Tour the homestead garden: Spring edition

I have a longstanding habit of visiting my garden first thing in the morning with coffee in hand and waking up amidst the fresh scents of rain, earth and herbs.

It’s a brief moment of stolen solitude, before I return to the clamour of hungry kids in the kitchen as the day takes off to a roaring start. Just the other morning, I slung my camera over my shoulder and attempted to capture the garden with its sprinkling of morning dew among the waving pea tendrils and rows of carrots.

A recent back injury (which was indeed confirmed as a herniated disc) considerably slowed down my gardening efforts this June. And so although they are not my prettiest raised beds to date, I am enormously proud of all I accomplished in spite of my limited time there. I know it’s technically been summer for a few days now, but today’s post is a snapshot of what’s been growing in my garden all spring. Enjoy!

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Why I mulch my garden in the late fall

Clara and I have been making it a priority to get outside every day in the afternoons, even though it now requires a warm jacket and boots. That burst of fresh air is a necessary jolt after a busy morning and a reminder to slow down, breathe, and tune out the noise for a bit.

She skips around the yard, chasing the hens or petting the cats. Just yesterday I found her standing by the now-empty carrot patch, softly singing a little song. “I’m singing to the seeds.” she said, when I curiously asked her what she was doing. Somehow she remembered my suggestion from this past spring, when she was impatient for her carrots to grow.

While Clara plays (or sings), I prep the place for the coming winter. The garden has been my main focus this week as I know a freeze could happen any time.

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A garden tour

Alive. Thriving and alive is what I see when I look out over my garden. It may be a tad unkept and it may be behind other plots in comparison, but considering it was completely devastated during a storm last July, I only feel gratefulness for what I have this summer.

Let’s take a tour, shall we? It changes so fast. Every time I pay a visit after a particularly hot day I notice the plants pushing higher, reaching further. Buds open after a good overnight rain and the fruit grows even bigger. These photos were taken over a week ago, and already there are changes. Considering we grew most of the garden from these seedlings, it’s a small miracle everything survived and thrived!

The lessons learned from gardening are numerous and change also happens from year to year as we learn from our mistakes.

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Starting seeds indoors

The first day of Spring was officially yesterday, although outside our windows snow still gently fell, adding to the preexisting mounds.

The boys shoulders slumped when they observed our weather; they’ve been eagerly anticipating the first bike ride of the season, but it looks like we’re getting an extended winter. Usually we’re tapping the maples by now, but that, too, has been postponed until warmer days arrive.

As a way to encourage ourselves that spring will indeed come eventually, we started a few indoor seedlings. I let the boys lead on this project, which they were happy to do. Play with dirt? Yes, indeed.

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July disaster, regrowth and lessons learned: a homesteading update

Editors note: I asked Danny to share about our July garden disaster in his frank, factual way. I haven’t written about it previously because, well honestly, I was too upset. If you’ve been through a major storm, one that has wreaked havoc on your homestead, then you’ll understand why.

I‘m one of those people who love storms. I guess I’m both awed and impressed by the sheer power that they unleash, whether it be a rain storm, thunderstorm, blizzard or hail.  I’ve never really thought of them as dangerous, because we watch from the comfort of our home, and get candles and stuff like that ready, “just in case” we lose power.

But last month, we had a very intense wind/rain storm that reminded me that there is indeed an element of danger and they are no laughing matter. From Aimee’s various Instagram pics and Facebook updates, regular readers will know that our neighbor’s large tree crashed through the fence and landed pretty much square on our garden.  Here is the story.

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