Spring Days & Farm Tour

frontfield
Spring days get pretty crazy around here. May is one of our busiest months of the year at Wheatberry, and also a busy time on the farm, of course. In our town, May is just the beginning of being able to put plants outside, not to mention all the field prep to be done, and fencing repairs/building, and the fruit trees to be planted. I love planting fruit trees. I think that might be my absolute favorite farm job – one thirty minute planting session that can result in generations of fruit is pretty hard to beat. (Yes, there’s watering and pruning and fertilizing to do, but still, it’s nothing compared with the attention and time that annuals require.)
Anyhow, I wanted to start doing a bit of a farm tour. The first photo is our front field – it’s about 1/8 of an acre just to the left of our driveway, and was the first spot we turned into gardens when we moved here. The tree stump in the middle was a catalpa tree that we took down, and the rest was lawn. Along the fence, next to the driveway, we’ve been planting cherry trees and pear trees. When we fierst started gardening here, we planted raspberries in the middle of the garden (why oh why?) and this spring we moved them along the fence line, where they’ll get more sun, be easier to pick, and not be in the middle of the garden! We also had someone come pull out the catalpa stump, so now there is truly an open field here.
backyardhoophouse

horsegrazing
And here’s our “backyard.” This is the yard just outside our back door, beyond which is the horse and sheep paddock. On this day, we’d let them into our yard to do some lawn mowing (i.e. grazing). Just outside our door we finally got some outdoor chairs made by a lovely fellow in Vermont, and on the hill is the hoophouse we put up two years ago, and more fruit trees (on the north side of the hoophouse): two peach trees, two apples, and a cranberry bush. The trees have fencing to help keep the animals off when they’re in here grazing, since they ate our previous two peach trees. The funny looking sticks dangling off the apple tree are weights to help the main branches grow out perpendicular.
Sometimes it feels as though our progress here is so, so slow. But sometimes I see it, how we’ve shaped this land back into a farm. Fifty years ago, this land was cleared farmland. When we moved here, this backyard (And most of the rest of the property) was new growth forest, brambles, and undergrowth. The sheep and horse did an amazing job clearing the undergrowth here.
backyardorchard
The other night, I came downstairs from putting the little ones to sleep and found Ben outside in the horse paddock, putting up a new fence. “I had a vision for the pig pen,” he said. “Put on your boots; it’s beautiful out here.” So I put on my boots and my farm pants and sweater, and went out into the twilight to put up a new fence with him. He was right, it was beautiful, and we talked while we worked about how good this life is, this work that we are blessed to do.
ellabenhoophouse
Blessings on your on good work, friends.

3 Responses to “Spring Days & Farm Tour”

  1. 1
    Seth

    Ah, that time after both kids are asleep – how sweet it is!!

  2. 2

    Yes indeedy! :)

  3. 3

    It was lovely to see all that you are up to! It can seem that progress in certain things is slow but then in other ways there is simply not enough time. I love your hoop house by the way, I’m very envious of it! We’re enjoying a busy first farm season here, though it is extra work it is the right kind of work and gives us moments of such bliss, such human perfection that I really can’t imagine being anywhere else.


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