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Quote of the Day: Spring

April 19th, 2015

“When spring came, after that hard winter, one could not get enough of the nimble air. Every morning I wakened with a fresh consciousness that winter was over. There were none of the signs of spring for which I used to watch in Virginia, no budding woods, or blooming gardens. There was only–spring itself; the throb of it, the light restlessness, the vital essence of it everywhere; in the sky, in the swift clouds, in the pale sunshine, and in the warm, high wind–rising suddenly, sinking suddenly, impulsively and playful like a big puppy that pawed you and then lay down to be petted. If I had been tossed down blindfolded on that red prairie, I should have known in was spring.”

Willa Cather – My Antonia

Soaking up the Sun
It’s amazing how the different seasons really do have a different feel to them. Winter kept clawing to stick around, but finally spring was able to overcome. All of a sudden there is birdsong in the air and the smell of earth rises up to meet you as walk around. There are tiny bits of green showing through the dull brown grass. Insects can be seen fluttering about in the sunshine. You can almost feel it in the air.

What do you notice most when spring arrives in your garden? smell? sight? warmth?

Friday Favorite: Back in the Garden

April 17th, 2015

This Friday favorite is a given, you knew it was coming. Spending time in the garden is truly one of my favorite things. This week I’ve been able to spend a few hours on three different days working outside. Yesterday I put a fence up around the potager, cleared out 3/4 of it, and even got 10 rows of seeds planted.
potager 1 (1)
potager 2 (1)
It’s simply wonderful to feel the sun warming my back, to soak up some much needed vitamin D, and to get the garden in order while I do. I’ll be even happier when the vegetables I planted grace my table and save my on my grocery bill. Life is good in the spring. Garden chores still have the wonder and beauty that they lack when the heat of high summer can make them miserable. This time of year being in the garden is pure bliss!

What are the first chores you do in the garden in spring?

Catnip

April 16th, 2015

I can tell you that the cats are super happy that spring has arrived. Every day they get a few sprigs of catnip to roll in and eat. They are LOVING it.
catnip 1
catnip 2
I grow it not only for them, but it makes a great insect repellant as well. While I’m working in the garden, I like to pick sprigs of it and rub in on my exposed skin to keep the bugs away. Perhaps that’s why cats love me so much.

Do you grow catnip for your cats or for it’s other properties?

What a Mess

April 15th, 2015

I rarely clean up the gardens in the fall, I like to leave the plant material for insects and the seeds for the birds. That means I have extra work to finish up in the spring before I start planting. The soil in the potager is thawed, I should take a thermometer out there and check the temperature. There’s a nice flat of lettuces under the grow lights that are perfect for planting, they just need hardening off.
potager 1
potager 2
There are plants that need cut back, pine boughs that need removed from hydrangeas, leaves that need raking, and lots of chicken holes to fill in.
potager 3
potager 4
I noticed the chives, tarragon, and thyme are waking up. The catnip is also coming up nicely, the cats have already been enjoying it as snacks in the afternoons.
potager 5
potager 6
The weather looks to be beautiful this week. I need to put up a fence to keep the chickens out and then get to work clearing out, raking, and adding compost to this garden. Soon enough it will be lush with growth.

Do you clean out the garden in fall or wait until spring?

No Lost Time

April 14th, 2015

When you’ve been anticipating spring for so long you pounce as soon as it arrives. Yesterday it was 68 degrees and sunny. The 5×5 Challenge garden thawed out and I seeded it with radishes and spinach. We have several sliding glass doors that I will lay on top to act as a cold frame of sorts. That should help warm the soil even more so the crop gets going faster.
planting in spring 1
planting in spring 2
The potager in the back is also thawing out nicely. In a week or two I’ll be putting up the fence and planting all the lettuces from under the grow lights. It was so nice to get my hands in the dirt and feel the sun on my back. I’m really looking forward to the coming gardening season and all the delicious fresh veg!

What are you planting right now?

About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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