It is February 22, and I believe it’s safe to determine that it is springtime in Louisiana. As a Virginia native, I admit that I oftentimes miss the snow and chill. Since however, I have now spent three winters in the deep South, I confess that I truly appreciate the seasons here (though I sorely miss having real autumns). First of all, winter only lasts about two months here, and in the case of this winter – it’s probably been less than two months! Planting time for the Spring begins in February, and the birds and squirrels came back out a few weeks ago. In most of the country, chickens either cease laying or their laying decreases dramatically. Yet, by January all of our young hens who had not yet begun laying because of age, were all laying! Of course there are positives and negatives. Summertime here is brutal. Comparable to how people in the North avoid being outside in the winter due to weather, we stay inside during the summer for the same reason. Nevertheless, I have a newfound appreciation for Spring because of Louisiana.
Over here at Hobbitry Homestead, we had a quiet weekend as a family – the first one in a while. Saturday was glorious. The three of us slept in (as late as can be expected for a family with a 17 month old and hungry backyard animals). We enjoyed breakfast together then spent almost the entire day outside with a nap break for the tot and a show break for the parents. Lu is finally now walking, and she had an absolute blast outside of the chicken run walking back and forth talking to the chickens and trying to feed them weeds and grass. She literally played for hours by herself. We of course had a close eye on her, but she was very insistent on wanting to explore on her own. Every now and then she would shout “hey!” but other than that she loved the independence.
Ross built a somewhat permanent paddock shift system – one that he had been wanting to build for a year now. He amazes me with how quickly and methodically he uses his resources to build whatever structures we’ve needed on the homestead. He never draws up plans, and he merely pieces everything together himself (the chicken coop, the rabbit hutch, the gate to the run, the fencing system, etc). Plus, most of those structures were built 90% out of scrap materials.
I began to sow the seeds for the spring garden, which we had previously weeded and cleaned up the weekend before. We still have some broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, and garlic growing from the Fall planting, and I just sowed pole and bush beans, peas, beets, radishes, and more kale. As we get further along into March we’ll add summer squash, more peas and beans, tomatoes, more herbs, okra, swiss chard, runner beans, and whatever else we decide to add. Our seed inventory is still pretty large from last year, and thankfully we probably do not have to order any seed this season – other than whatever forage crop we will sow for the animals. I like to do a mix of direct seeding, growing our own transplants, and buying a few special seedlings from the farmer’s market.
Yesterday, we had one of the best Sundays in a while. We went to our usual Mass time. Lu napped afterward while we had our typical brunch at home, complete with much needed catch up conversation from the week. And upon Lúthien’s waking, we made a family outing to the park by the river. We stopped by the playground, gave her a swing, walked by the riverside, and sat in the grass picking clover. It is such a joy to have a walking child, especially one who takes such beautiful delight in it (plus, this has been a long time coming – 17 months!!). Sunday finished out with a drive around downtown, and our traditional dinner with Ross’ parents.
Thank you Lord for Sundays. Ross may have to start working on Sundays again, but we’re grateful for our weekends for the time being.