Well here is another week at the Holler. Spring has definitely arrived but the temperatures are cool for spring temperatures this week. We have started opening the house every day and the laundry is again on the clothes line. The trees are budding out as well. Our young chestnut trees are blooming out by the clothes line for the first time. We are wondering if we might have chestnuts this year for the first time. We started those trees from seeds and it seems like just yesterday we were setting them out.
We continue to work trimming rose bushes and shrubs to get rid of the winter kill and weeding flower beds and such. Mowing is a regular chore right now with all the rain we have been getting.
The tulips are starting to get beat up from the rain and I will be cutting the blooms off soon and adding to the compost bins.
Remember my huge "Knock Out Roses" that are so pretty every year. I almost lost them this winter. By the time we cut off all the winter killed wood there isn't much left. I am hoping they come out of it.
With the return of the blossoms on the columbine the hummingbirds have returned as well. I saw my first one yesterday. once the columbine blossoms go away then they feed on the blossoms on the trumpet vines on the clothes line poles all summer.
The Bridal Wreath or Spirea is beautiful this year but I did lose one of my larger bushes to the winter cold weather as well.
The tulip Tree is in full bloom too.
That last late frost came just in time to nip most of the peach blossoms so there won't be any peaches this year to speak of. The apple trees on the other hand are loaded and there will be plenty apples to make up for those lost peaches.
I on the other hand have been busy with freezing mushrooms and O Wise One has two catfish cleaned and filleted in the refrigerator waiting for me to freeze those up as well.
The Asparagus is rolling in on almost a daily basis and since I still have plenty in the freezer I have been canning it every two days.
The tomato plants are still on the porch waiting for their turn to be planted in the garden. I am holding off hoping the weather stabilizes just a bit more. I like to plant my tomatoes the last of May or the first of June. Rarely before that and it always works for me.
The brassicas on the other hand will go into the garden here very shortly. We have potatoes and onions up as well as peas. The strawberries are blooming and I cleaned out the raspberries last week. A huge thank you to Katzcradul for my start of those last year and they are filling in nicely. Last week we planted corn, green beans and field peas. As soon as it dries up a bit I will try to get out there and get some pictures for everyone. My rhubarb is growing nicely and it won't be long before we are eating Grandma Edna's rhubarb cake. O Wise One picked out pecans all winter to go in those.
I have 12 laying hens and 4 are broody and setting on nests. I still have jars of chicken in my pantry from last year. I may be putting chicks on Craigslist like my turkeys.
And speaking of turkeys both my first and second hatch of turkeys are gone. Both hatches sold out within 48 hours on Craigslist and I am now running a waiting list of people to call when the next 3 hatches are ready. I will save a few for myself but we still have turkey in the freezer and jars even from last year. So this year we will put up less turkey and chicken for ourselves. Now that it is just the three of us we just are not eating as much as we once did when we had more kids at home. Time to cut back more.
So we start another year here in Hickery Holler. Thankful every day that we survived a long and brutally cold winter. Thankful that we continue to be healthy enough to produce as much as we do of our own food. Thankful for the land that provides nourishment for our bodies and our faith that provides nourishment for our souls. And yes even thankful for these aching muscles and looking forward to our bodies again becoming accustomed to the hard daily garden work. And thankful for all of you that visit so often to read the ramblings of this old man and woman. May we all have another great gardening year and fill those pantries and larders. May the grass stay short and the corn grow tall : )
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter