The highs and lows of spring

Highlights this past month included a visit from a friend and her family on their one-year (!) road trip adventure. They’ve sold/stored everything and are touring farms across North American before returning to Canada to begin their own farming adventure. It’s interesting to read their perspective of our land and what we are creating. When viewed by from someone not mired in the minutia of daily maintenance and expansion, Jennifer and Mark’s essay serves as a great reminder for me to appreciate what this land is producing.

No mention is given in the essay to the daily tasks/puzzles on my mind, like battling this damn bindweed again, why one section of the pasture is not growing back after chicken grazing, how the ants managed to decimate one of the hives over a long weekend, and why my homemade horticultural oil spraying did not work to combat tent caterpillars in the food forest this year (we’ve sent well over 1000 packing to their next life). It’s a good reminder to stay focused on the positive.

Other highlights this month include first signs of the massive bounty that is on its way via the fruit tree guilds, including our first-ever kiwi harvest (you care for them seven years before the first fruiting).

Lowlight is the likely loss of one of our hives due to an ant invasion. We’ve had this is previous years but have mostly been able to stem them off via application of dichotomous earth in successive moats around the hives. This time the ants rushed in en masse and overwhelmed the bees between my visits to the hives (about three days). What a bummer. I found the queen still alive, but they are definitely struggling.

To end this month’s post on a highlight, the long-anticipated Epic Huntresses (aka kittens) have arrived and are being socialized daily by everyone in the family. While they’ll be outdoor hunting cats to help us battle the field mice and ROUSes that have taken up residence in our hugelkultur beds, normal beds, workshop, and firewood sheds (basically everywhere), by loving on them heavily as kittens, I’m hoping for cats that will act more like dogs and want to hang with us when we are outside.  🙂