Sunday, May 24, 2015

Homestead Happiness May Week 3

We skipped a couple weeks of our HAP posts, in part because we were busy with non-homesteading-related stuff, and in part because we've been doing a bit of twiddling our thumbs waiting for the dirt to dry out enough to plant the garden.  But there's still plenty to be happy about!

First off, the wild greens in the yard are loving all the rain.  We haven't planted any greens in the garden yet, but we sure haven't had to leave the yard for our vegetables!  You may have guessed from the last couple posts that we've been eating a lot of dandelion greens and sorrel (and you'd be correct), but the mallow (in the picture) has also been a valuable addition to our plates.

The hops plant came back!  And it's already as big as it got last year!  Hopefully it will help the bees battle varroa, although we don't have too strong of hopes that the bees will self-treat.

One leaf on our rhubarb was almost completely eaten by slugs (we think), and the stalk had come partially disconnected.  So we picked it the rest of the way, making this little 4" morsel is the first rhubarb we've harvested from the plant.  It made one bowl of oatmeal very awesome.

Judging by the number of volunteer potatoes that came up this spring, we need to do a better job harvesting next year (although volunteer veggies that made it through the winter are always kind of fun) .  They got knocked back a bit by a Mothers Day snowstorm, but they're pushing on now.  We pulled out a couple that were in this year's garden beds, but the ones that came up in what are now aisles will get to do what they want for the summer.  For the ones we had to move, we dug the best specimens into the compost bin to see what they'd do, since last year we had a regular old russet potato from the store sprout in the compost and survive the summer to actually produce a pound or two of potatoes.  That was a nice surprise!

One nice thing about all this rain is that it's made it really easy to pull weeds.  The strawberries needed it bad, and we happily removed all the quack grass in there.

We did take the risk of turning over a couple beds to get the onions and sweet potatoes planted since they really needed to get in the ground.  Hope they do ok!

Some of the first wildflowers (not including dandelions) are also starting to bloom.  These guys are in with some roses that are looking a little deficient in iron or nitrogen.  We haven't seen any bees on these blooms yet...

...but they are working on the chives that got ahead of us!  This little gal was so into it, she started probing the next flower while she was still standing on the first one!  Good work, ladies.

What made you happy this week?

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