A Lovely May

Aside from the wind, which apparently really favors our area, every day this month has been glorious and lovely.

Spectacular sunrises, breathtaking sunsets, and bright shining sun during the day. When the sun isn’t shining, we have gorgeous, gentle rainfall. Birds of all kinds are serenading from our budding trees and pollen-bomb-cedars. Just lovely.

A Lovely May Update

We ended up hatching 18 chicks. We had one latecomer hatch on Saturday, 2.5 days after the previous last hatch. This is also a special needs chick, HeiHei’s offspring, and has foot issues.

All 18 chicks are doing really well, and we’ll see if I was able to correctly determine which were hens and which were roosters. I’ve only identified four possible roosters, which means 14 hens. Which means too many birds and I need to figure out what to do.

So far I’ve transplanted most of my cabbage starts, a pumpkin start, and three tomato plants (that were way too big and might not harden off or survive, but we’ll see) out to the garden. I planted 152 green bean seeds that were more than a couple of years old, but I think they’ll do alright.

Sixteen strawberry bare-root plants are now thriving in their little raised bed. I planted raspberry bushes, currant bushes, elderberry bushes, and 40 other trees around the property. (With help from Hubs, of course.)

A Lovely Plan

We have lots of work ahead of us. We’re going to get a fence up around the garden to keep the chickens and the rabbits out of our food. Hubs hates building fences, and this one will be a quick get-it-up-to-keep-animals-out solution. But also, Hubs is wonderful at building fences (our Minnesota garden fence was downright dreamy), and I know we’ll all feel better once this one is up.

I’ve still got lots of planting and transplanting to do. The kids want to have their own gardens this year, and I’m all for it. They’ve got their own plans and I’m letting them run with them.

I’ve got to figure out where I’m putting my various veggies: tomatoes, cucumbers. zucchini, winter squashes, pumpkins, onions, leeks, leafy greens, pinto beans, potatoes, celery… what am I forgetting?

There are also herbs, watermelons, and ground cherries that need to go somewhere.

It’s going to be a good gardening year. I can feel it.

Along with that, we’ve got firewood to cut from our tree row. The blizzards we endured in December absolutely decimated our tree row. We’ve got limbs and shards of trunks that need to be cut and removed from our row, cut to size, and stacked for firewood.

And Don’t Forget…

We’ve got meat birds coming later in the summer we need to make sure we’re ready for.

Right now, there are five turkeys in a brooder in my entryway, growing every day and getting more feathers in place of fluff. Eventually, they’ll be moved outside to a chicken tractor and they, along with the meat birds, will be processed for the freezer early this fall.

I’m still holding out hope by some miracle we’ll end up with a few sheep and a dairy cow this year, but Hubs would just about have a stroke if he knew how intently I was dreaming for those to become a reality.

The Dream

I’ve never been so filled with hope and promise of having such a productive year on the homestead. I feel like this is going to be a good year. Fruit, vegetables, and meat, all produced here on our hilltop.

If at Christmas this year, I could produce a meal that was 90% raised or grown on our property, that would be the most exciting gift I could give myself. (The 10% would be the bread I would make from the organic wheat berries I bought that are grown locally, so close enough to home to almost count it!)

And that’s the dream. To go to the pantry, lined with jars of home-canned produce we grew ourselves. Throw a meal together without having to visit the store for the ingredients. Walk outside and bring in eggs and milk to have for breakfast (or brinner). Eat leg of lamb just because it’s Tuesday. Take that grass-fed beef steak off the grill that was raised on our rolling hill pasture. Spread some honey on our sourdough bread, harvested from hives of bees we can see from our window. Tap those maple trees I just planted, knowing they’ll flow with sap I can turn into syrup.

Wear an apron and a smile, taking care of chores and children.

This has been one of the most lovely Mays I can remember. And it’s giving way to the most lovely life I can imagine.

Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. 
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 
a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 
a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 

Dueteronomy 8:6-10

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