Thursday, March 13, 2014

Glorious spring days!

It's days like the past two that make living worthwhile. Days spent outside in the sun, digging in the earth, planting stuff, getting my vegetable garden all planned out. My back is hurting from all the shoveling and hauling compost in the wheelbarrow. But – oh – what wonderful compost it is! It's my pride and joy, home made from my goats' bedding, and it will nourish hundreds of pounds of vegetables I will grow for my family this year.  I forced bribed talked Kai into helping me shovel.  He's younger, and he has a better back.
I don't like using a rototiller in my garden, because it's not great for soil structure, and because it murders worms and other beneficial creepy crawlies. I use a broad fork, which loosens the soil without mixing it all up. It's backbreaking, yes, but it makes for some pretty nice muscles! The boys and I planted our garlic yesterday. Most people do it in the fall, but since it's so wet here in the winter, I like to plant my garlic in the spring. It always turns out gorgeous. The seed garlic I used is all from our crop last year.  Look at them in shorts and T-shirt!  Shorts and T-shirts!!!

Here, my crew is separating garlic bulbs.
And here, they are tucking them into the soil.

Other signs of spring: growing bellies on the pregnant goats (we might have baby goats in a little less than four weeks), crocus blooming in the yard, my seedlings thriving in the greenhouse, rhubarb unfurling its leaves, buds swelling. It is glooooorious, darlings!

I know, she looks skinny from that angle, but believe me, she's got a belly on her.

Also, there were picnics by the beach in Bellingham, and bike rides to the playground in Rockport.  The boys rode ahead of me, while I pulled my heavy four-year-old in the bike trailer.  We did a 15 miler the other day, in order to train for our ride over the Cascade Mountains in the fall.  It's going to be a party, I tell you, and the more people want to join us for the ordeal, the better!
We went frantic with the past two days of sunshine, because we know it surely will rain again, for days and days and days on end.  And it still might snow a bunch...  So we took advantage of the sun and made "paint" with ground rocks by the creek.  The boys promptly decorated all of us, and we had fun taking selfies.  

A selfie with me and Kai after our bike ride, with Sauk mountain in the background.

Last but not least, our chickens got a haircut this week.  We thought the ladies were slacking on their egg production, since we only got one or two a day, sometimes none. But then we realized the little stinkers fly over the fence and hide their eggs in the forest somewhere.  We are tired of buying expensive, organic grain for them, just so they can hide their eggs from us.  So we armed ourselves with scissors and headed for the chicken pen.  Catching them can be tricky, and once we had them in our arms, they screamed bloody murder.  We cut off their flight feathers so they can't fly off any more.  Since we did that, there have been plenty of eggs in their boxes again!  Hurray for outsmarting chicken brains!

And then, of course, there's always the knitting.  The knitting, the knitting, the knitting.  This week has been all about the Lotus Hat (pattern free on Ravelry).  I cranked out three of them, and we get compliments wherever we go.  I even put one up for sale in my Etsy shop.

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