Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Arrival Of Spring

As spring arrives, I have a list of things that I want to do as it does, and things I want to have done before the ground is thawed. Some of the things I wanted to have done before thaw I really wanted done some time ago, but have been slowed down or prevented from happening by various obstacles. What that means is that now I am in a bit of a rush as winter ends on getting my winter preparations done.

To be done before thaw.

Finish the rabbit hutches: I have the materials scheduled for delivery this week, so I can finish them hopefully before next Monday. That way I can stop inconveniencing Michelle Chandler. Corollary to that is picking the rabbits up from Michelle Chandler as soon as I am done.

Finish the studio space: There are only a couple things left to do, I just need to do them at this point. With the driveway passable and it getting warm the last parts I can't do can also be finished.

Have a garden plan: My mother is coming up shortly to help with garden planning as she is a skilled gardener, and I am at best, not. I have a lot of learning to do, and at the very least we need to have a good plan for where the fruit trees will be planted since those are fairly important to have done.

In the end I guess that comes down to a fairly small list which isn't bad. The rabbit hutches I really wanted to have done two months ago, but life has just prevented that, the studio I wanted done long before that, but has been its own set of challenges.

Things to do as soon as the ground is thawed.

Dig up the previous owners garden, and prepare the ground for our garden. We are not going to get rid of everything the previous owner had, but a lot of it isn't useful or relevant to us, but the space is.  Especially in the areas where the lady of the house and I let it go to weeds I am just wiping out and starting over with vegetables and herbs, with enough flowers to attract good bugs and birds.

Build a berm: In the copious rains of last year our yard flooded a couple times, which is unsurprising as it is next to a swamp and a drainage stream. Part of that came from the stream over flowing, so I am digging it a bit deeper, moving rocks, and building a bit of a retaining wall for it. That will actually be expanded slightly to be a raised bed for the garden most likely to help anchor it.

Plant the trees: I am not entirely certain when the trees will come from the Arbor Day Foundation, but when they arrive since I will have a completed plan, I will plant them.

Engage in an eradication program for the Barberry Bushes: These invasive bushes are a pain. They are hard to kill off, and their fruits are delicious to the local birds. As thorn bushes they are even less pleasant. The lady of the house and I are attempting to eradicate them as much as possible from our land. It will mean regular woods walks covering as much of our area as we can and chopping down every one we find, and uprooting them when possible.

Plant the garden: I am not entirely certain what sort of work this will entail, that will have to wait on talking to my mother and deciding what we will be planting.

As spring hits there will be quite a lot of digging in my future it seems, and that's fine. All of the preparation needs to happen within a certain time frame or there are things we will not be able to do this year.

General Tasks:
Rabbit Care: This new general task will be taking a lot of my attention I suspect as I learn what is and is not normal. What needs to be going on and what is bad and wrong. I will also I suspect be sleeping lightly as I worry about the fisher cats going after the rabbits.

Clearing Ditches: One of the things that led to the wash out of the driveway in Hurricane Irene was the fact that the previous owner hadn't maintained the driveway or the ditches. From spring through first snow I will need to regularly go up and down the drainage ditch and make sure it is clear and well cared for. The more regularly I do it, the less onerous a task it will be.

Learning Our Land: Each bit of property has its own micro climates, soils, hazards, and benefits. In our first year of living here we learned some of them, but we were feeling rather overwhelmed so we didn't take notes and didn't really go looking. We need to.

General Household Maintenance: This catch all is a lot of task, and we will just have to make sure everything gets done in addition to the new tasks we are adding.

Keeping Up The Blog: Despite all of these tasks I will be doing my best to have a post up every Tuesday and Thursday. As we get into the rabbit care expect a lot of posts about that. We will likely be starting to keep logs of health and weight of the rabbits for general information that I may post here with the regular posts.

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