Archive for April, 2015

Putting waste to work

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Our property is full of gorgeous, huge old trees. We love the shade they provide… but that also means they drop So. Many. Leaves. It’s just insane. We used to fill up the pickup truck’s bed with leaves six to seven times from the front yard alone. That’s not a bad thing (well, except when I’m actually faced […]

Ghost trees

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

I’ve started a new pest prevention strategy in the orchard… …and I’m sure the neighbors are wondering just what the heck happened to my trees. Kaolin, that’s what. Ultra-fine sieved kaolin called Surround, sprayed in water solution and built up over multiple coats, is a physical pest deterrent. Its tiny particles get in the eyes, […]


Friday, April 24th, 2015

    They are calling for frost tonight and for the next couple nights – I’m going to cover my trees the best I can, but they are really too big. I’ll just have to cross my fingers and hope the delicate blossoms come out ok.    

Reality check

Monday, April 20th, 2015

There are days like the one a few days ago, where everything seems so full of hope and promise… and there are days like today. – Where one of the guard bees seems to take particular issue with you and won’t stop menacing you, flying around you up at your face, until you go get […]

…and 5 more.

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

The ducklings are finally here! I went and picked them up from the wonderful Dana of Moose Manor Farms (she led the chicken processing lesson I attended at Green Hill Farm‘s Homesteading Days workshops last year so we knew each other already, though I actually found her farm through someone else!) She breeds some really unusual and heritage breeds […]

30,000 new residents

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

I’ve joined our county’s beekeeper’s association in the hopes that older, wiser beekeepers can maybe help me keep my colonies alive more than two years running. I’ve already found out several valuable bits of information, including that bees are healthier in full sun. I had always thought they must be happier in dappled shade in these hot, […]

Spring is springing

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

This is the most exciting time of the year. I feel this surge of energy and optimism every time I go into the garden; every time I find something gently unfurling. Because that’s really what Spring is, to me: optimism. The weather is perfect; everything is new and healthy, the pests haven’t marred anything yet. […]

Integrated composting

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. For 6 years I’ve had a compost pile by the kitchen for all our compostable things, dinner scraps, paper towels, veggie tops, etc., which gradually fills up the bin every year until I take out the finished stuff in the spring. I’ve already talked about how I also […]

Forest fruit

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

While I was clearing out brush from around the garden – a task that needed to be done anyway, but that also gave me a lot of material for my latest hugelkultur bed – I came across what I think might be a wild blueberry. In fact, I found two. We do have wild blueberry […]

Another humble hugel

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

I’m probably overdoing it on the hugelkultur here. I mean, I don’t even know for sure if it really works! But since I can’t help but overdo things, I went ahead and made one of my worst, soggiest beds into a long, low heap of branches, covered with brush I cleared out from around the garden […]