It’s Spring on the farm

No koi yet but we finally have koi equipment in North Carolina. One of our RDFs, some pumps and assorted pond building items made their way south in March. The pond builder put up some shelves and we will hopefully break ground on our next trip to the farm. Watching the koi on Arlo is not particularly exciting but I know they are swimming around in Minnesota still.

We have spent much of winter cleaning out different areas of our property. One weekend we decided to get the heap of metal out of the woods. For much of the year it has been hidden behind thick vegetation and brambles. A few months ago we decided to clear brambles and found something that looks like an old refrigerator. Someone thought it might have been a moonshiner site since there were a lot of bottles laying around. Turns out, it’s a cooler like you might find in a convenience store that stores ice cream. We also think the place was just a general dumping ground for people who lived on the property. I’m just happy to have the item sitting behind the barn now. The pond builder has been busy trying to cut it up for disposal.

Another long term project/hobby around the farm is making hobbit furniture. We cut down a lot of trees and generally we burn them unless we choose to keep it for firewood. The cedar tree branches have some interesting shapes that it seemed a shame to burn them. I thought it would be fun to try making some random stick furniture to leave out in the woods. I made a little bench seat as my first project using a leftover bridge plank and some branches. I’m not sure how long I’ll be doing this but it’s amusing.

Walking in the woods is an adventure every time. I generally follow the little deer trail on my walks. You can see it very clearly in the photo with the running cedar cover. My daughter found the shell of an eastern box turtle on one of her walks. One of our long term projects is to clean up the forests of fallen trees and clearing the edges of junk plants. Maybe it will be halfway done in a few years.

The fruit trees we planted last fall are doing fine. We have been doing a lot of planting around the farm – more trees, shrubs and wildflower seeds.

After months of saying “We really need to work on that garden…” – we have the start of our vegetable garden. More about the 2021 vegetable garden HERE. We decided to go with raised beds and are experimenting with different beds. I have six metal sided raised beds (three still need to be put together), 24 x pots for the tomato plants, concrete block raised bed for cucumbers and beans, and some planting bags as well. We’ll probably have more vegetables than we could possibly eat which will start me on another project of long term storage of food. Pickling, making a lot of sauces to freeze, maybe canning – it all sounds like a lot of work. Might be fun….

This weekend the pond builder had Bradford Pear Tree rage. While the blooms might look pretty, they smell disgusting. Another major problem is that they are considered an invasive species and choke out a lot of native trees that we want to keep. The tree also has a bad habit of spawning progeny that are very spiky. The thorns can be a few inches and are very strong. We took down about 50 percent of the Bradfords on our property. Most of them have been marked so the we can continue the work over the next few months or wait until winter when it’s easier to take down trees.

Where we removed some Bradford Pear trees in our small pasture might be a great site for a future fruit orchard. We have three apple trees and two plum trees that will go into the area that we cleared. The recent rains has made it muddy work but some day we’ll be able to enjoy the fruit. Of course, the deer might enjoy the fruit as well…

It’s enjoyable to see all the green coming back to the farm. Good stuff, bad stuff and the weeds. I doubt we will ever have it all under control but we can always hope.

A lovely setting to work remotely – it will be practically perfect once the koi come home!