As if we don’t have enough going on right now we decided to add to it. If you have ever been out to the farm you have met our dog Wop, she was a border collie and although some may argue, she was the best dog in the world.
You may have noticed that I used past tense there; we had to put Wop down last fall. It was as traumatic as it was necessary. It was a long winter, every night I felt guilty not calling her in and every morning it felt wrong not having to open her crate to let her out. There is something about a routine with having a dog.
This week our routine has changed again, this week we got a puppy. He is border collie and he is as cute as a button but he is a puppy and it has been a long time since we had a puppy.
The other major task was coming up with a name- A leading candidate was “T” for Trouble because as all of you with recent puppies know they are full of it. Other choices were Gimly, Gandalf (notice a theme here) Gus, Chip, Craig, Finn but we finally settled on Pippin, or Pip for short.
So far we have not lost any shoes to the beast but we did have to clean up several paper piles in the office that were way too inviting and we are going through tons of paper towels cleaning up messes that I swear he is doing just to see how we react. He spends an hour outside and then comes in tinkles in the kitchen with a smirk.
In closing, poop patrol is getting old (and its only been a week). I’m sure we had to do this with Wop back in the day but we had long since forgotten all of that. This unfortunately is way too fresh, but we are surviving. So next time you are in the area come down and say hi to Pip the Pup… and feel free to bring some paper towels with you.
It is the season to rejoice; warmth, sun and growing things paint the landscape a shade greener every day. Spring is in the air and the fields and raised beds call for their session under the painter’s brush, but alas, there is only so much time.
The key to growing in the winter is to start lots of plants since it take so much longer for them to mature but once the kiss of spring ignites their passions they are ready to run off with the first bloke who shades the door way. The result is total chaos; every plant matures at the same time and since only so many can be picked, the old maids bolt and wilt in aggravation.
The place is a mess. Not only are we throwing away tons of unusable greens to the chickens and compost pile but we have to clean out beds for a new season and find homes for the still young and beautiful ones.
And yet, the land needs our attention as well. Turning over winter’s casualties with the tiller and broad fork to form black fertile canvases is no quick and easy task. Not to mention the seeding and transplanting that will transform them with organized green rows of a finished bed.
But we want it all now! A beautiful greenhouse full of beautiful greens, pretty fields filled with more beautiful greens and then some time… not a lot, but just some time to sit and enjoy it… is that too much to ask?
As a true sign of spring I am writing from the front porch today and it is amazing how green everything has gotten in the past week, but two and half inches of rain and some sun will do that. And while the sun feels great, it is also kind of depressing since now I can see how much work I have to do. Raised beds need to be forked, kiwi vines need a serious haircut and then there are weeds; they’re sprouting out of every corner and edge in the greenhouse and every one of them seems to be in flower, threatening to overrun the place with their offspring.
Of course around here that means hand to weed combat (none of this chemical genocide on our watch!). Thankfully, this time of year they do come out rather easily, their roots are still short and they come out in bunches. But is it still disconcerting to see the multi yellow headed serpent known as a dandelion already lay claim to the byways by this the first full week of April.
And weeds are not the only unwelcome guests who have come visiting. With the pond only recently free of ice we have already had muskrats about the place seeking to take up residence. If you read any of these posts from the past years you would know this was not welcome sight. So far, we have greeted three of them with air-mailed packages of hot lead which, from my perspective were warmly received.
But it is good to see other signs of spring, like the “V”s of ducks and geese coming in low to the lake; hearing the valley ring with calls of their home coming and accompanied by the frolicking chorus of mating frogs. The smell of turned soil - rich, dark and earthy - it is a feast for the senses and today we get to sit back and take it all in, for tomorrow… tomorrow the work begins again.
We are in that strange period of time; Kind of like spring, but kind of not, sixty during the day, freezing at night. Soil is tilled, even have some things planted, but the world is still ruled by multi shades of brown.
But if you look close, under the thicket of dried grass, and past the tumbling leaves, you see them. With a green so dark it almost goes unnoticed; a shoot rises up from the soil blanketed by bars of tan stalks. And if you look especially close you may see a purple flower no bigger than a dime but far more precious for this is the currency of spring, the down payment for the changing of the guard.
Crocuses may seem like bribes, both out of place and unfair in such a drab world but it is a cost that must be paid. Perhaps it is a tax, if so it is the most welcome one to be sure since it would allow the scepter to finally pass to the next ruling season.
It seems like such a waste to see such beauties lost to the world of brown but we should be thankful for the sacrifice. For without such willingness where would we be?
Perhaps this sacrifice is the reason for crocuses, perhaps they were placed here for this very purpose. So then let us fill the world with crocuses, let the purple and pink, the yellow and white, let them bloom in all their splendor so the price may be paid and we can enter the glories of spring.