Patience is a virtue

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Growing up I had an English teacher that reminded us that “patience is a virtue” on a daily basis. It used to drive us crazy as teenagers. Now that I am an adult, I have come to realize that this wise woman knew exactly what she was talking about. Everything comes in due time. This world that we live in is such a hurried place that we really need to slow down and be more patient.

I have been working diligently in my garden all week and really began to appreciate this as I prepare for the summer season. I am getting the porch ready and cleaning out all of the flower beds. Setting out the hummingbird feeders and new this year, an oriole feeder. I have tried different ones in the past to no avail. I saw this one at the store and decided to give it a try. You fill it with jelly instead of a liquid sugar-water. Well, lo and behold, I have a new resident in town, and he is the most beautiful bird I think I have ever seen! He announces his presence every time he comes to feed too!

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I have also had several beautiful swallowtail butterflies visiting my phlox. They are here much earlier than I expected, so I had to grab my camera really quickly to capture them. They really caught me by surprise. If you know me, butterflies and hummingbirds are two of my very favorite things. I could watch them all day. Although, I think I can add the Baltimore Oriole to that list now too!

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I challenge you to take the time to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature while you are outside working. Try not to be in such a hurry to always get things done that you miss the beauty that surrounds you. Breathe in the fresh air and take a few minutes to just “be”. Who knows….you might find yourself relaxing and relieving stress just by being outside.

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I became a chicken farmer

My husband and I took the plunge this weekend and bought peeps! We have been wanting to raise chickens for many years and we finally followed through with it. We went to Rural King on Friday and bought 9 peeps. We got 3 different breeds: Rainbow Dixie, Black Australorp and Cinnamon Queen. We also got a coop and will build a nice size run for them. We certainly can’t let them free-range with our huskies!

IMG_6763There is quite a learning process involved if you have never raised chickens. First of all, they poop a lot, drink a lot, and sleep a lot. They are very entertaining to watch. I gave them snacks – cut up grapes one day and strawberries the next. There are lots of pieces on the ground, but they will chase each other around because one of them has a piece in its beak and they all want that one piece. It is hysterical.

I have also learned that although I bought my chicks in April, I probably cannot expect to see eggs from them much before the end of September. That said, I was able to find some older hens, approximately 6 months old, nearby for $16/each that I will be picking up this weekend so that I can start to get eggs now. These will be an Australorp mixed breed.

I am very excited about finally having fresh organic eggs and also about getting that very rich compost. By adding the chicken poop to my compost pile it will add nitrogen and make my compost very rich and hopefully my garden will be very well nourished as a result.

Time to cultivate your garden

“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden. ”  Thomas Jefferson

As much as I would love to say that Spring has sprung, here in Ohio the weather just can’t make up its mind. One day we are having beautiful springlike weather and the next day it is snowing. I remind myself that this is the same thing that happens year after year and I must continue planning my garden.

The first thing that any gardener needs to do is decide what plants and vegetables they want to plant and then look to see when the last frost date is for your area.  https://www.almanac.com/gardening/frostdates  This will allow you to plan when you need to plant your different varieties of plants and vegetables.

April is also a great time to make your plans and start ordering things for the upcoming season if you haven’t already done so. I like to take inventory of all my garden supplements as well. I don’t use anything that isn’t organic, so I like to make sure I have everything on hand ahead of time.

Clean out your garden, and flower beds. Pull those pesky weeds. Winter hasn’t been very nice here in Ohio, so I have a lot of work ahead of me. I need to clean out all of my beds and lay down mulch. I will also till the top half of my raised beds for my vegetable garden and spread corn gluten meal to kill the weed seeds.

Make sure you try something new every year. Life is about taking chances. There is nothing better than the first day working out in the yard, getting your hands in the dirt, listening to the birds sing and feeling the warmth of the sun on your face. And of course, I always have my huskies by my side!

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