|You've heard of the Naked Chef? Well this is my (almost) Naked Gardener.|
For me, spring brings out exactly the same inclination for reflection and re-prioritization as the new year or the start of school. It is difficult to keep my enthusiasm for new projects under control, especially this year: our first spring living full time at the new house.
Everywhere I look, I imagine a new garden bed under the snow. Or a new creature. The neighbors introduced us to their bottle calves this weekend, and they were so sweet. Tempting. We've talked about pigs and goats and even an alpaca.
For now, we're trying to start small, and in familiar territory. Here's a bit of a preview of what's coming for us.
- An Expanding flock. We've ordered up 25 chicks.. It's hard to believe we've had laying hens for nearly 5 years, yet we've never had chicks! We're all looking forward to the experience. With luck, Maya will be showing one of her spring chickens at the county fair this summer.
- The Gardens. I'm trying my hand at seed starting again, this time with the help of a grow light and a more out of the way location. Little fingers and sporadic lighting made for some crooked and weak-stemmed plants last time I attempted this. Now we have a few varieties of tomatoes and peppers off to a strong start. I'm sketching out a more official garden installation than the one I tucked in haphazardly last June. Plus I'll be adding an asparagus patch, a few pear and plum trees, and probably two sweet corn patches if I can keep them from cross pollinating one another.
- Say Cheese. On a whim, we're making some sheep cheese thanks to the contributions of a friend's flock.
- Green pastures, greater prairies. The extension service is helping us plan spring planting on the 7 or so acres behind us, including some prairie restoration as well as some native pasture ground.
- All things kids. We're coming out of hibernation with an explosion of activity, from clogging classes for Little Miss to horse lessons for Big Sis. Swim lessons, summer camps, and as always, piano. I struggle with finding the right balance between having time to wander in the woods versus letting the girls experiment with new interests, but I think we're getting there.