Much has been accomplished on the property this spring thanks to the availability and cooperation of the whole family. In addition to starting the garden, working the beehives, and maintaining the orchard, we had ordered almost 70 new nut trees, fruit trees and shrubs. The plan was to dig a large hole for each one and amend the soil 2 to 3 feet in depth and a similar width depending on the size of the plant. Some of the locations had been prepared last summer but there remained 36 to go. These needed to be completed between the time that the ground thawed and the time the trees arrived in late March and April.
The morning of March 3 the temperature hit 8° F and the next morning it was 10° F – a little too frozen for digging. Two days later it was 70°, and the next day 76°! I began to wonder what kind of spring we were in for! Everyone pitched in with the dirt-pitching and even Robert and James gave it their two shovels’ worth during their short visit. A friend’s backhoe significantly sped the process with the larger holes and every single one was finished before the deadline.
We have tried some new things in the garden including lemon balm, lavender, calendula, shallots, husk tomatoes (“ground cherries”), and purple coneflower (“Echinacea”) – and onions from seed have done decently well for the first time.
Dipping below freezing only about four times since March 4, the spring turned out to be unusually warm. Bloom was good for the fruit trees and some of the beehives are up to three weeks ahead of schedule.
We had to cut a few trees, and a large tree fell across the driveway, affording us an extra dose of wood chips and firewood. Thanks again everyone who whole-heartedly put all their strength into the work, “as unto the Lord and not unto men.” The woods are now green, the grass is growing fast, and summer is just around the corner. “Praise the Lord from the earth… mountains and all hills; fruitful trees and all cedars: beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: kings of the earth and all people… let them praise the name of the Lord: for His name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven” Psalm 148:7-13.