Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring on my happy homestead

We are having a typical Idaho spring. It is cold, snowy, rainy, and windy most of the time, but now and again, the sun shines. My grass is greening up, and we are busy getting ready for our short growing season. I decided to share a blog post today about all of the wonderful things going on here on my little piece of the world.

This is my early herb garden. The chives, oregano, and chammomile are coming up nicely. We have already planted some early greens in this garden. Radishes, lettuce, chard, spinach, beets, and peas all do just fine in cool weather. With a few warm days, they will all start shooting up. I can't wait to start cooking out of the garden again.

Speaking of cooking, our hens are laying tons of eggs right now. In the spring they start eating the tender shoots of new grass, and their eggs are amazing. The yolks stand up tall in the pan, and they are a deep, golden color. We have a variey of chickens. Most are Rhode Island Reds, but we also have Black Sex Links, Buff Orpingtons, and Barred Plymouth Rock. The eggs range in color from brown, light brown, and white.

The hens are really nosy. They are following Scott around to see what he is doing. I like to pick them up and stroke their soft feathers. They are really fun to have around.

We are in our second year of raising turkeys. They are a heritage breed called Blue Slate. Heritage means that they are an old breed, not genetically modified. Blue slates are considered to be a dying breed. We chose to raise them with the intent to grow the flock to a decent size, to help the breed to survive. They are really cool. The toms are the ones with the blue faces. They are always puffing up, showing off for the hens.

We were so excited to discover eggs in the turkey coop last week. These eggs went in to the incubator last night. Hopefully we will get chicks! Blue slate turkey chicks are very expensive, so we are really hoping to be able to raise our own babies. In 7 days we can candle the eggs to see if there is anything growing inside. I cannot wait to see them hatch. What a miracle eggs are!

Another miracle this spring is that our bees lived through the winter. I was very concerned that we had lost the hive, but they are alive! While they do seem to still have some honey to live on, we started feeding them sugar water as well, in an effort to ensure their survival. I have not been a great beekeeper. I need to find someone who can help me this spring. I think that we need a new queen. I am really hoping that we can harvest a box of honey for ourselves this fall. How cool will that be?!

We decided to try something new this spring, and we built and indoor bean trellis. These are asparagus beans, and they are growing really fast. Scott did a great job building the stand. We hope to be eating beans by June.

We have a lot of seedling growing big and tall, getting ready for that blessed day when we can move them outside. Our cucumbers are growing so fast, however, that we moved them to big pots and trellised them up.

They are sweet pea trellises for Mothers Day. In a month or so, they will have these posts filled with greenery, and be starting to blossom. I can't wait for the finished product, they are going to be so beautiful!

I love the miracles that spring brings to my house. I am constantly in awe of the beautiful place that we live. It is my honor to find beauty in every day, and wonder in every experience!

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