(Stay Home)stead Update

It’s another day of glorious pictures! Currently, the weather is a bit meh (rainy and cool, but thankfully, not freezing), which drove me inside before I was done prepping the porch containers. Blast! So, here I am, updating you all instead on what’s been happening at the Walbacz homestead.

We’ve been busy these past few days, what with both of us home the majority of the week and some seriously beautiful spring weather over the weekend. All was perfect for a few days of prepping the garden and home for the warm season.

Let’s start with the rain barrels, which are back in action! A few weeks ago, we re-leveled the patch of dirt they rest upon, and used some of the scraps from building the coop (and random building materials the previous owners left us, joy!) to make sure they stay that way. Our sloping yard has a way with making these buggers look lopsided all the time, but rest assured, our level tells us otherwise.

The peach tree bloomed gloriously! Unfortunately, I took this picture in the evening, with the sun behind the house, so you can’t see what we’ve been seeing this past week. The red leaves are also coming in among the short-lived flowers, which is excellent news for peaches, but not so much for you seeing the blooms, alas.

Mulch, glorious mulch! (Yes, we still practiced social distancing in the delivery of this pile, never fear.) We’ve sheet mulched a path through the grass to the mailbox (something I’ve wanted for over a year now) and another walkway through the garden beds (not pictured yet), as well as around our fruit tree and bush plantings and the side of the house. I’m hoping to get some lavender and rosemary planted on the southwest corner pictured next to the house.

Speaking of fruit, we’ve got raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries coming back. I built a simple trellis (pictured with the white stakes) to keep the raspberries and blackberries as much at bay as possible. The strawberry crowns we planted a few weeks ago are growing beautifully so far, so we hope to get a good haul of those this year! Lastly, a more close-up picture of this year’s new raspberry leaves. Yay!

Lastly, a look at our big vegetable patch, with beds hoed, a new row mulched, and the winter greens still hanging on in the back, despite an aphid infestation in the Brussels sprouts (boo!) and some bolting due to warm weather. The last one is not so boo – as I said on Instagram, the bolts are remarkably like broccoli, being brassicas and all, and are great for stir fries, pasta, and the winter farmstead soup I made last night.

Of course, bolting for one sort of plant means a new season for lots of others! I’ll be planting some early herbs (dill, lavender, and parsley) along with lettuce, arugula, and some wildflowers for pollinators later this week. And, as always, I’ll update you on the progress.

Thinking of something to do while you’re at home? Got some space? Even a porch? Plant that damned garden that you keep talking about. DO IT. JUST DO IT. You’ll thank yourself later.

Until then, folks, stay well, stay inside, and stay crunchy!

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