.

farming, Uncategorized

7.2 Cubic Feet

I don’t think I’ve had too many rough nights here, other than the dogs barking at the occasional opossum, or that one time Casey didn’t come home until almost dawn. Sleep is good on a farm, it’s the reward for a job well done. It means you have a leg-up on tomorrow because whatever you accomplished today must have been significant for you to feel this tired. I’ve been in bed for almost 30 minutes, it feels good to be still. There are 3 cats on my bed, bathing, all is well.

My parents say I’ve always been a good sleeper (See my Baby Book, early years, my Dad wrote ‘she is very hard to wake up in the morning’), but I don’t know when I have ever slept as good as I do at the farm. Sadie got home a little while ago and I didn’t even get up – we had a big day yesterday.

Saturday┬ámorning I woke up when Lowe’s called and informed me that our new dryer was on the truck, we were on the schedule for delivery that afternoon. Our dryer died, I know I haven’t mentioned that, or much of anything, recently. Nana has been in and out of the hospital, my Mom came for a week to help and I started a new job. So anyway, our dryer died and Mom helped me decide on a new one. I got a new toilet too, Randy installed it yesterday, and left the old toilet outside the kitchen window. I actually considered planting something in it and leaving it there. I don’t know when I will have time for a trip to the dump!

Sadie and I had wheaties for breakfast, which I have spent my whole life hating until recently (along with sweet potatoes – go figure). She went to work and I went out to feed and water and make sure everyone was still standing. Uncle Rick stopped by and brought us a jar of local honey with the comb still in it. He stuck around until the dryer arrived, the delivery guys were cracking jokes about me making them a sandwich.

If my Mom was still in town, I’m positive she would have made them one. I laughed along, but I don’t think they got the hint: Muddy rubber boots, jeans with dirt on them, a shirt with pieces of hay on it, and a messy pony tail are not the best recipe for “making you a sandwich”. If I had cared to make them one, which I didn’t, it would have definitely contained mud, hay, or hair. Or maybe all three, we will never know.

Our new dryer is bee-utiful. It’s a Samsung, it matches the washer we bought last summer, and holds 7.2 cubic feet of damp towels, a few weeks worth of laundry, or even a horse blanket. And it’s quiet as a mouse – definitely worth all the sandwich talk.

Anyway so once that was sorted, I got Zoom out and let him graze in the bright green spring grass that sprung up behind the wood shed. It was cool and windy out, a grey sky, but still beautiful. The chickens pecked at the seeds the birds dropped from the feeder, the cats were lounging as they love to do, and I listened to Zoom munching.

Around 3 or so, Travis pulled up with his two kids, Sadie called him earlier this week and asked him to cut the grass and weed-eat the banks that drop down to the road. I love being outside, and I love working on the yard, but it was a relief to know he was going to tackle the big stuff. The kids and I picked up sticks, raked leaves – which they had to roll around in first – and I got to break in my new loppers.

I may have gotten carried away…Any sapling smaller than 3 inches around went down. Boxwood, as beautiful as they can be, spring up in the oddest places. They throw out runners and then before you know it, there’s a forest where a field should be. We were outside until dark, it was great.

I helped blow off the driveway, then we all went inside and had chicken and dumplings. You haven’t lived until you have eaten Sadie’s chicken and dumplings, I’m sorry. His daughter and I shared a big bowl, then they loaded up and went home. I checked the animals before I called it a night, throwing the horses a little extra hay because it was getting chilly, then the dogs, cats an I went inside.

You never know what a day may hold on the farm, but you are guaranteed lots of fresh air, a great meal, and an even better nights sleep. Goodnight all, hope your weekend was full of sunshine and working appliances.