It was the perfect spring weekend here on Bedlam Farm. Sunny, but not too warm, I spent my days outside doing some of those things I love to do.
I’m working on spreading this winter’s manure around the pastures.
On Saturday I emptied five wheelbarrows full of donkey and sheep mature in the back pasture. I dumped it in a pile, then spread it out with a rake. It’s slow work, but I do it little by little and the pile gets visibly smaller with each wheelbarrow full. I can also see how much healthier the grass in the pasture is where I spread it around last year.
Now that small hill of manure is just a long low lump on the ground.
Today I worked in the North Pasture where the sheep and donkeys are grazing this week.
A strip of the pasture along the fence was filling in with Multiflora Rose. It’s that sticker bush that gets beautifully smelling flowers in the summer and red berries in the winter. The flowers are great for the bees and the berries for the birds.
But the bush will take over the whole pasture if I let it.
So I got out the lawnmower and cut it all down today. The bushes were no more than two feet tall and my push mower had no problem cutting them down. That strip of the pasture was also littered with a bunch of branches from the maple tree.
I had to clear them out to mow and I didn’t realize how many there were. I got into the habit of just throwing the branches that fell from the old maple over the fence into the pasture.
Now they will be the start of our Summer Solstice Bonfire in June. That is if Fanny and Lulu don’t eat them all first. They love to nibble on the bark and eat the soft and rotting wood.
When I was done mowing, I did a little planting.
My friend Anne (who the hen is named after) gave me some potatoes for my vegetable garden. Last year I planted sweet potatoes, but I think regular potatoes are easier to grow and harvest.
I put them behind the garlic. I also have kale and lettuce seeds sprouting. I only have half the garden planted at this point. It’s still too early to put in most of the vegetables. Traditionally I wait until Memorial Day, but I have a feeling I’ll put them in a little earlier this year. The days and nights are warmer this year than usual.
I also spent some time, sitting in the barnyard with the animals. I brushed Fanny and Lulu and scraped their hooves. Then I laid back on the rock foundation and watched the barn swallows circle above me.
Throughout the weekend, Jon and I sat under the apple tree as the petals from the blossoms snowed down on us.