April Showers Bring May Projects

Reader Contribution by Angela Pomponio
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I’m not sure whether to curse the spring rain or thank the clouds.  Me sick on a weekend with Dom home, rain pouring down, ground sodden.  Our to-do list continues to grow, projects piled on top of each other on the calendar for this the likely most labor intensive year of our homestead life.  The year of infrastructure.  The ground has been much too wet  for weeks to drive tractor, tiller, post holer or much other than a wheelbarrow out to the garden and orchard.  The rain is the only thing saving me from planting 18 free native seedling trees while coughing up a lung, wait, I did it anyway, can’t stop crazy.

Without a fence in the north central Idaho parts, a garden is an all deer can eat buffet.  Each of our fruit trees has a hasty little recycled fencing scrap and t post wrap on.  Dom got the mega coop moved to the orchard during a brief dry spell.

He spent the weekend making himself useful and finishing little projects while watching his gray water irrigation system trench fill with rain water.  I did what I could inside, the fever and malaise inspiring re-planning the project year by weekend.

The garden will be in late this year, but considering my seed starting failure and resulting switch to seedlings, probably not catastrophic.  My huge dreams of chickens, turkeys, lambs and dairy goat may give way to a more realistic sized garden and a small root cellar this year.  I see myself gleaning more free fruit from old homestead trees in the area whole Dom makes firewood to combat our electric prices.

My dreams, ambitions, and plans were thwarted by rain and a hacking cough.  A dose of reality and a reminder to enjoy the process, or what is the point?

So for May, we aim to get that garden space tilled, fenced and planted.  Fence the orchard and move the poultry flock from their temporary duck yard confines.  And the gray water irrigation system should by in place. Barring more weeks of rain, preschool viral strains, and life’s other road blocks.

None of these are necessary to live.  We could mow the lawn, shop the farmers market, and keep a couple of hens.  But where’s the challenge in having enough savings?  In not worrying about the weather and tomatoes in the same moment?  In not yelling, laughing, hugging covered in mud each holding one end of a re-purposed door on a chicken coop with your hubby?  Where’s the fun in the easy road?  I wouldn’t know.