Tuesday Happenings: To Do List

Oh, a Spring to-do list, how it gets the homestead juices flowing. We are both invigorated and a little overwhelmed this year by the different directions we are pulled in. Though, to be honest, we are also very excited. This really feels like the first year in many where I am able to participate in many things, or at least feel good about what I do get done.

Lyme disease (and all of its many deep burrowing friends/co-infections) are no joke. I have been in and out of remission/commission for nearly 12 years now – sure, I have had super productive pushes despite the long crashes that came with it but this last round of insanity (resplendent with my 2nd bout of Shingles, this time with Ramsey-Hunt, which awakened the Bartonella with a fierce and debilitating roar which I was almost sure I was going to succumb to invalidity with) was particularly hard. Thanks to a few (horrible and painful) rounds of homeopathic chemical therapy and the persistent patience and care of my practitioners (thank you Full Circle Wellness – Lyme literacy, body alignment, and pillar healing are so crucial, together – holistically) and my lovely little family, I feel better than I have in years. Years. The healing also managed to give me a sense of well-being I have never had in all of my life. The person I am today is a new person (well, I am a new person every day but now I am a different/better person). Though, I am certainly not a perfect person – and everyday is a day to work toward my own goals.

With that said, we are excited about deepening our homestead plans this year. The last couple of years, we have expanded in a couple of ways, but now we are ready to deepen. J has been caring for D and me so much that some focus has been shifted and it is now time for reassessment. First, we must address the orchard – between the deer, the voles, the borers, the eastern tent and browntail caterpillars, and the oppossum (it’s likely I’m forgetting some creatures – and then just failure to thrive, disease, and water issues, as well), the apples (and pears/peaches/plums and cornelian cherries) are struggling. An orchard, as Michael Phillips and John Bunker, would tell us – is an everyday relationship. One which we have been unable to maintain. So, reestablising some relations, pruning, feeding, and maybe some caging have to be implemented.

Speaking of fruit, the blackberry swathe of our backfield also needs to be addressed. Rows cut in, perhaps some staking with rows of twine, and removal of old canes. The elderberry (which for some reason, we cannot grow) patch needs to be fed, fenced, and a couple of new elderberries (already ordered) need to be planted. The white grapes need to be espaliered (better), the rhubarb needs to be protected, and the beds for the garden/Fall raspberries and ground cherries need to be shaped/protected. The field red & black raspberries are on their own.

And speaking of trees, this might be the last year we can consider moving (which needs to happen) the chestnut saplings and hazelnut hedge. Fortunately, the hawthorne and witch hazel look amazing.

But for now, my garden to-do list is simple: start some darn seeds! We’ve been so busy with the store, sugaring, and the writing that seeds have not yet been started. I don’t have much to focus on in the 2-season-porch/greenhouse but I’d like to get my eggplants and some flowers started. Some require more season than our little Northside garden can give.

Our immediate to-do list is thus: finish boiling (he has a long day ahead of him but would like to be done today, come on over and see!), work on dissertation (for me, of course), make an apple/rhubarb coffeecake (’cause why not – I need cake!), make mushroom/barley/turkey soup (to have with our Stone Broke Parmesan Bread!), tomorrow night go to a lovely poetry reading at The Table Bar, and breathe in and out.

Here are some flowers to help with this:

Published by Rachael M Rollson

creative life-learner

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