Farm Tour 2: flooding, budding, digging, spring

I wrote a blog post last Saturday to show my grown-up kids (who won’t be coming home this spring) how things have changed here at our place since last spring. Even as I was writing it, I knew that I couldn’t cover all that is happening at our place in one blog post. Even I don’t like to write that long . . .

So, here’s part two, kids (and Gentle Readers):


The big news this week, of course, is the flooding. We got “only” 6 inches on Wednesday night (nearby city got 9″ so we are the poor cousin this time, not that we mind it a bit) which filled up our little pond as full as we can remember it being, and swelled all the rivers and streams around us, too.


I wrote about our boat being underwater yesterday, and the treasure that we found in the pond. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a look. 🙂 It’s not often that we find such a jewel on our place. 🙂



We are surrounded now on three sides by very stout fences that the farmers have put up so their cattle can graze during the wintertime. I support that. But we miss the freedom of being able to walk across the fields when they are empty, tra-laa. Little Mack and I have our ways around those sturdy fences but it’s a pain. And it scratches up my legs something awful. 🙁 So many trees were cut down to make those fences possible, which (again) makes sense but you know how hard we’ve worked to increase the trees in our little area of the great plains. (Mayhaps we need to move farther west? What do you think?)

Little Mack: "That was a great climbing tree."

Little Mack (sadly): “That was a great climbing tree.”

Mack, Amalia and I didn’t find a single morel mushroom this spring, though we spent several half-days searching for them. The guys at the coffee shop matter-of-factly commented that this was the best year for mushrooms in recent memory (accompanied by smug, secretive smiles). 🙁

If I ever do find a cache of mushrooms in our early spring searches, you can be assured that my whoops of joy will be heard even by you far-flung kids, you wandering boys and girls of mine. Of course if it takes many more years, you’ll also hear the clatter of my walker falling to the earth, too. 🙁 #morelsaretricksyhiders

I had a dream last night that a friend of ours told us she had found a spot with hundreds–hundreds–of morel mushrooms, but that she wasn’t going to pick them (accompanied by a smug, secretive smile).

Oh well, when you can't find mushrooms, you can always horse around with your sister.

Oh well, when you can’t find mushrooms, you can always horse around with your sister.

I spied at the Haymarket Farmer’s Market this very morning a table with a couple of smug young people selling “Nebraska Morels” for $40.00 per pound. Four times as much per pound as a good steak. Twice as much as some decent lobster. Incredible! If one of you smart-alecky kids could reckon how to plant morel mushrooms at our place, you’d have my undying gratitude. #&fortydollarsapoundbaby!

Bryan's bridge

Bryan’s bridge

Bryan has been building a bridge over the little draw that always fills with water during a rainstorm. It really changes the look of this little area. He was quite satisfied this week, when the draw was running with water, that we didn’t get our feet wet for once crossing it.


Something–bunnies or deer–really did a number on the blueberry bushes this winter, chewing away at the bark and killing some of them. The remaining ones are valiantly putting out a few buds, so we’ll have berries, but not very many. We’ve had to keep the dogs corralled more than we used to (a neighbor dog that runs free is roundly despised by Bea, and she can’t resist going after her at every opportunity) so the bunnies have free rein, unfortunately.

I’ve never seen so many bunnies in my life.

Bryan is working on training Bea to obey better (or, at all) so hopefully we’ll be able to let her run more without worrying that she’s going to attack the neighbor dog. And that’ll help with the bunnies. Hopefully the orchard trees and the blueberry bushes will hang on until then. 🙁


Our three linden trees looked like this as they opened their leaves this spring. I couldn’t believe that color, and I had to stop and gaze at it every time I passed. These trees should have a few flowers on them this summer, so perhaps we’ll be on our way to having linden honey one day in the future? That’s a sweet thought (chortle).


After all the rain, the pastures are lush and so green, and the trees are finally filling out with green, too.


A few years ago, Timothy helped me plant asparagus roots, and I’ve been battling the honeybees (whose hives are very close to that end of the garden) and the brome grass (which will not take “no” for an answer in invading that end of the garden!) ever since. Last summer, I tried so hard to save that asparagus patch, spending time each day pulling brome and heaping the mulch high. I was astonished to see it coming up as solid brome grass this spring. There is no sign of the asparagus patch or even of my beautifully heaped mulch!

So. I know when I’m beat. I bought new asparagus roots and put in a new patch, with Bryan’s help. He dug the trench, and I planted, manured, said a little prayer over each root, and dreamed of the day that we’d have heaps and heaps of asparagus to eat, freeze, and share.

Then. I was visiting with another friend who said that he planted 100 asparagus roots and just how awesome it was to have that much asparagus come up every spring, and suddenly–my 25 roots seemed not at all adequate. 🙁 I might have to put in a few more. And I plan to put down landscape cloth on both sides of the patch this year, to keep the brome from ruining another bed.


The hoop house lettuces, and the herbs in the main garden (here I’ve got chives harvested) have been just what I’ve been hungry for. I made a homemade dressing and we’ve been eating fresh salads at every meal.


Gourmet lettuces and herbs: it’s what’s for dinner.

It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

Thanks for reading, kids, and Gentle Readers. I went on and on and didn’t even get to the windbreak or the woodlot. Well, okay, I might write one more of these tours, just for you all.


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