Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Busy as Bees *Photo Update*

We have been busy as bees around here gardening, working on the chicken house, mowing lawns, weeding, keeping up with the laundry, hosting parties and going to parties....need I go on?
The chicken house is coming right along 
thanks to the help of my dad, Dave and Matt! The three of them (with help from Sam) put shingles on the roof, tar papered and cedar shingled one side this weekend. 
Tomorrow (should the rain let up) my Dad will put up the permanent pen and life will be a bit easier when tending the chicks. They are getting really big too and developing personalities. We have one feisty Barred Rock we like to call "Bad Chicken" because she will peck you with full force when you least expect it. Sam seems to get the brunt of her mean spirit, but we've all had a taste.

I've had a rush of energy and am feeling really good, so I planted a small garden in three of the 
raised beds we have. I planted pumpkins, acorn squash, three varieties of tomatoes, and basil. I also weeded and mulched around some existing thyme, chives and mint. We have lots of mint growing everywhere, different varieties. I've had some help from my dear friend and master gardner, G, with identifying things 
that are growing around here. I have lots of poppies and peonies and I found some Echinacea about to blossom today. 
I have lots of weeding to do and the garden proper needs some serious tending. We decided to join a local CSA through the MSU Student Organic Farm in lieu of a garden here. We knew with the surgery and kids it would be a big challenge to get a good one going this year. 
We also really need to replenish the soil. Matt has done some research and we've decided to till and plant some buckwheat as a cover crop. It will help with nitrogen levels and by next year we should have a great beginning for a large garden!
We just returned from a very quick trip to California to help Matt's dad celebrate his retirement. It was a 
fun visit filled with great food, bike rides, and sun! We borrowed a trail-a-bike for Sam from the neighbors and he loved it! Within a half an hour of returning from a bike ride, he would be asking to go on another! It was great and I rode a bunch, too...the first bike ride since the surgery. It went well, though I couldn't bike as far as I could before the surgery. My side would start to hurt, but after a quick break I could keep on going. I really enjoyed being on a 
bike again and will definitely be cleaning out our bike buggy this week!

My Dad is still here helping out with lots of projects (shingling the chicken house being the major project) and I love having him here. It has been years since I have really been abe to hang out with him. The boys love having him here too. He's planning on staying until late next week and then he'll keep on truckin' on his way. He has big travel plans this summer all centered around his motorcycle!

There isn't much coming up beside a big 4th of July party here, bonfire and all, and then a multi-family camping trip in the middle of July. Matt's folks plan a return trip in late July and my Dad and uncle may return for a day or two in August...mostly I plan on trying to get more organized with my cooking, experimenting with lots of fresh, local foods and really enjoying the boys and this land we have!

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