It’s a Grey Day…


A grey day with a beautiful soft rain, a day to be productive ~ indoors. Reluctantly.

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Today’s rain is the perfect kind, tiny fine droplets, causing everything it touches to be canopied with gossamer mist.

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Earlier in the morning, I stood filling the coffee pot , gazing out at the garden. A chubby robin sat perched upon the grape arbor. He shook himself to be free of the moisture and he was surrounded by droplets larger than were falling from the sky. I wish I had my camera in hand.

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The peas are in the garden*; it’s a perfectly timed rain.

I’ll add more Chard and Spinach this afternoon, and the lettuces tomorrow, they like the cooler weather.

*If the thunder-storm in the early hours of the morning didn’t wash them away, that is.

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The dogs are sleeping in the kitchen, soaking in the silence.

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I better be moving on, I have dresses to be altered and pants to be hemmed.

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Be well, enjoy your day.

Jess

 

 

New Furry Babes and One of Cast Iron.


With the arrival of warm weather brings with it fluffy babes of gold.

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Buff Orpington chicks.  They are so sweet and docile, and after our experience with Mr. Nasty, ( one time he jumped up, thrust his feet forward – right into my husband’s…yup. Right there.)

So, I did a bit of research; I wanted a more docile friendly breed. I thinks these will do just fine.

We were also lucky enough to add this beautiful girl to our pasture.

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Darby.

She is a half sister to Our Phantom of the Opera; a  big boned, heavenly fine, lustrous fiber. Delicious. Would you just look at that face. ( Go ahead, I’ll wait.)

Last fall she had a haircut, a full body haircut. I can’t wait to see her fiber when it has grown out a bit more. (insert little girl squeal here).

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When I put her in the pasture with the other girls it was clear I’d need to move the Angora goats girls to another pasture; she had no clue what they were and she was not eager to be friends.

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So, they ate my dress. Well, not all of it, just a nibble; but it was an ancient cotton dress and tore easily. I was a little embarrassed to be walking about the pasture with my bottom wobbling in plain daylight. They didn’t care, they gave a look back, stuck out their tongues and walked away.

Do you think that could be a goats version of pants-ing someone? Let’s move on. No need to give them much attention for bad moves.

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We get a little giddy around here when new animals arrive, but I have to say I was over the moon with this arrival.  A vintage 1970’s era, cast iron, work horse of a tiller.

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Troy built. Please dry out this week, garden, please. I wanna till.

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Isn’t she lovely.

Be well,

Jess

Busy as Bees.


The first warm days of Spring are the sweetest.

The wind
told the grasses,
And the grasses
told the trees.
The trees
told the bushes,
And the bushes
told the bees.
The bees
told the robin,
And the robin
sang out clear:
Wake up!
Wake up!
Spring is here!

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I’ll have some thing to show you tomorrow, stay tuned.

Be Well,

Jess

It’s Spring, Let’s clean.


The gardens of course. You didn’t think I was dusting, did you? ( I clean a bit every day, so no big spring clean for me.)

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Back to the task at hand. The gardens. (How quickly I am diverted). March weather was so fickle and was terribly miserable here in Upstate, NY. Not much could be done to tidy the garden, really it was mostly covered in snow until the last week end in March. No telling what havoc Old Man Winter has wreaked ’til the snow is gone.

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I have to resist, there is temptation to pull back the mulch protecting fragile plantings, eager to see any sign of new growth. The mulch, the protector, I so carefully lay before the frost, gives shelter from sudden changes of temperature and chilling winds, keeping cozy this fragile growth. It’s still winter here, essentially. The ground was white this morning. (If I quietly turn away, maybe it will take its leave.)

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(I thought of finding a more attractive picture, but this is really how it looks – ugly. Let’s keep it real)

Tempering myself, I’ll slowly remove the mulch as the days and weeks become steadily warmer,
I tell myself, it is much better to remove the mulch a little later than to remove it to early. I try to hurry Mother Nature, to no avail. I love Spring anyway.

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Don’t forget to clean out your birdhouses early before the birds begin nesting again. I haven’t seen the bluebirds yet, but others have.

While it will be awhile before the season of blooms arrive, my garden list is readied for season.  I can’t plant  during this early spring, (I haven’t even been able to get peas in the ground); I bide my time.

Maybe this weekend there will be enough of a thaw.

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Finn Remembers.

The frost line was very deep this year. Even inhibiting maple production) there are some chores I’ll do to get it in shape before the real gardening begins.

Give my old clay pots a wash; a good scrub using a solution of baking soda and water.
I’ll clean around and map out the area for new garden beds. (that may be a good job for the girls, they live for this sort of thing. Don’t you Simone?)

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Don’t let this photo fool you, they really wanna help.

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This is how they work, great team aren’t they?

While I’m at it, I should try to remember where I planted spring bulbs. Do you remember? You were there, weren’t you? If you remember, please share; I wouldn’t want to dig them up.

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I don’t think they were paying attention. Chickens can be like that you know.

Alternating thawing and freezing can tear plant roots and even force the plant right out of the ground. If I notice any plants that have heaved, I push them back right back where they belong – into the soil, and pack the soil lightly with my foot.

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Ooh we can’t wait for green, Revie and I. Of course, she’ll be more interested in nibbling than helping. But, who can blame her.

As soon as I see new growth,  I’ll divide and transplant summer blooming perennials and fertilize (with llama beans) the plants in there forever beds.

Is there a forever in gardens, nah, let’s just move on.

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Spinach, Chard, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and other hardy vegetables will be started from seed late in the month. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.

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Well, come on girls, we have work to do.  Hey, wait; where are you going? Girls? Girls?

Be well,

Jess

It’s April, who’s Fooling whom?


This is what April [usually] looks like on our little cottage farm. Do you suppose Mother Nature plays April fools jokes? I’d like to think she has a sense of humor.

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How this place we call home looks today?

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They are too discomfited to allow for company. You do understand, don’t you?

Perhaps the chooks will let us visit?

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Uhm, guess not, they choose to not even show their faces.

The goats are happy go-lucky, let’s ask Shelby for a visit.

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Oh, Okay. We get the message, we’ll visit another day.

Be well, and take the light of the Lord with you wherever you go.

Jess

Heady with the aroma of growth


A simple bit of earth has the impressive power of evoking grand dreams. The magic begins with the arrival of winter’s dispersal of seed catalogs.

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If you garden and are anything like me you dream, and plan you scratch lines in the soil with the toe of your boot, you carve and through grassy strips creating new beds and expanding the old. You move this here and that there, in hope of better growth. Maybe this next to that would be better…you have illusions of a grand garden (or perhaps delusions).

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Notions gleaming with possibility and loosely tangled treasure bounce through your noggin, like spring peepers on your pond.

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Ideas flash like a a photographer’s bulb, if only they were as easily created as they are imagined.

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I imagine more garden paths, lined with pea stone beckoning you to enter herb gardens filled with basils, thyme, rosemary, and sage, or a bench tucked away in a secret cutting garden.

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Fields of french lavender lending their fragrance to dawn’s solitude.

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You feel the moss under your bare feet that cling to the damp slate slabs in an outdoor dining area. You sit, senses drenched with wisteria draping from the pergola overhead. Birds, bees, and butterflies going about the daily task of pollination (no chemicals to harm them in sight).

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It’s still much too cold here to get out and work the soil, so I sit sipping Earl Grey whilst I bide my time, content to plan and dream.

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“My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as  the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.” Abram L. Urban

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Be well, dream, and do.

Jess

No action shots here folks, we’re waiting it out.


 

 

 

 

I guess, there really is no sense in complaining, we are all in the same boat. The weather has the upper hand. Mother nature must be hung up somewhere else and forgot we are stuck in winter. It’s like an old record that skips, the tune moves ahead just bit only to be bounced to where it began.

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So we sit and we wait, we prepare, we hope. DSC_6092

 

We take advantage, although somewhat reluctantly, of the quiet days. Soon the pace will pick up. They’ll be gardens to till and beds to prepare. The peas are ready to go in, along with the spinach, chard and other hearty greens.DSC_6102

 

There will be goats and llamas to be sheared. Barns to be spring cleaned.  The chickens will pick up their pace. I miss their eggs.DSC_6084

 

The grapes could use some love; with all that has been going on in the past years they have been sorely neglected. I am excited to be planting more this spring, along with more blueberry bushes.DSC_6108

We all need things to look forward to, don’t we. Human nature certainly. How sad must it be to have no hope, or faith in the future. DSC_6110

 

I keep telling myself to be patient, enjoy the here and now; rest while you can. There will be busier days ahead.

I am restless, I suppose everyone is at this time of the year [in the North East of USA].DSC_6122

 

Yes, Lexi, they’ll be time to play. But today we wait and plan, plot, and prepare.

Pups:

Richard the Yorkishire Terrier/Papillon mix (2 yrs)

Diezel the Treeing Walker Hound (3mos)

Finnegan the Bernese Mountain Dog/Poodle aka Bernedoodle (7yrs)

Lexi the Black Labrador Retriever (6yrs)

Enjoy the wait.

Be well,

Jess