April Showers

Reader Contribution by Angela Pomponio
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While wearing insulated overalls, soaked to the skin, one must try to remember what April showers bring. Perfect fruit tree planting weather, time to get the raspberries in the ground and a passel of wet little dinosaur looking chicks.

The babies, all 54 of them, are happily exploring the fowl yard. Scratching and chirping their way through the rain. The 3 mature hens have shown little interest in them and our female Mallard could care less about the company.  I stretched wire and attached flagging ribbon across the top of the poultry yard, and so far my counts remain static.

Our surviving 3 of the original 15 turkeys are happily growing leggy and fat in my hallway. Murray McMurray is sending out a replacement batch of broad breasted bronzes. I am hoping I have more success with the replacements, or I will know I am not a turkey farmer.

Our mega coop, 8′ x 16′, is on the orchard perimeter. Now just to fence. But first we have to trench for the gray water irrigation system and dig up some cash for the 200′ x 100′ garden and orchard fencing project.  Dom and I spent the weekend pruning and chipping in an effort to render our two old homestead apple trees more productive and of higher quality fruit.

We have reserved the rental track hoe for next weekend, and the boys are super excited to dig.  My fall planted garlic is up at about 8″.  I put 18 strawberry plants in and covered them with a chicken wire cage.  I planted 2 blueberries as well.  

My spring project panic has waned as I realize there will always be to-dos, deadlines, costs and time to consider. With my seed-starting effort a failure, I ordered a beautiful group of seedlings from Azure Standard out of Dufur, Oregon. For this year, we hope to get the watering system installed, fence the garden and orchard, grow and preserve much food and generally revel in Year One of homestead life.

Our rain has turned to soft glowing grass, buds on the lilacs, and hopes instead of tasks. Waking early enough to watch the sun rise and hear the chickens wake up makes me wish I was more poetic. The thousand shades of green match any mood and the long days give me hope in finishing the big projects this year.

Happy Spring!