Monday, May 19, 2014

The Busy-ness of Life on a Suburban Farm

This time of year is so busy. We're in between dance competitions and the annual recital. Classes and activities are winding down, but before that end, there's always a rush to get things done. It feels hurried and full, like everything needs to be done NOW, because we're out of time.

The homestead follows that same pace. We start the spring, slowly, easing into the warmer days and above freezing nights, waiting until the right time to put the tender plants in the ground. Too early and we lose them. It's best to wait, but in the waiting, we might miss that perfect window of opportunity. Maybe we don't get the peas in soon enough, and then, it gets too hot for them, and we never get peas. Sometimes, the cold hardy plants go from seed to seed so quickly, we miss the fruit. In a space as small as ours, every inch has to be put to its best use. We can't afford waste.

It's a really bad time for injuries, but that's exactly what I've been battling for the last four days - a hurt back (from too vigorously weed-whacking) and the need to be able to get out and plant: the seeds - potatoes and corn; onion starts; cabbage and broccoli seedlings. And the need to be able to get out and dig up the tenacious Jerusalem artichokes and reclaim my herb bed, that I would like to transform into an edible flower garden this year.

And then, there are the baby bunnies - two litters from our two does. One of whom is a new mama (even though she's getting long in the tooth for a rabbit) we've tried, unsuccessfully, to breed several times over the years, and I'm a bit concerned about the kits, as it doesn't look like she's really caring for them. The other doe is an old pro, and her kits are growing exactly as expected.

And we're on our second batch of baby chicks, which means we have half the chicken we'll raise for the year. The first batch should be ready to go to the butcher in another week or so.

Things are moving so fast now, and until the middle of July, it doesn't look like things will slow down. Or not, because late July to mid-August will be right about peak harvest time with lots of canning and processing, and in the midst of all of our gardening and harvesting, we'll also be trying to harvest and prepare as much wood as we can for the coming winter.

But, maybe, that's exactly the way it's supposed to be, and things won't really slow down until the end of October, when we move into the "death of the year", the harvest is in, and we start spending long evenings next to the woodstove.

Keep an eye on Deus Ex Machina's blog for some exciting announcements including, perhaps, some chat about the ewe hide we've been gifted and the process of tanning it, an outline of our Foraged Sundays summer project, and a giveaway.

Time to plant the corn!

Free food!

Painted potato towers - I'm determined to be both utilitarian and pretty this year ;)

Week old baby buns

Gratuitous cute kitten picture


  1. I like the idea of edible flowers. Love the picture of the cute bunnies and your cat.

    1. I'm very excited about the edible flowers. We've grown nasturtiums and scarlet runner beans for years, but I'm expanding to include other edible flowers this year.

      I'll be sure to add pictures and updates of what grew and how we ate them :).

  2. The closest thing I have to an edible flower bed, are the flower beds I've filled with rhubarb, mint, sage and chives. :-) There are a few lillies and irises hanging out from the last owners, I keep them around as a sop to the neighbors. lol

    Hope your back is feeling better soon. Do you do much core work? Like the plank pose in yoga or something to help your core muscles? Could help, if back problems become reoccurring.

    1. I love Yoga and have a regular routine I do a couple of times per week. My low back doesn't usually give me much trouble. It's a spasm in my mid back. I just overdid things a little bit.

      Yoga helps ;).