farming, gardening, homesteading

Spring on the Homestead it’s the little things that can get you ahead

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If you are anything like us, you can’t wait for spring to arrive after a long winter.  Although the temps are still chilly, there is so much you can do to get ahead of all the work that will pile up when the real warm weather arrives.  There are many days in early spring where we feel like there isn’t much we can do, but if you look a little closer you will find many jobs that can be done.  You can also get a jump on this years’ garden.  One of our first signs that it is time to get moving is the arrival of garlic. When these pretty green plants emerge from the soil our dreams of warmer weather begin.  It is around this time that we move our tomato seedlings into the green house. We have a small 6’x8′ greenhouse that is heated by a small electric heater.  It keeps the greenhouse at least 50 degrees at night and this seems to be warm enough for our seedlings, but not for germination.  We germinate our seeds indoors.

This is also a great time to start planning your garden layout for the growing season. We assemble, construct and put in pea and bean trellises and fix fencing.  We also are busy raking and cleaning out coops now that all that great fertilizer is thawed.  IMG_2647

This is also a perfect time to do little projects.  Especially those that require a few hours in the shop on a rainy cold day. We also do projects that are close to the garden so that we don’t have to worry about stepping on plants like we would in the summer.

While we are getting all of these projects done, our little seedlings are growing away in the greenhouse.  It is almost like getting two jobs done at once.

Before we know it asparagus is poking out of the ground.  It won’t be long before we can start planting cold weather crops outside. img_2912

This year we started many of our cold weather crops in pots to give them a jump start.  We will try anything to get fresh vegetables onto our table as soon as possible.  We are even trying to grow peas for the first time in the greenhouse.

img_2703As soon as we know that the freezing weather is past, we move our cold weather veggies outside.  These include kale, spinach, lettuce, peas, collards, broccoli, and cabbage.  We also plant potatoes and carrots.

img_2899 It is so good to to see life and have plants to check on again.

While we wait for Memorial Day to plant our warm weather crops we spend time getting to know the new arrivals to the homestead.

There is always something to do in the spring.  Often those things are little projects that barely seem worth taking your tools out for, but rest assured you will be glad you did when summer arrives.  Spring it seems is an exercise in motivation, and as the years go by, we find ourselves more and more motivated to get going earlier.  In homesteading, there is never enough time, and getting moving earlier in spring may just give you a little more time to enjoy that beautiful summer weather.

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