Honesty, I can’t imagine a better month than April; maybe October when the fall leaves are so vibrant your heart stops. But truly, April is the month of re-birth. Aries is the first sign symbolizing to boldly go forth. I am an Aries and April is indeed my month. But, on the farm, April also ‘boldly goes forth’, as everything comes to life at the farm. This year, the ground warmed enough to plant everything April 18th, my birthday.
April at the farm, we saw a beautiful array of color, with the rosebuds bursting , the dogwoods, wysteria, forsythia, daffodils and shade loving lenten rose all full of vibrant life. Now, the azaleas, roses and lilacs light up the canvas of our farm. It is truly lovely seeing these beautiful colors boldly going forth as they contrast the luscious green of the grass coming in as we speak. Yes, we’ve had two mow jobs already. We love that. When we get to mow the lawn for the first time and get to that ‘really pretty’ look a yard has when the lawn is mowed and the flowers are all blooming, we are always thrilled.
We’ve done alot on the farm this winter with lots to show for it. So, there’ll be quite a few pictures as I give you a tour through our farm chores in this picture blog this morning.
So onward we go on our path through our chores so you can see first hand what we are doing at the farm.
First, my husband and I enjoy our coffee together on the lovely porch. It’s such a treat to be blessed as empty nesters with such a lovely farm. And, my husband’s son is out to help for the month, which is also a wonderful treat. The view of the Smoky Mountains couldn’t be prettier from our front porch. It makes our coffee time a very special time.
After coffee is done and before we even go outside to start our chores, I check on the progress of several of the starts I still have indoors and have yet to transplant outside. While most of my spring garden is in, my sweet potato slips are still indoors along with my experimentation with tobacco. Outside in the garden we already have in the ground cauliflower, peas, squash, onions, kale, lettuce, potatoes, parsnips, turnips, collards, spinach, radishes, carrots, cantelope, zucchini, and pumpkin, along with a great deal of herbs. Below is a picture of the progress of our tobacco starts and sweet potatoes.
We head outside and at the top of the property we water and feed the chickens and new chicks along with the ducks and ducklings. We have twelve new chicks to add to our flock and we have rouen (3) and pekin (10) ducks we are starting this year for the first time. They all seem to be doing great waddling, chirping and quacking away.
We gather our grain in the shop (we mix our own grain as we are an organic farm) and hop on our ATV and head toward the barn. Along the way we check on our fruit trees, berries, grape vines, and perennials (sunchokes, artichokes, rhubarb, strawberries, etc.). Here’s some pretty shots of the grapes we worked so hard to put up on trellises this last winter. In fact, there’s already grape clusters forming on them.
We head down to the barn to begin chores. You can’t help but notice our big hay elevator up against the barn.
As we begin our hay, grain and watering of the livestock we first check on the babies. There’s alot of babies: five new baby rabbits, four lambs and seven goat kids.
We proceed to feed our alpacas, bucklings, horses, sheep, rabbits and doe goats.
Once all the animals are grained and let loose outside, we head back to the house to start the next phase of our workday which starts with a really big farm breakfast.
Our work during the day has been consisting of putting up more fence for the lower pastures along our stream, preparing the beds for gardening, putting in new lawn and patching worn spots, tilling the garden, getting seed starts in the garden and building potato boxes to become more ‘vertical’ in nature in our garden. We call it the seed, feed and weed phase of our yard, garden and orchard maintenance.
Once our long day is done, we take a stroll through our flower gardens and stop to just take in the view and scents as the sun sets over our farm. The smell of rose and lilac drift through the air as we watch the sun cross over the horizon. With our work days currently being about ten hours a day, we are tired. But together, my husband and I know we’ve truly found home. For us, home is not just a place, it’s a feeling in our hearts AND in our spirits. And this farm is truly our home. For the two of us, there is nothing better than farm living. Our ten hour days are loaded with pride and accomplishment, love and caring for critters and the highest yield of productivity by way of milk, butter, fruit, veges, nuts and meat – all from our own farm. What could be better! We are truly blessed. May God bless you this week and we hope you enjoyed our farm update.
God Bless! ~ L. Davis