Late Winter/Early Spring Homestead Update

Dang, it feels like spring, and I’m so ready for it.

Well, trying to be ready. We here at the Walbacz house have been prepping for the warmer weather these past few weeks, but it still crept up on us. Currently, I’m trying to build a small solar dehydrator and some easy trellises/vine lines before the craziness of prepping beds and planting begins (more on that in another post, successful or not), so we’ll see if I manage to do so in a timely manner.

Speaking of timely, yes, I know this post is late, due to the aforementioned prepping and other business-related things. (One can’t have a modern small homestead without other financial means, y’know?) For that, you’ll get two posts in two days as recompense, so there.

Today, here’s an update of what we have accomplished (and are currently seeing on the property), with pictures!

The daffodils are here, the daffodils are here! Daffodils have been my favorite flower for as long as I can remember. (Our neighbor across the street knew it because I kept picking hers, much to her, errr, chagrin.) Why?

Firstly, because it’s like getting two flowers in one: an inside cup and an outer skirt bloom, often in different colors. Secondly, they’re harbingers of spring: always the first big flowers to come up, even when the weather is still uncomfortably cool, to remind you that warmer days are coming. Thirdly, they start peeking out of the ground close to my birthday, which is pretty grand.

Our Soil and Water Conservation people had a plant sale last week, and we bought a good deal of bare-root plants. This included three kinds of strawberries: Sweet Charlie, Eversweet, and Seascape, all planted now in the front bed along with those daffodils.

We also got some asparagus crowns and dug a new small bed near the compost pile for isolating the asparagus (they take 2 years to propagate from crowns, yikes!) and transferring the strawberries when they deplete the front bed. No pictures here, because it’s literally just dirt.

pawpaw tree

We also got persimmon and pawpaw tree starts, yay! Let’s hope they grow grow grow for some excellent fruit fillings, jams, and just plain ol’ fruit enjoyment. (Yes, they’re currently dry sticks in the ground. You’re not crazy.)

Speaking of fruit trees, our peach tree is blossoming with its gorgeous little pink flowers, and will soon have its dark red leaves come out for spring, which I’m pretty stoked about. A few weekends ago, husband and I trimmed a lot of branches from this tree, as it was a leftover from the previous owners and looked as if it’d been neglected for a few years. (The danged thing is 15+ feet tall, so we can’t currently get to the top of it to prune those branches, alas.) Still, we hope to get a good haul of bigger, better peaches this summer because of the pruning.

blackberry bramble

And speaking of fruit, our berry brambles are coming back! Pictured is our sneaky snake of a blackberry bramble, which has put out some seriously long branches under tall grass over the course of several months. Trellis time!

Lastly, these are our garden buddies that keep the varmints out: neighborhood cats that we simply call Orange Cat and Gray Cat. They’re hanging out in the tree alcove at the bottom of our property, and they’re welcome anytime. (It’s also grainy because they don’t let us get too close before walking away, as you can see Gray Cat doing.)

Until next time, happy homesteading!

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