What has life looked like for you this week? Does your to-do-list feel like it will never end? Do you even make lists? Do you wish for more hours in the day this time of year?
Is it cool and rainy or hot and dry? Did you spend the Victoria Day long weekend relaxing with family or doing projects around home?
Our farm to-do-list is a mile long this time of year. We actually make a physical list that takes up permanent residence on our kitchen table this time of year. Every morning over coffee, before everyone heads off in different directions we review the lists and figure out who will be doing what jobs for that day. Sometimes we each have a job to do alone, but for bigger jobs we will all put our efforts into completing it together. Lists have helped us to stay focused on the most important jobs at hand. It also gives us a sense of accomplishment when jobs are able to get a big check mark when they are completed.
I think May has got to be one of our busiest months on the farm. Because the snow was late melting this year, our planting window has been greatly shortened. Needless to say, we are rushing around trying to get the garden and forages planted in a timely manner, get the cows and sheep out to pasture, make sure the pigs are rotated to fresh forest pastures, keeping up with lawn mowing and a myriad of other activities.
Growing the Orchard
The half acre permaculture orchard that we started three years ago has been filled to capacity with apples, pears, plums, hascaps (aka honeyberries), sweet cherries, chokecherries, raspberries, strawberries, and goji berries. In between all the little trees are the vegetable garden beds. These will occupy the spaces until the trees become too large to allow the veggies the optimal growth conditions.
Just like there is never enough money to go around, there will always be more fruit trees we want to plant. So we are adding another half acre to the orchard area this year. That means we will have to take down one side of the eight foot game fence that protects the orchard from elk and deer. Then we will take this fence along with some additional wire and surround the expanded section. This expansion is going to bigger than we think we need so we don’t have to move fence again. It is always a bigger job to redo something than to start from the beginning.
So, early this week found us removing some aspen trees that were shading the new area and replacing them with sixty Saskatoon bushes. Over the next few weeks more apple trees, chokecherries, raspberries and sea buckthorn will be added to this new area.
This new orchard area will also see the guest cabin nestled in amongst the trees. It will be a peaceful place for our bed and breakfast guests to relax and enjoy the quietness of nature.
On top of all this it has been extremely warm here. Thankfully because we are so far north it is light here by 4 am and it doesn’t get dark until 11 pm. This allows us to work outside early in the morning and then after supper again when it is a little cooler. When Larry and I were much younger and obviously more foolish we thought we were invincible and didn’t practice good working habits when it was so hot. Now we have to manage our work day so we don’t suffer from heat exhaustion again. It doesn’t take a lot to cause us to be sick.
Pastured Pork Bundles
We were able to restock the freezers with delicious pastured pork bundles this week. This is such an amazing “convenience” food for our family. We are able to put a roast in the slow cooker in the morning before we head outside for the day’s activities. Pork chops or sausages are always quick to prepare on the barbeque. When supper time comes around it is a simple matter of preparing potatoes, rice or quinoa along with a big pot of veggies or a salad.
If you would like to enjoy this convenience you can order your pastured pork bundle. There are a very limited number of bundles left. Be sure you are ready for this busy season when meal preparation seems to take a back seat to all the other extra activities you can order your bundle here.
Last week I finished up the series on pastured pork. Be sure to check out this series.
Let Us Encourage Each Other!
Thanks for joining us again this week. How can we be an encouragement to you?
One of the reasons we do what we do is to be an inspiration to you all in the ordinariness of daily life. Sometimes the busyness of life can get pretty overwhelming. We have been able to learn that sometimes the “seasons” may not be all that pleasant, but there will always be a new “season” to look forward to. Most importantly, we should always take the time to enjoy the people who are on this journey with you.