Sunday, April 11, 2021

Clomping with Muddy Boots into Spring

Spring is always an eagerly anticipated season (gardening, of course!) and yet its arrival means I have very little time for my much enjoyed handwork.  Sadness and woe.  (Ya can't do everything at once, Mama Pea.)  Plus, spring time in our area means MUD.

On the up side, this is the first spring when it seems we just might get a jump start on our always too short growing season.  The piddling little amount of winter snow is long gone now (although we never had our March or April - well, not yet anyway - blizzard) and we've gone to bed at night with an outside temp of 50° more than once.  Unheard of for this time of year in these here parts.
 
The grass is turning green on our lawn areas as are the robust little weeds popping up everywhere in the garden areas.  Happily, we've been getting whole days of rain (or just gray, damp, misty weather some of the time) which is not only squelching the fire danger of the surrounding forests and still standing dry weeds of last season, but doing a good job of driving the frost out of the ground.  We've seen our chickens scratching in the wet soil to find good-sized earth worms that they happily gobble up.
 
I've been able to zip out between showers in the last several days to remove the winter mulch from the strawberries and clean up the dead ferns covering the asparagus patch.
 

Lookit all those green weeds taking hold in the asparagus rows.  Ugh.
 
Next in the garden will be to spend a day or so digging out the spring weeds in both the strawberry and asparagus patches as soon as the ground dries out enough for me to avoid becoming totally covered in mud.  This won't be until perhaps mid-week or later as rain is forecast until then.  (I can hear those healthy, new weeds laughing at me as we speak.)
 

Our old rhubarb plant needed to be moved to a new spot which was done with Papa Pea's help manning the shovel.  My, but those roots went deep.  We chopped off the newer outer parts and transplanted one clump into the center of a raised bed where it seems to be taking hold and thriving.
 

Small buds are appearing on the apple trees.  (Use your imagination.)
 

The chives which are always the first perennials to burst forth are looking good, no doubt loving this wet weather.
 
I'm no expert, but from what I'm hearing the recent maple sap gathering season in our area was not great this year.  Our unusually warm weather didn't provide the freezing nights the maple trees need for maximum flow of sap.  However, a friend of ours gathered more sap than she wanted to boil down for herself so gave us a gallon and a half of the sap as a health drink.  This "sap" is not thick at all but has the consistency of water and is often called "maple water."  It has a very slight sweet flavor and contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants when consumed.  We shared it with our daughter who, in turn, shared it (along with a science lesson) with some of her little people.
 
These wet, gray days have been perfect for being in the kitchen and in the past two days I've made three different batches of soup for the freezer thinking ahead to the coming days when most of my time will be spent outside.  On the schedule today are two more soups to be prepared.  During the summer months, yummy soup equals a fast and easy meal and when the garden goes into production and gives us fresh vegetables for crunchy salads . . . well, I can hardly wait.  Best I get some bread made, too, to have in the freezer as an addition to some of those busy day meals.
 
It's raining enough this morning that I had to wear full rain gear to go out to get the included pictures.  A perfect day for simmering a couple pots of soup.  And maybe even making myself cozy in my quilt room and making progress on my current cross-stitch project.
 
 
 
 

15 comments:

SmartAlex said...

We could do with some mud here. We've been sleeping with the window open for two weeks and got up well past 80 twice this past week. Last night we finally got half an inch of rain, and overnight the lawn needs to be mowed. All of the trees, brush and spring bulbs seem ahead of schedule but I am having to water my peas and strawberries a few times a week. Otherwise those aren't going to grow at.all.

Mama Pea said...

SmartAlex - Oh, dear. Too much rain, not enough rain, just enough rain. It never seems to even out for everyone, does it? So far, we still aren't to the stage of wanting/needing it to stop. So far anyway. We walked our loop up to the ridge behind us and back down this afternoon and saw several mini waterfalls coming down rocky areas. I think more of the moisture would be soaking in if the frost wasn't still keeping it from seeping in. Having to water your early crops at this time of year has got to be a little frustrating.

Rosalea said...

What a lovely post, Mama Pea. You are reminding me that I should get some ready meals stashed in the freezer, because after a day of outside work, cooking is the last thing on my mind! Your chives are ahead of mine, and our rhubarb just showed its face above ground. I am still hesitant to clear off last year's detritus in the flower beds, in case we get hit with frost. Our apple buds are still tight, but the crab apple buds are splitting and showing green. It always leafs out before the apple trees. We are hoping the rain that is forecast to come this evening, does. It will make a huge difference to everything. Our nights have been well above freezing for the last week or so, and the frog chorus is in full swing. I planted 200+ onion sets today, and a few shallots. Happy Gardening!

Mama Pea said...

Rosalea - I find it so hard to come in from a hard (but satisfying!) day's work outside, hungry as a bear, and wonder what in the world to put on the table for a good meal. You've got me thinking I should make some casseroles for the freezer besides the soups. The peepers in our pond, which is now full to the over-flow from the rain, are chirping away which always signals the start of this new season. I don't have my onion sets yet or I would be tempted to put them in the ground, too.

Cockeyed Jo said...

Mud is right! A sure sign of spring. Our apple and peach trees are blooming. Hoping for an abundant harvest. I mounded up our 'tators and cleared the asparagus.

Mama Pea said...

Cockeyed Jo - What's more lovely than blossoming fruit trees? (Not much.) I'm hoping for an abundant harvest for you, too!

wyomingheart said...

I love summer soups, too! I try to keep the quick meals, and we do eat a lot of burgers and salads in summer. I find when my butt is really dragging from a long day outside, egg sandwiches are quick and really good! We have our garden completely in, and praying the weather holds! We are still working on the orchard, trying to get 10 fruit trees in and two pecan trees. Hope that mud leaves you soon!

Mama Pea said...

wyomingheart - Yep, a good egg sandwich made with your homegrown eggs can hardly be beat. We like ours with a slice of tomato and lettuce. Hubby has lately taken to asking for a slice of red onion on his, too. I'm sure you know that eggs produced on organic feed and green grass, bugs and worms don't have the same bad cholesterol as the eggs from battery raised chickens so eggs are a frequent quick meal for us. You have your garden completely in?? Oh, how jealous I am!!!!!

Kristina said...

I did a bit of weeding our asparagus and it's already coming up. Our weather is turning cold now, so I may have to cover it. Otherwise, I have to wait a bit longer to do some more weeding.

Susan said...

Dry as sticks here, but we are due for a full day of rain tomorrow, followed by...snow. Sigh. Let's hope it's not as much as predicted. Isn't it amazing how quickly the weeds pop up!?!

Retired Knitter said...

When my son and daughter-in-law moved into their new house (new to them) in March of 2020 - he started a small garden. This year he has more than doubled the garden and put in a bunch more veggie types. He really seems to enjoy it. Even started his plants early from seed in the house. He didn’t come from a house growing up with gardening but he has taken to it like a farmer! Even put up fencing around it to protect it from the area wild life. I’ll have to get pictures to share on my blog.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - I've been keeping an eye on our asparagus looking for that first spear poking through but haven't seen one yet. Our rain continues so I can't get out into the patch to do the necessary weeding yet. Ugh.

Susan - Dry?! Wait, I'll send you some of our rain . . . and mud. Can't complain (too much) though as we were facing the threat of forest fire danger before our weeks of rain started. I'm looking out on all the happy, happy weeds reveling in the moisture and growing like gangbusters!

Retired Knitter - Gardening is healthy in so many ways from the exercise it affords to the nutritious food it provides! My folks never gardened either but my grandpa did in a big way (he had a family of seven kids to feed!) so I think I got it from him. I'm betting you'll benefit from your son's gift of gardening! :o)

JustGail said...

Your asparagus and garden beds look pretty good compared to mine. I went out yesterday to check things and the cool wet weather slowed things dow. No sign of asparagus or the carrots, beets, and peas I planted last week. Weeds and weedy grass though - ungh. I really need to get out there and get started cleaning things up before it gets out of hand again.

Angel charls said...
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Mama Pea said...

JustGail - Yep, we've had two days of sunshine now (rain finally stopped) and the greenery in our raised beds and flat garden plots is simply burgeoning! I'm gonna regret it if I, too, don't get out there and beat those weeds down!