Thursday, April 14, 2011

Springtime Work

What a profitable week this has been thus far! And while no seemingly 'big' things have been accomplished, all of the little things sure add up. :) We have been working a great deal outdoors lately in the beautiful weather with a lot of cleaning up around our place, pulling weeds and clearing out leaves/debris/etc. from the gardens, mowing the lawn, and various other tasks . . . I love seeing the transformation that is taking place on our little place and seeing things begin to look neater and tidier (and prettier :) after the long winter!

Last evening, I went outdoors and photographed a few of the things that we have been up to . . .

~ Mom and I got the strawberry bed all weeded and then mulched with the straw that had been its winter covering. The plants are looking so good, and we are looking forward to hopefully harvesting our own strawberries this spring!

~ While this isn't anything that we had done or worked on :), when I was photographing the strawberry bed, I looked over by the chickens and saw these grasses and wild flowers (i.e. weeds :), intermixed. It looked so pretty with the colors and contrasts that I had to take a photo!

~ One of Dad's projects that he has been working on . . . preparing the rabbit pen for rabbits! This 'lean to' has over the years housed ducks, chickens, pigeons, rabbits, and even Leah's cat for a time, and now it is being reverted back to being a rabbit shed. The only problem with it, though, is that the front support posts had begun to rot underground so the whole structure was tilting forward. So Daddy jacked it back up, sawed two logs from two of the cedar trees that we had cleared out, and put in new support posts! I really like how it looks with the cedar logs supporting it. Now he's been working on putting up the pipe that we will hang the cages from, and once that is finished, we'll be ready for rabbits!

~ The blooming lilac bush filling the air with its lovely scent . . . yet another one of the simple pleasures that we have been enjoying.

~ The freshly mulched blueberry bushes. What a blessing it is to have quite a few pine trees on our place so that we can utilize the pine needles for things like this. Since blueberries like acidic soil and since pine needles are acidic, they make the perfect mulch for the plants. Every spring I put a new thick layer around each plant and that helps not only with the acidity, but helps to keep the weeds down as well. We also have another use for pine needles now which you'll find out about in just a bit! :)

~ The blueberry bushes are still quite small, but they sure have a lot of blossoms on them this spring! It will be curious to see how many berries they produce this year.

~ The freshly mulched rhubarb plants (there are more off to the right, too.) After sitting all winter, they were badly in need of fresh mulch. So after laying down newspaper around them, I used the lawn clippings that had just been mowed to cover it. The rhubarb is getting close to being ready to harvest! (at least I think so anyway. :)

~ Here is another one of Dad's projects . . . changing over the wire electric fence around our fruit trees to electric rope fence. The main reason for this is to make it more visible so that someone doesn't accidentally run into it. With the fence in place for this spring and summer, we won't have to worry about the deer coming in and tearing up our fruit trees like they did last year. And with how much the peach trees are blossoming, it looks like we should be able to harvest some fruit from them this year!

~ And here is where Leah has been working quite a bit . . . weeding her flower garden. It is looking much better now, and is really filling out as the plants are quickly growing!

~ Wild plums in the making. :) As long as the flowers get pollinated that is!

~ My shade garden . . . which is primarily hostas and some daylilies, too.

~ And last but not least, I practiced lighting and using the smoker! In the books, it is recommended to practice starting it, packing it, and using it before actually using it with your bees. I was pleased with how smoothly it went and how long it burned for me (especially since it was my first time.) And the fuel that was used was . . . pine needles! I read that they are one of the best smoker fuels, and as we have an abundance of them (and they're free!) they'll be the primary fuel that I'll be using.

Today will be another day spent primarily outdoors working on various things including planting about 180 onion plants . . . the first things to go in the garden this spring!


  1. How wonderful it is that you are staying occupied with outdoor projects! I am sure the weather has been lovely, which makes working out of doors much sweeter!
    Your various plants certainly seem to be flourishing! You are a wonderful gardener, indeed!

    Many Blessings,

  2. You all have been busy! Everything looks so nice. Busy here too, and I'm headed out to do more of the same today. :-)
    Blessings to you, Sarah.

  3. Sarah, how busy you have been. I did enjoy my walk around your farm, and it is so good to see things growing and flowering. Our strawberries are flowering profusely too.

  4. I do so enjoy reading all about your gardening activities. Before you even said you were using the pine needles for your smoker, I knew that's what it must have been for!

    It is very exciting that you may have a strong crop of strawberries this year! I see that you have made great strides in protecting your trees from deer. I hope you won't have any difficulty with fungal growth like you did last year.

    Leah's flower garden looks like it is going to be quite beautiful this year, and I'm sure your daylilies will look just beautiful this year.

    Thank you for sharing this update to the activities around your farm. Have a blessed weekend! :)

  5. It has been, Jenna! We have been greatly enjoying these lovely days and being able to work outdoors in the warm temperatures and sunshine. :) The plants are doing very well so far . . . and hopefully they will continue to!

    Thank you for your sweet comment, and may you have a blessed weekend!

  6. Thank you for your kind comment, Anne! Yes, we have been a bit busy lately and pleasantly so. :) It sounds like you have been busy as well. I hope that all of your projects are going well for you!

  7. I am glad that you enjoyed it, Elizabeth! How wonderful that your strawberries are flowering . . . ours should begin flowering soon as well, and I can hardly wait until we begin harvesting our own berries from them! As I am sure you are looking forward to picking yours as well. :) Enjoy!

  8. Thank you for your sweet comment, Miss Linda, and I am glad that you enjoyed this post! You must be knowledgeable about bee keeping to guess what the pine needles were for. :) Good guess! :)

    It is exciting that we may have a good crop of strawberries this year! So far the plants are looking really good, and they should begin flowering before too long. We, too, are hoping that we won’t have the fungal problems in the garden like we did last year. We're going to be trying some different things, though, so hopefully those will help to prevent these problems!

    Thank you again and may you have a very blessed weekend as well!

  9. It certainly looks as though you have been having a busy time lately! There are so many things that need doing at this time of the year – in fact, at any time of the year (if you are like me)! I hope that your garden is lovely and productive for you this year.

    As a side note purely out of interest, what are the rabbits going to be for?


  10. We have been, Anna! And I would agree, there are so many things to do this time of year . . . and as you shared, this is the same for all year-round! There’s just different tasks for the different seasons. :)

    To answer your question about the rabbits, we are going to be getting meat breeds to be used for meat.

    I hope that your garden does wonderfully for you as well this year!

  11. I'm so glad that your week has been going well! I enjoyed looking through all the pictures, they all turned out nice. And it reminded me that spring is really here now {Yay!}

    Mmm...strawberries; how yummy! I'm sure you all can't wait to start harvesting those!

    You're lilac bush looks very pretty, as I am sure they smell nice also! We have a little lilac bush, but it's not big enough to have flowers. I can't wait till it does. Right now, we are enjoying the smell of our neighbor's lilac bush *smile*.

    Thanks for sharing the photos with us, Sarah! I enjoyed them a lot!

    With much love,
    Bethany Joy

  12. Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Bethany! It brightened my day. :) I am glad that you enjoyed seeing all of the photos! Spring is indeed finally here now which has been so nice. Though I don’t think it will feel like it tomorrow . . . at least for here anyway as it is supposed to be in the 30’s tonight and 50’s tomorrow. A mite chilly!

    The lilac bush does smell so very nice! I love its scent. Plus they are beautiful as well. :) And even though yours isn’t large enough to bloom yet, it’s nice that you are able to enjoy your neighbor's bush!

    Thank you again, Bethany, and may you have a blessed day!

  13. Beautiful spring photos! I love the lilacs...I have been so thankful that at our new house we have not one, but two very large lilac bushes!! There isn't much else planted here other than trees, but I've always wanted lilacs.

  14. Thank you, Joy! Like you, I love lilacs. How nice that you have two large lilac bushes at your new house! What a blessing! So far, we only have one bush, and we are hoping to plant more someday. They are are so lovely!

  15. Oh loved all your pictures! Looks like all your hard work is paying off. I just bought a few lilac bushes I hope that they produce next year! :o) Can't wait to meet your bees! :o)

  16. I am so glad that you enjoyed them, Nabila! Yes, the work is beginning to pay off . . . we're very much enjoying seeing how everything is coming together.

    How exciting that you got lilac bushes! And I am sure you can hardly wait until they begin blooming. :) Their flowers are so beautiful and smell so good!


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)