Spring is Back On Track

It looks like we survived all the freezing nights, and things are springing up in earnest now. It feels so great to wander the farm to find new sprouts and see and hear the wildlife coming out of hibernation. I spent an hour quietly fishing yesterday and watched a little shorebird prowling the edge of the pond and plucking out treats. I think it has a nest somewhere nearby.

The orchard seems to be doing well now. The peach and apple trees are blooming, although I haven’t seen honeybees on the flowers. I hope the blooms indicate that the trees were not damaged by the freezing nights and I’ll finally get to harvest some fruit this year.

We put in two rhubarb plants last year. One got damaged and is just barely showing a couple shoots, but the other is already in full display of robust leaves and is developing a spectacular bloom. I don’t know how much it will open up because I don’t recall ever seeing a rhubarb bloom before.

I love rhubarb pie, so I am trying to patiently wait till it has gotten a good foothold and won’t mind if I chop off a few of its stalks. I’ve picked the first asparagus, and there is some spinach that over-wintered so had a head start in the garden.

Both my husband and I worked hard all week. he ordered a mountain of mulch and distributed it around the landscaping, one wheelbarrow at a time. I spent my time cleaning out the animals’ living areas. I scrubbed and refreshed the chicken coop. This is such a messy job, I do it only once a year. The chickens were furious that I’d locked them out of their nest boxes while I worked, and squawked angrily the whole time.

I also hauled away most of the old straw from their run and laid it around the bottom of the orchard trees for mulch. It’s probably full of great minerals and nutrition for the tree roots. I had cleaned out the goat shed earlier, and all that dirty straw is still in a pile waiting for me to pick it up and move it out of the barnyard. I need a new burst of energy before I tackle that task. I was tired and filthy by the end of the day, but felt really good about caring for the animals.

I also scrubbed out the back porch of all the winter dust and grime, and added some polish to the poor, tired furniture. Then, we had all my siblings and their spouses over for the first post-vaccination party. It was surreal having so many people here at once, un-masked. I got used to it after several double-takes to remind myself of what the CDC says is safe to do, and even gave some hugs before everyone went home. We grilled sandwiches and I brought out a new coffee cake recipe I had tried.

It’s called a turban, due to the interesting shape. It is a crescent of dough wrapped up around a dried-fruit compote and then tucked inside another thin layer of dough that folds over the top. It was pretty but there was one little pocket of raw dough hiding in the center so if I make it again I’ll have to find a way to cook it a little longer.

All-in-all, I think we have finally come out of winter and are fully into spring. Hooray!

About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
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