Did you notice the calendar? It’s MARCH! Also known as – still winter in Vermont. Every year I joke that the groundhog is wrong – from February 2nd “six more weeks of winter” is an early spring.
But every year in March I start to get excited about GARDENING again. I tend to bite off more than I can chew, and that’s ok by me. If things go to weeds at least I tried. Right now my garden still looks like this:
But I’m already buying seeds from High Mowing
And trying to figure out how much soaker hose I need. Note: it’s hard to measure my garden when I can’t open the fence door because of the snow.
But that doesn’t slow me down. I’m planning to plant flowers in the garden bed that went to weeds last year. Flowers are lower maintenance. I think. Or at least will probably bloom even if I ignore them. Sunflowers will be happening too. Assuming I can figure out how to protect the seedlings from those pesky squirrels. And I’m dreaming of Bean Tents. That way the girls will have some place to play when they get bored of digging in the dirt with me.
Yup. I’m ready. Bring on spring.
Big changes, my pretty and loyal rooster has gone home. He’s back at the farm where he hatched. I’m so glad he recovered, he was even back to crowing before we sent him home. I’m sure he was lonely here by himself. I miss eating our own eggs. And I miss watching the silly birds run around. But given the uncertainty in our future housing it just makes sense, not having chickens right now. Windsor clearly misses them too, she keeps talking about our sick rooster going to another farm to get better.
Not having to worry about the free ranging flock will make our next project easier.
The landscaper is putting in our lawn, over the leach field we installed last winter. He’ll also scrape up all those brambles and saplings. We’re finally putting in the wildflowers we intended to plant over five years ago (apparently I could have a tag for blog posts of large earthmoving equipment in my front yard.)
And my pretty sunflower kitchen has been normalized.
We’ve had our house on the market since November, and if we don’t sell in the next month we’ve decided to rent it out and find a place to rent ourselves. We need to move before next winter. Wish us luck.
Oh. And I knit a whole sock! More on that later.
My garden has been very neglected this year. By which I mean, I harvested some peas back in June – and that’s about it. My energies have just been focused elsewhere this year. Luckily for me, we still have something to harvest. All those fruits we planted a couple of years ago are finally coming into their own. The elderberries started to ripen two weeks ago, and man do the birds eat those quickly!
The plums started to ripen around the same time, a few are still left on the trees
And you can spend an entertaining couple of minutes watching the chickens search out the concord grapes still on the vines
I’m working on elderberry jam – or jelly maybe, anyone have a recommended recipe? Honestly so far I’m working on picking those tiny little berries off their clustered stems. Maybe I’ll make grape jam again this year. Last year’s batch is almost gone, and it is (was) delicious. Not sure what we’ll do with the plums. So far eating them fresh seems to be the fastest option.
Spring is slowly creeping into Vermont (we had snow again this week, and there’s more in the forecast) and I realized yesterday that the only seeds I’ve started are the mixed handful that Windsor and I threw into a pot of soil two weeks ago. My garden plans are sorely limited compared to some previous years.
It’s not just living with a toddler, have I told you my current schedule? I used to work 8 hour days, and take lunch breaks online. Since maternity leave ended I’ve been working 9 hour days and taking lunch breaks with Windsor. The combination means a lot less time for everything. I miss reading other blogs, I miss digging in the garden after work, I miss many things. There’s plenty I don’t miss (I don’t really care about the dishes, or the sweeping) but all life is a balancing act. And right now I feel like by blog is as neglected as my garden.
Do you feel like our blog conversation is covered in weeds? I apologize! I hope you’ll stick around, because I hope to be back soon. This summer holds some big changes for the Herrick family. Neil will soon be done with grad school. We’re looking forward to him having a regular schedule, which will let my schedule level out – finally. I have some new designs that should be out this year, and someday I’ll even get some garden and chicken pictures for you!
I love raspberries. I love the way you can smell them on a warm summer breeze, that first day they’re ripe.
It turns out I love sharing those first summer raspberries for the very first time even more.
Wait, what happened to June?
– I started some new knitting! I find I actually work on it because I’m not bored of this project yet.
– We’re also working on some house projects
And by “we” I do mean us. I spent the weekend tearing off punky siding with my ever-helpful family. We did hire some guys for the roofing.
– It’s about 90F and 90% humidity out there. So of course we’re going camping.
– I’m sure we’ll learn how much Windsor likes lakes.
– At least the heat is good for my garden.
– I have even more gladioli than last year. Funny how that works.
Here’s so photographic proof that I have something in my garden besides garlic!
And someone who is 8 months old!
No proof has yet been found of knitting. I had a friend over and we did lots of talking but no knitting. I rode in the car for 6 hours and didn’t knit. It occurs to me that I might need a more engaging project…
It’s Monday and I can honestly say I’m unsure when the last time I knit occurred… So let’s have a random life update, list style:
We’re doing some major home improvements this summer: siding and the roof. It’ll look great when it’s done but organizing the project is taking up all my “free” time.
Windsor is so close to crawling. Did you know babies have a stage where they try but just slide backward instead of moving forward? It’s cute but it makes her so angry.
I finally got something besides garlic planted in my garden. Two kinds of beans, book choy, and lettuce.
I’m considering turning over a third of my garden to sunflowers. I simply have no time to weed.
Believe it or not, I miss weeding.
I’m functioning at a “low expectations” level right now. I don’t expect to finish much knitting. I don’t expect to get much personal time. I don’t expect to write many blog posts (surprise!) I don’t expect to take photos during daylight hours… Pretty much all my energy for expectations goes into getting dinner made daily, getting to work and back, getting the laundry done. All my free time is spent playing with Windsor. She’s freaking adorable these days and I’m really very happy with the way my life is right now. It’s just very different from before.
But here’s the thing. It’s mid April, and I realized I haven’t even thought about my veggie garden. Usually I would have it all mapped out about a month ago.
And gardening? It’s entirely about expectations. Hopes, dreams, and expectations. What will grow? What will the weather do? What will fail? These seedlings, they hold the promise of expectations, both of success and failure.
We’ll see how it goes.