Monday, April 01, 2013

Spring Fever

I am a plotting, digging, planting fool this April Fool's Day.

We got back to the ranch while the daffodils and peach/nectarine blossoms were in full bloom and I have been a busy beaver, getting my summer garden set up.

I am trying to do it right this year. With Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living and John Jeavons' How to Grow More Vegetables as my guides, I started with soil prep. Seeds have been planted in flats. I am trying to be better at labeling.
And while we wait, there are always sprouts to be had...
There are always obstacles. The gophers are still here, along with an ever increasing population of ground squirrels. Big guys, too, fattened up over a winter of acorns. (No, I have not started eating them. At least not yet.) And now with the chickens gone, there is an explosion of lizards who keep munching down my seedlings. All my radishes have been munched down to their tiny stalks. I am going to have to cover things if I want them to survive.

Now that we have horses on the ranch again, we also have lots of horse poop. K, bless her, has shoveled it all into a nice tidy pile in one corner of the pasture so all I have to do is scoop and haul. Meanwhile, Big Dog is dragging me into another Sisyphean kick (he gets these every season!) -- raking up the oak leaves and taking them into the pasture. There are hundreds of oaks and the leaves are as thick as Minnesota snow. He claims that the oak seedlings hidden underneath will turn into Big Adult Oaks. I say, let 'em, but once Big Dog gets something in his head, he can be a Rottweiler, so there's no talking him out of this endless ordeal.

But as back-breaking as all of this work is, this is still the fun part. I am dreaming of my lush summer garden and all the tasty produce I'll be getting. The air is fresh and springtime sweet. Life could not be better.

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