Spring Forward: A Comeback

I took an accidental seven-month hiatus from publishing blog posts. My website broke, I didn’t feel like dealing with it, Hubs fixed it, and voila! That about catches you up to speed.

But now we’re in a new season, a new ebb and flow of day-to-day living. We’re also in that sweet spot of the calendar where winter and spring duke it out continuously until spring finally becomes victorious.

The Long Winter

After two years of some of the mildest winters I’ve ever experienced, we had a real doozie of a winter this year. Back-to-back blizzards, insane winds, and a few feet of snow helped round out the season for us. Some of it felt familiar in a way, just from reading The Long Winter so many times. We often couldn’t see across our valley from fog or blowing snow, and the sky was gray more often than the sun shone.

Thankfully, winter doesn’t bother me. It used to, to be sure, but several years ago the Lord helped me get free from that complaint. As brutal as this winter was (and our shelter belt is 40% of what it was, thanks to the wind and snow snapping trees in pieces), I was content to ride out the cold and storms here at our Hilltop Homestead.

Spring Ahead

Here at the beginning of March, I felt that itch most homesteaders do this time of year: I needed to get my hands in some dirt. After gathering up the trays, bags of soil, seeds, and watering cans, we got underway starting this year’s garden.

The kids also felt the itch and started seeds for their own gardens this year. They got started with tomato and chive seeds but told me their plans for the fruits and vegetables they want to tend on their own, and what excites them about gardening.

I started tomatoes, peppers, cabbages, ground cherries, and several types of squash. Here I am not quite a week later, and jumping with joy to already see sprouts!

It’s been a struggle to get our garden going successfully here. We left an established, glorious garden behind when we moved from Minnesota. Nothing has been planted on this hilltop ever before. It runs wild with prairie grasses, sunflowers, coneflowers, and Canadian thistles.

And rocks. So. many. rocks.

It’s beautiful in its own rustic way, but it’s not very productive.

Garden Dreaming

We will garden successfully here – I’m determined. But it’s going to take more time, more developing the ground soil, and more trial and error before we can conquer the wild in these rolling hills.

Last fall, I filled one of my raised beds with garlic and I’m excited to see those sprout up once the snow is gone for good. I’m hoping the asparagus I transplanted does well, and the rhubarb the turkeys destroyed will somehow come back to life and produce some stalks for me this year.

I’ve ordered trees for this spring. Not only to replace the massacred tree row, devastated by our winter storms, but to plan for the future of these hills. Shade trees, fruit trees, nut trees, and several vines and bushes for berries and fruit I’ll no doubt have to fight the robins for eventually.

Even while we’re still covered in snow, and more storms are certainly coming I’m excited knowing spring is just around the corner. New beginnings, fresh starts, and vibrant colors are just a few weeks away.

I don’t know about you, but I am so ready.

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