This space is still nominally a knitting blog. And I actually have some to show you. But I keep forgetting to take pictures. Why? Because it is spring! And spring is much more exciting than an olive green sweater that still isn’t finished.
I may be unreasonably excited about that big black cube. But it is going to turn my compost heap into a compost factory. And that’s exciting, in my world.
The peas, beets, radishes, and lettuce seedlings are up.
No parsnips though. Actually, that’s not true. There are 3 parsnips in the bed where I planted them last year.
I know the seeds need to be planted early, maybe I’m missing that window? Maybe I should plant parsnips in the fall and let them overwinter as seeds?
While weeding the bed that will hold broccoli and brussel sprouts (it’s next to the fence, the neighbors’ grass always tries to move in) I found strawberry seedlings! So now I have a strawberry basket. We’ll see if I can remember to water it all summer…
And I highly suggest artisanal ice cubes for your next project.
Violets and mint are both edible. I will have the prettiest lemonade this summer!
It’s been a very cold April. Fourth coldest on record in some parts of Vermont. But in the last two weekends we’ve finally had some sunshine. There’s been family time in the garden:
I’ve planted radishes (rainbow radishes, Windsor will always add), peas, parsnips, beets, and lettuce. Plus volunteer garlic, as you can see from the photo. I’m also doing a garden bed of annual flowers from seed, and some of those go in before the last frost too.
I also have a resident in the rhodedendron this year. Can you spot her?
According to the Internet it takes 11 to 13 days for cardinal eggs to hatch.
My collection of succulents just keeps growing. I love them so much.
The newest teacup resident is named Rosetta. The first one I got, Willow, is starting to grow some offshoots, which is super exciting for me. I’ve never had a succulent happy enough to propagate that way before. The next one back (Gwen) had her offshoot when I bought her.
I call these little babies the Pleiades, even though there aren’t 7 of them. But there could be, I mean, there’s more space in that bowl! And another very happy succulent lives here:
But again, he was beginning to bloom before I brought him home.
Then there’s my home-grown succulent kinder-garden (thanks to Karin for that name!)
I got 5 out of 5 leaves to root! I’ve added another 6 to the plate recently. We’ll see how my success rate holds up.
This sweet one is too big for a teacup. So for now he’s still in a plastic pot, and nameless. (and apparently you can see my dirty sink in that photo too. Hooray?)
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.