(please note post was written yesterday – Wednesday )

Amen and pass the pitchfork.  It’s a clear and sunny day!  Honestly, the rain was getting a little much – too wet all at once.

No more soggy clothes and mucking boots for awhile at least.

It’s been so dreary and wet that we had to rig up a clothes line in the garage!  First time ever!

Today was a good day to muck out and clean the animal pens, enclosure and coop.  Out came the trugs of free tree mulch stored in the garage and reclaimed straw bale (thanks D) to spread over the wet ground.  With all the rains, the ground of the animal enclosure was getting a bit mucky.

The animals appreciated a new dry layer of bedding and covering.  The chickens and ducks went  down scratching through the tree mulch and straw.  They look so happy and content kicking up a storm.

With the dry weather we were also able to muck out the chicken/duck coop – take out the bedding that was slightly soggy and put in a new layer of shavings and newspapers.

The goats are happy that the sun is out and now they are sun bathing with a look of absolute happiness (and sleepiness) on their faces.   Wish I could join them in their lazy sun worship but there’s too much work to do.  The rain has certainly pushed back a lot of our outdoor work in the garden so there’s lots of catch up to do.

Planted another couple hundred bare root strawberries.  And with our sprouting seed company this year we are planting a true Freedom Garden with Freedom Seeds that is free of seed patents.  That’s one of the reasons we started this seed company. When we learned that Monsanto owns nearly 3,000 vegetable varieties, it was time to take our seeds beyond organic,  heirloom and gmo free. It was hours of research figuring what seeds are owned by the big M and it  ended up being an eye- opening education.  Our little garden is not only changing how people look at growing food, but also now becoming a seed sovereignty zone.

This last storm brought us over about 2 inches, giving us a total of nearly 6 inches in just a week!  Definitely good transplanting weather.  So we have been eyeing some homeless plants and going over the garden to see if we can’t find a place to squeeze them in.  Jordanne’s thinking about planting a honeysuckle next to the chicken coop – good goat food she says.

Our volunteer sunflowers and espalier apples are being visited by our resident bees.  The bees were out early – just as soon as the sun came up and started warming their hive.  The apples trees are just loaded with flowers and the bees are taking advantage of the good weather to gather the golden pollen. Time to make honey while the sun shines!

Pretty soon it will be time to go and check in on our feral bees, see how they weathered the winter.  We also realize they are going to need to bee (spelling mistake on purpose) divided.  Already we have a friend who ‘d like to take any extra queens off our hands to start his own hives.

With the rains keeping us pretty much inside, I have been mulling over some knitting patterns.  Right now I am looking for something quite easy but also something I haven’t made before.    I don’t know about you but there’s something about cold and damp weather that get’s those knitting fingers itching to feel yarn and the hear the click of the needles.  With a warm hypnotizing fire – that’s the perfect knitting atmosphere.

Of course now with no blanket of a  cloud cover, the nighttime temps will be a bit chilly. So guess what?  Back go the row covers over the raised beds.  Up, down, up, down row cover thing is getting a bit tiresome.

Two bees flit from blossom to blossom

Espalier apples loaded with blossoms

Bees and soft apple blossoms – spring is almost here!

Another bee loaded with little tufts of pollen on its legs

Yeah, it’s party time.  Fairlight looks on at the ruckus over the fresh & DRY straw

The little quackers let me know how much they appreciate the dry flooring

Snug as a bug.  Fairlight and Blackberry (you can’t see her–she’s in the background) get ready for bed in the garage turned barn.

Justin’s out late putting on the row covers.


  1. Jan says:

    Oh yes outside time. I wish I could get out, too cold today. Well not really Im jsut toasty inside. Yesterday we had spring storms today we woke up to some snow.

    Where do you all get your strawberry plants? I am in the market for “good” strawberry plants.

    Love the beautiful pictures.

  2. Anny says:

    I know what you mean about the colder weather getting you knitting, every time it gets chilly I can’t stop knitting.

    I love when you post pictures of your animal enclosure. I’d love to see even more. I’m always curious how other people keep their critters. Plus all of your animals are so pretty.

  3. rachel says: has lots of good (and free!) patterns, just in case you haven’t encountered them already.

  4. littlegreengardengal says:

    I am so envious of your blossoms and flowers. 🙂 Nothing here is blooming yet. I can’t wait!
    Thanks for sharing the almost-spring pictures with those of us who aren’t there yet.

  5. PO in Ohio says:

    Wish we lived out in California. We are also having very cold, snowy weather but I see signs of spring. The wild rabbits are out and about again. I bought some strawberries from Tractor Supply Company today. Very expensive, 10 bare root for 5.98. The only bright spot was they had a $5.00 off coupon if you sign up online. I saw the same variety at Peaceful Valley out of California but the savings were consumed by the high shipping. I only bought 3 pkgs and hope they will produce runners this fall. I was also wondering what variety plants are used on the homestead. Thanks for the great pictures, I love getting to see spring out there.

  6. Sinfonian says:

    Great pics. Glad you got rain, and the animals got sun. Perfect combination!

    Odd though about taking off and putting on the row covers. How hot does it get in the day? I just left mine on in your situation and the plants loved the mini-greenhouse effect. Of course, if your temps are too high you’d bake them.

    Wait, little ol’me, telling the Dervaes how to garden. Never mind, I’ll stop now… hehe.

    Good luck with the frost and the animals in the garage!

  7. JOE TODD says:


  8. San Diego Farmgirl says:

    Down south in SD, we are also happy to be rain free! My lime tree is comically heavy with blossoms, and the usually puny loquat is full of buds and baby leaves. It’s going to be a great summer!

    How do you manage to keep your row covers on in the wind?

  9. Chris Prudhomme says:

    I just put in some Seascape bareroot strawberries yesterday (along with some raspberries and blueberries). I have one plant already from last year that has produced some delicious fruit so I can’t wait for more. On the strawberry note, I’ve been on the look out for the RAFT strawberry varieties Klondike and Banner. If anyone has these rare breeds, please let me know!

    And for those curious about heirlooms and US heritage foods, I did a recent post that includes some resources (and a shout out to Freedom Seeds) 🙂

  10. DoubleD says:

    The pictures of the espaliered fruit blossoms and the bees just make me smile. We are about 6 weeks away from that kind of pleasure, so thank you for sharing.

  11. Robby says:

    the bees would get to the US from South America in 1980. I was seven years old at the time and we lived in San Diego, so I figured they would come to our area first. I remmeber sitting in my bedroom counting out how many years I had left to live before the bees arrived and killed us all. The sad thing is my parents did nothing to keep me from worrying about it

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