April Update

This spring has found me in a new place- the changes I implemented last year are already showing their benefit in my life. I turned down various opportunities in favor of digging our family’s roots in deeper, and so far, I think I actually made the right choice! I’m not a person who is able to feel that stuff out so easily, so it feels like a big deal to me. I want to serve and live my life as generously and radically as I can, but I also think that needs to include care for myself, as well as a critical perspective about what some versions of “going all-out” actually yield- aka “I did it all, but was it good? Did I do any of it well?” etc. I want quality, reliability, honesty, and mindfulness in my work. I am getting there! 

This year will be the first I haven’t gone to market in a while. It certainly has changed the angle of my thoughts, which is what I wanted. I’m less concerned with what I’ll put on that market table, and more thinking about how to really infuse this space with love. My plan is to do that for a while, with an aim to share the surplus and keep up on activism and non-monetary service, and then see where I am and what that all feels like.

So far this spring I’m not “behind” at all, which is not something I’ve ever been able to say (although I am certainly not getting the jump that some of my market gardener friends with hoop houses are). I’ve got asparagus in the ground, perennials ordered and on their way, seedlings getting stronger, and the garden is ready to plant with the earliest veggies. This weekend I’ll be knee-deep in all that, since I aim to have food coming out of the garden year-round after this start.

Membership out at the Cooperative at Dawn Farm continues to get better. We had a little flush of new members, all of whom we are really excited to have. I’ve been more excited to get out there and play than ever before. Recently I got to help my friend with her flock of sheep right in the middle of lambing. It resulted in my nursing a sick lamb for a couple of weeks (9 days at my house, and then several days back with its flock). The kids named him “Sunny Alex”, and he was just the kind of new-life sweetness we needed in lieu of any chicks or ducklings this spring.

The kids were amazing, too. So motivated to help, all of us getting up early to feed the baby in the basement when he cried out. It was special. Both kids started talking more about ways they could help around our farm… it is just such natural and gratifying work to care for life. I’m so grateful to continue connecting with it all, but especially grateful to see it doing its work on my own babies. Sheesh, it could make a mama burst.

I’m not technically responsible for the lamb anymore, but I’m still opting to go out there and feed him when I can. I know I have to wait, but it’s given me an itch to caring for larger animals. I don’t have any pasture, just acres of woods, so I’m thinking goats when the time comes. This year we already plan to add rabbits and pigs, so I’ll be content to learn and help my friends until then.

Cheap trick: Use old blinds to make labels for seed starting. You can always find these for free somewhere, and then you just break them to size and you’ve got a huge supply.

April icy rain encasing strawberry plants. This kind of weather never surprises me, but reliably surprises most everyone around me. Perhaps working outside keeps me from feeling that shocked about how variable a Michigan spring is. I just take the opportunity to read and have some tea… it’s all good! Plus I never set my seedlings out too early. That has mostly been accidental due to running “behind”, but has actually served me well.

 

We have a broody duck! It’s one of our Muscovy hens, so I’m hopeful they will hatch well since I believe them to be better parents than the Anconas. Maybe they will even hatch out some of our Ancona eggs too! 

Tie-dyed duck eggs we made for Easter.

Hopefully the next update won’t be a whole month away. Too much happens, it makes it hard to know what to write! Here’s hoping. 

Gracie
Gracie

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