Spring on the farm is so wonderfully insane that all I really have time for is making lists. Like this one, for example, because there wasn’t enough space on my bigass chalkboard for all the things I need to get done in the next few weeks…
I am determined not to let that list overwhelm me this year, so instead of focusing on holy-shit-I-have-to-do-all-the-things!, here’s a list of stuff I’m grateful for this spring. (Complete with all kinds of excessive exclamation points! Because spring!)
1.) Things are growing in the garden!
The makeshift coldframes my mom and I created (out of panels from my disassembled greenhouse) are totally working! All the seeds we planted a couple of weeks ago have sprouted.
2.) The rest of the existing raised beds are full of dirt and ready for planting!
Last year I installed 9 new raised beds on the formerly weed-ridden side of the garden, but only managed to get 5 of them filled with dirt and planted. I finally finished that project off last weekend, which means there are 4 new raised beds just waiting for be planted. (Of course, you know I’m also going to build half a dozen more of these things this year because I can’t help myself… but that’s a story for another post.)
3.) The first bonfire of the season!
Felt a little magical (and looked a little magical too.)
4.) A decided lack of ticks!
The guineas have really started earning their keep this year. There are 7 in my current flock, and they’ve finally started roaming the whole property (back field, pasture, even across the street in my neighbors yard) and so far this year I’ve found only one tick on one of the donkeys. All accounts around my area are that it’s a horrible year for ticks–and I never find just one on the donkeys–but so far we’ve been pretty tick free over here, which is amazing.
5.) Progress on the garden trellis!
For a couple of years the entry to the garden has looked like this…
And it makes my eye twitch every time I look at it. I finally got my act together last week and put the top on it…
Now all it needs is a little lattice up the sides and a beautiful climbing flower to complete the garden entry.
6.) Cherry blossoms!
A lot of the trees out in the orchard are blooming. My pears and older peach trees are doing awesome, the apples are making a strong showing this year, and even my tiny little cherry trees are showing some life. It’s an awesome to see everything waking up after a long winter.
7.) Chicken tetherball!
I mean, seriously. Also, I’m attempting to grow some well-protected fountain-grass in the run..
We’ll see how that goes.
8.) So many bees!
I have two packages of bees coming in early May to replace the hives I lost last fall, but even more exciting is that my friend Katy just got her first hives, which I helped her install this week…
“Helped” = took pictures and provided moral support, but really I’m just super excited to have another beekeeper in my circle of friends!
9.) These guys!
I mean, yeah, some of us are working our asses off out here this spring, and the actual asses are just napping in the pasture, but seriously, those faces.
10.) A place to put my feet up!
The patio furniture is out, which means at the end of a hard days work I’ve got a place to kick back, drink a glass of wine, and enjoy the sunset… which, really, is all a girl can ask for out here on the farm.
(And, okay, even I’m sick of the exclamation points right now, even though every single one of those things feels exciting enough to deserve one.)
If I’m going to be honest and authentic here for a minute I’ll tell you that spring continues to be a mix of good and bad, really tough and really amazing, so much anxiety and so much “hell yes, I can do this!” There’s a part of me that wants to sit down and capture all of the many stories that are happening in this crazy time of year, but a bigger part of me needs to go lay down and sleep for a gazillion hours.
I’m still kind of raw and hurting from what feels like a disproportionate amount of loss on the farm last year (and early this year as well), I have some very real anxiety around failing to protect and nurture everything I’m responsible for here, and I’m also dealing with some frustrating health issues that make everything seem just a little more difficult… but despite all of that (and a nagging voice in the back of my head that keeps trying to tell me that I “can’t”) I’m reminding myself to look up from my problems, look around at all the awesome things around me, and be grateful for what I’ve got.