Homestead Happenings-Spring 2012

Although not all things I had hoped would happen this year will be, we have plenty of things that are.  Here’s what’s happening on our homestead this spring:


Signs of spring are everywhere!  Crocuses have bloomed, daffodils are looking wonderful, hostas are poking their heads up.

Bees are buzzing and the hive looks healthy.  They still have honey and are very active.  The mild winter likely helped.  I have one last quart of honey on the shelf and one over half way gone.  We’ll certainly run out before harvest.  Note for next year: save more for our own use and use pint jars instead of quarts.  We may be adding a second hive in the next couple of months as well.

-The garden is just begging me to plant something!  I am SO looking forward to gardening this year.  After all the work we did last year to prepare the raised beds, this year we get to enjoy the lack of work that needs to be done to prep for another season.  My garden planner is full of this year’s plans.  After taking inventory of my leftover seeds I am happy to only have to pick up a couple of seed packets and tomato, pepper & onion transplants this year.  I’m going pretty basic this year with more onions, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, spinach, kale, herbs, carrots, snap peas and cucumbers.  I’m skipping the kohlrabi  this year since it seems to be best at attracting bugs.  We’ll do pumpkins and gourds again and may try our hand at some melons.  Flowers for cutting will have a couple of places of their own this year, not in the raised beds.  Each of the kids has their own bed again and we just finished planning those.  Lilly is anxious to plant too!

-The apple and pear trees were just pruned.  I am really hoping that they will survive after the deer scratched them pretty badly this winter.  They all have buds so we’ll keep our fingers crossed!  The chokecherry trees are now in full bloom, the earliest I have ever seen them bloom.  They typically bloom for a day and loose all the flowers the next day.  Conditions must be perfect for them this year because we are on day 3 of full bloom right now!  The bees are LOVING those trees.  When you look closely the trees look like they are moving from all the bees on them.

-I have uncovered the strawberry bed and it is looking great.  I’m anxious to see how much it will spread this year.  I made more room for it to expand as it wants.  I rationed our berries from last year and we are just about out so timing should be great for this year’s harvest.

Raspberry canes are budding and the rhubarb is actually coming up!  I have never had luck with rhubarb so I’m excited to see how it does and be able to share it since it looks like we could get a good amount.

-Recent inventory of my canned goods shows that I can slack off a bit this year.  I still have a good amount of jellies and syrups left.  I’ll only need to do a couple of batches this year.  Plenty of salsa and pickles left so I’m taking a year off from them.  I still have a good amount of pears, peaches, apples and applesauce left to get us through to late summer/fall.  I have decided to not do peaches this year since the kids are not big fans of them canned.  We’ll stick with apples and pears.  I ran short on pepper jelly so will definitely need to do more of that this year.

Frozen goods are holding out still.  Corn should make it til harvest this year but strawberries and blueberries will be gone soon.  Will need to try to freeze more of those this year.  Zucchini & bananas are plentiful in there since I have been slacking on baking the past few months.  I think I’ll cut back on the number of zucchini plants this year.

A few small projects that will need some attention:  The rain barrels will be raised and reattached, clotheslines need tightened and one needs fixed, bathroom floors will be getting new linoleum, the basement needs a good purging and cleaning before fall but I’m counting on third trimester nesting to kick in for that!

Some big projects on the horizon:  Part of the roof on the house will need to be redone soon, if money allows we would like to replace a couple more windows, our front step is literally falling apart and will need to be redone at some point.

-Plans are in the making for getting the barn up to par for next year.  This was going to be the year of the chickens but instead it will be the year of the baby!  I am really feeling peaceful about where we are with projects and things around the house.  We put in a lot of hard work last year to get to this point.  It feels great to know that this year can be a year of relaxation and baby growing.


  1. //

    You, Maria, are an inspiration to all of us. Absolutely love your assessments of supplies and strategies for the new garden year. Congratulations on the new baby, too.

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