I planted six blueberry bushes and several strawberry plants last spring, when I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to grow or where I wanted to grow it.  But knowing that both usually take a few years to establish themselves, I wanted to get them in the ground as soon as I could.  I didn’t take care of the plants though … weeds grew up around them so high that I wasn’t even sure I had blueberry bushes or strawberry plants anymore!  But when I recently weeded the area that I haphazardly chose last year, I found all the plants still alive!  Somehow I managed to amend the terribly rocky soil just enough to not kill them, despite me doing nothing else all last year (including not even watering them).

That, along with a long talk with my uncle (my Daddy’s older brother), gave me the positive reinforcement I needed to try growing a few more plants this year.  After weeding around the blueberry bushes and strawberry plants, and adding to the soil, I planted 5 raspberry roots and 25 Mary Washington asparagus crowns a few weeks ago.  They both require a couple years to get going also, so I was purely delighted this morning when I found asparagus shooting up everywhere!  Some are rather thin and probably won’t be all that tasty just yet, but I am so tickled that I did something right enough to get them growing!

Believe it or not, a few of the blueberry bushes now have tiny baby blueberries growing on them!  And the strawberry plants are also starting to flower as they really begin to spread out!  I allowed a generous area for them to grow, especially because I’ve heard they have a tendency to take over.  The kids are so looking forward to tasting juicy strawberry treats from “the patch” this summer!

I am also going to try growing carrots, peppers, tomatoes, patty pans, butternut squash, watermelons, corn, and several varieties of pumpkins, including heirloom red warty, this year.  Our three apple trees are thriving, now that warmer weather has finally arrived.  They have leaves all over and look so healthy, which is a relief after them looking like sticks all through the fall and winter!  We still have several years before they start producing for us, but watching the ground come alive leaves me simply in awe of God’s creation!

I feel a little funny writing that we live on a farm.  But in addition to maintaining a veggie and fruit patch, we’ve decided that having chickens qualifies.  And this basket sits in our kitchen as a constant reminder that we have 6 girls working hard for us!  They live quite a pampered life though, with lots of love and delicious treats to eat.

Everyone who knew me as a child still cannot believe that I am the same person.  Anything requiring me to get my hands dirty would never have been a consideration in the past.  But as an adult, I love working in the dirt, planting, making things grow, and well … even cleaning up chicken poop.  These activities force me to slow down and enjoy simplicity, something that is so difficult to find but so desperately needed in today’s fast-paced world!  Slowing down to enjoy the simple today.  On the farm.

First, wow I can’t believe how neglected the blog has been, yikes!  Busy season is upon us.  But second, I’d like to introduce you to our girls!  They’ve officially been ours for a week, and we are simply mesmerized with them!  We found a local farm that was selling year-old Red Stars and Black Orpingtons, so we decided to go that route instead of starting with baby chicks from a hatchery.  The girls laid 4 eggs for us last week, but while they acclimate to their new home, we are feeling pretty excited about that!

Chickens are super fascinating animals to watch.  The whole pecking order thing, their mannerisms, how quickly they learn, and their preferences are just so darn interesting!  They definitely have personalities and we are quickly seeing who’s boss.  We’ve named the three Orpingtons Iris, Terrapin, and Daffodil.  And the three Red Stars are Glory, Sarai, and Nugget.  Believe it or not, we’re beginning to tell who is who without the little leg bands.

Angel has quickly taken on her role as “chicken mama,” and she prides herself in winning over every single one of them.  She is completely in her element, and is delighted to help pitch in with the chicken chores.  Lovebug prefers them from a distance, but really enjoys watching them and feeding dandelions through the run fence.  The two littlest aren’t all that impressed with the chickens yet, though Dumpling squeals in delight and yells, “chi-cheeee!!!” every time he sees them hanging out.

We’re figuring it all out as we go and having a blast doing it!  Our girls are a perfect introduction into farm life for us and we are thrilled that they’ve joined our family!

I love baking while snow piles up outside.  And it’s even more fun this time with my sourdough starter!  Over the last few months, I’ve actually been able to replace almost all of our bread products with yummy homemade sourdough recipes.  We are almost store-bought free, save a few products that I haven’t had time to experiment with yet.  It’s certainly more time-consuming than picking up loaves at the store, but it’s chemical-free and I really enjoy baking.  It’s so satisfying to bake from scratch and watch as my children delight in every bite.  Although my sourdough bread is a winner, they especially love my sourdough crackers!

  • March 14, 2017 - 6:44 pm

    Meredith - I’ve been loving making sourdough & rye bread from scratch lately too! And I’ve saved your sourdough cracker recipe & can’t wait to give it a try 🙂 Maybe later this week….which reminds me, I should get a new starter going! Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

Signs of spring abound.  There are little green shoots sprouting up from the ground all over our property, thanks to the gajillion (technical gardening term) perennial bulbs we planted last fall.  We planted almost 100 bulbs – so many that we had forgotten where they all were!  It’s been a fun treasure hunt to spot everything growing.  The daffodils and crocuses have been the first to bloom.  And sadly, they are probably the only ones we will get to see!

After an unusually warm winter, we are expecting up to 2 feet of snow tonight and tomorrow.  Gasp!  So not ready for that much snow.  Or any snow.  I am in all kinds of spring fever mode, not snow boots and snow sledding mode.  #justsaynotosnow

I’m afraid we won’t get to see the rest of our daffodils, crocuses, scilla, puschkinia, hyacinthoides, irises, or day lilies, as well as the tiger lilies that I dug up from my Daddy’s house and transplanted here.  But I’m holding out hope that some of them may still bloom!  And at least we still have the rest of the perennials to look forward to.

In the meantime, I’m ready for snow in the refrigerator-stocked, baking-supplies-ready-to-go kind of way.  The snow blower is in place and all of the proper preparations have been made.  Sigh.