Monday, March 16, 2015

Planning Season

Sometimes my life gets so full that days will pass, during which I barely have time to think. I can't even count how often I've been on autopilot and started driving in a direction that will take me to where I usually go, but not where I need to be. Does anyone else to that?

I've spent the last little while in that kind of fog. Last week was spent in preparation of my daughters' dance competition that was this past weekend. It's all weekend, starting Friday evening and ending Sunday evening with barely enough time to eat or sleep - a whirlwind event that makes my head spin ... and I'm not even on stage - ever. I love my daughters, and it thrills me to support them in this passion they have for dancing, although as a prepper tree-hugger there is an awful lot about the experience that contradicts how I choose to live my life. It's a difficult juxtaposition for me, because I'm so heavily weighted to one side. Sometimes life has to not be all about me.

That said, competition dance season is also a marker for the changing seasons.

It's spring here - in spite of the still-foot deep of packed snow and the occasional snowfall we're still experiencing. It's a good reminder that "snow" does not, necessarily, mean "winter." The birds are chirping. The sun is higher on the horizon, and most days, it's full and bright in a clear, blue sky.

We've tapped our maples and collected a few gallons of the precious sap ... although, we haven't started boiling, yet. It's been a very odd, very late year for sugaring. There's still no indication of how that will affect our area farmers.

We're happy, though, that we still have a few pints of the syrup from last year's batch. Our food storage efforts last year, in spite of us feeling like we were ill-prepared for the winter - seemed to have been pretty good. We still have a lot of stuff left - including some chicken and the above-mentioned syrup. It helped that we were still canning and preserving into November (we canned a batch of applesauce from wild-foraged apples late in the season).

Now that spring does truly seem to be upon us, we're looking forward to the garden, and I've been planning. I have a list of plants that, typically, do well in our short growing season and that we enjoy eating and/or can preserve easily. These are the foods on which I want to concentrate this year, as I also have plans to completely revamp the garden space. I'm hoping to add some more and creative "garden" spaces to take full advantage of our smaller gardening area. I also want to better enclose the livestock. We'll be taking down the "greenhouse", which is a former chicken coop (we built a larger one and connected the two with a fence that the chickens use for vaulting practice all summer). Last fall, we put up the beginnings of our new fence frame, and I'll be putting either a woven barn rope netting or some wire fencing on the new frame and the plan is to use it as a trellis for growing nasturtiums.

I'm also excited about repurposing some of the structures we have in our yard. Many years ago, when our daughters were still very young, we acquired a wooden swing-set from Freecycle. It's served us well over the years, but the top support is now broken, and our girls are really too old to use it, anyway. I've been looking at it for a few years as a potential garden. This year, that's what it will become. I can put it right on top of the septic field and hang buckets in which will be planted tomatoes, peppers and herbs. That way, I can make use of one of the sunniest areas of my yard.

There are just so many options for growing huge amounts of food in very small spaces, and I'm really excited, this year, about implementing as many of them as I can. In addition to the tomato hanger, I'm planning to reuse some pallets for a potato bed, and I'd really love to build something like this vertical strawberry garden (and, yes, I'm aware of the controversy regarding the use of PVC).

It's going to be such a fun summer!

Hopefully, I'll have time to stop and take a few pictures :).

Spring is such an exciting time.

1 comment:

  1. Yes everything to look forward to, untouched and waiting.
    Looking forward myself to becoming more self reliant
    by learning to make my own clothes and preserving more of the little I can grow. I do envy you your maple trees I buy the pure maple syrup for my porridge but it is an expensive treat and most certainly not local - I live in the wrong country!