With spring officially upon us I find myself remembering how many hours of hard, dirty work it takes to get the yard ready for planting! All winter long, while I'm warm and cozy, hibernating and stuck inside, I fantasize about being in the yard with the sun on my back and the warm soil at my fingertips. I forget, however, about my sore feet and back, splinter covered hands and scraped up arms. I also tend to misjudge how many hours each task might take. For example, "Oh, that's no problem, we can whip out those two raised beds in just a couple of hours!" Six hours later, I'm hobbling to the shower to wash the dirt from my happy, exhausted face.
I am a newbie at this whole gardening thing and am (truly) learning as we go.
So, this weekend (blessed with 60+ degree weather both days...and all last week as well...I am hoping this year will be the exception and we will NOT have a snow storm in May...at an elevation of 7,000+ feet though, anything is possible!) we built two new raised beds in our backyard and filled them with nearly a yard and a half of soil from the nursery (hours of shoveling out from the back of the truck, into a wheel barrel and carted through the front yard into the back), finished the Top Bar hive (now we just wait for our bees and supplies to arrive), re-mulched 95% of our paths in the front yard (we have mulch down over weed cloth for our walking paths because, honestly, it's cheaper than stone and easier on the feet than the awful gravel we removed) as well as around all the Frankenstein fruit trees, planted the blueberries that have, until now, been living in pots on our back porch, watched a bunch of the seeds I planted last week emerge into seedlings, cleaned out the three beds/areas that lay outside of our fence by the street (these three hold mostly Russian Sage) and gave our 9ish year old neighbor advice on growing his very own (school project) cabbage.
We also opened up our "wagons" to find the kale finally looking like kale and the newly planted spinach, lettuce, beets and snow peas reaching for the (plastic covered) sky! With the weather being as warm as it's been, we will have to get in there more often than the once-a-week-peek we've been doing to water those babies.
OH!!! More happiness...In my travels throughout the yard today, I found our strawberries putting out new leaves, our baby rhubarb jumping beautifully, our daffodils peaking green in our rose bed (coming up in no particular order and all moved around by our crazy chickens scratching in the bed this winter), our Frankenstein trees putting out leaves and several crickets (I think I upset a whole village of 'em) which is exciting because this means that soon I will be hearing their songs every evening! (I'm such a nerd!)
Whew!!! No wonder I'm tired!!! I am super grateful to not be doing any of these projects alone and am even more grateful to have the choice to do these projects...Meaning that, even if I don't plant veggies in the garden, I won't go hungry, I'll just have to purchase them from someone else who did all the hard work...which really, in the grand scheme of things, doesn't sound like much fun at all!
Next weekend we'll attend our very first seed exchange, work on our new chicken coop, plant some more seeds (I'm working on trying some succession planting this year) and...who knows what else?!? The possibilities are endless!!!