Spring On Our Homestead
These sure are crazy times we are living in. I hope you are finding peace among the chaos. Here on our homestead, spring has surely arrived which has helped keep my mind off the hectic world. So I thought it would be fun to share with you what has been happening around here in the past few weeks.
Being born and raised Minnesotans, we know there is always a chance that we will experience spring snowstorms no matter how nice the weather has been. Sure enough, Mother Nature took a turn back towards Winter and gave us a very cold, snowy week! It was fun to get outside and take pictures of our confused chickens. They were sure the weird white stuff was gone for good but little do they know.... :)
Trees are budding. Tulips, peonies and irises are sprouting. Trumpeter Swans, Sandhill Cranes and Geese can be heard nearby or flying overhead. Robins, blackbirds, and bluebirds can be found outside. The return of Spring has been much needed reminder that no matter what the world is going through, we can still find positive aspects among the negativity. Nature is healing and she presents many opportunity's to help us slow down and just breathe.
During our random visits to the apiary on our property, we have been finding a lot of bees with their pollen pants on. Cory found a wild perennial called Eastern Skunk Cabbage on the land that produces a large amount of pollen that bees love! And what is so cool about this plant is that during its period of growth, it naturally generates its own heat and has a cone shaped Spathe (a hooded leaf) that cocoons the budding flower. It allows bees and other pollinators protection and warmth during cold spring days while they gather pollen. How neat is that?!? On April 1st, the first sugar water feeders were put on both hives. In one hive we found a bunch of capped brood and larvae in the top box. In the other hive they still had capped honey to eat. A very exciting sight to see.
We have been slowly but surely cleaning up our yard. We gave the garden a nice little cleanup, laid out all of the black fabric to dry so it’s ready for this summer, and Cory was able to get it all tilled. We are expecting to put in our new septic system this year which will run right under our garden, so garden plans are up in the air, but we are still hopeful we will be able to plant some things. I will be cleaning out our raised beds soon, along with clearing out the grown asparagus from last summer. We also took apart our ole’ little greenhouse this Spring! And when I say little, I am not kidding. I could not even stand up straight in there. It definitely needs some restoring!
Also, this year we took on an old Nordic Tradition! Last year, our good friends from Bemidji, Minnesota brought down some freshly tapped birch sap and had us try some. And it turned out being some of the most refreshing and cleanest water we had ever tasted! So this year, we knew we had to try tapping some birch trees. We only have a couple of white birch on our property so when the temps were just right, Cory worked his magic and set up one here on our land, and then set up two other ones at his sisters house. We will be trying the freezing method to save some for later. Because birch sap is full of minerals, it will begin to ferment within just a few days after collecting.
If you are interested in tapping Birch trees, please do some research or feel free to reach out to me. You can find many resourceful articles and videos on the internet to learn from.
With the fear of the Coronavirus constantly surrounding us, it has been so nice to have all of these exciting things on our homestead to distract me. When I am not at my 9-5 job, I am either working in my craft room, baking in our kitchen, hiking the local trails, or just simply cleaning or relaxing at home.
How have you been doing during this time? What have you found to be the best way to distract yourself from the craziness surrounding us? Do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions about anything I discussed in this post!
Take care friends.
Until next time,