Saturday, April 2, 2016

Homestead Happiness April Week 1

Spring is definitely in the air here at the Lab, with our seven chickens laying normally at least five eggs per day, the grass in the yard shrugging off the latest snowfall and threatening to need mowing in the same day, and the sap season winding down (more on that on soon!).  Here are some other signs of spring that made us happy this week.

Empty basket root cellar
This was our root cellar over the winter. We used up the last of our winter squash this week, which means we made it through our whole stash and lost only one to spoilage.  It also means that we found a corner of our house that works as a root cellar for warm-storage crops with little modification.  The trade-off is that it's just a corner of our living room, with no additional isolation.  That is, it stayed at a steady 50-60 °F all winter while the thermostat was set to 67 °F, so our house is probably not very well insulated and our heating bills are probably higher than they could be.  But still, only spoiled squash!

Tulip and Iris first leaves
Tulips and irises pushing through the mulch!

The first intrepid dandelions are blooming!

Freeze-killed apricot blossoms
Our unknown mystery tree is almost certainly a decades-old apricot.  This is the first time it bloomed since we've been here.  Unfortunately, as soon as the flowers opened, we got a foot of snow and all the blossoms died.  But now we know that it would be worth trying to propagate this tree and give its offspring a more protected locale.

Bradford Pear almost blooming
Meanwhile, the Bradford pears are just now looking ready to bloom, so they should do alright. (Unless we get another foot of snow...)

Young strawberry plants in container
 Transplanted strawberries looking good.  We're going to get some before the squirrels do this year, just you watch!

Egyptian onions and chives
And finally, Egyptian onions (left) and chives (right), ready to start adorning our morning eggs!  Time to start the harvest counter for this year's garden!

 What made your homestead happy this week?

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