April is here, and the Pisgah Forest is verdant and buzzing with life. The grass is growing, the earth is warming, and the mockingbirds and cardinals are waging war with one another in the berry brambles and honeysuckle! I’m just plain ‘et up with loving the green haze of life everywhere and the droning hum…
April is here, and the Pisgah Forest is verdant and buzzing with life. The grass is growing, the earth is warming, and the mockingbirds and cardinals are waging war with one another in the berry brambles and honeysuckle! I’m just plain ‘et up with loving the green haze of life everywhere and the droning hum of the bees on the breeze. We’ve been watching the ants, birds, frogs…all building, nesting, mating…GO TIME is here!!
We’ve been busy, too! Besides putting in volunteer and intern hours at the Western North Carolina Nature Center, Eric has been doing a great job of building us a cute little chicken coop out of pallets and spare lumber and bits of fencing that we reclaimed while driving around town. This picture is from about a week or so ago; the coop now has a wall for the front of it with a wee door cut in, and we have just acquired hinges for the back of the coop. It will swing open so we can have easy access to collect eggs and clean up the chicken poo. We can’t wait to get our hens!
Here’s reprise of my To-Do list for March, updated now that we are moving into April!
- Build Chicken Coop (scrounged lumber, fence panels, pallets) – MOSTLY DONE, just the hinges, a gangplank, and set it in the yard securely…there’s birds of prey that live here so we have to get good bird netting as well.
- Set up rain barrel – We need a new barrel…our freebie-find barrel has small holes in it, on closer inspection. It may; however, turn into a compost barrel.
- Modify pallets into Raised Beds – One down, three to go! Since we are gardening in the front yard now rather than the back lot, I might do more containers than planted beds. Got to stay flexible; plans always change.
- Feed and work the compost pile – happy earthworms, scraps turning to dirt, all is well there. I fed it with some moo-nure and mushroom compost to help kick it up a notch.
- Herbal First Aid Class (March 15, 6-9pm @ AB Tech, Madison campus, Free!)
- Healing From the Hive, Apitherapy Class (March 22, 6-9pm @ AB Tech, Madison campus, Free!) I missed these two classes because of SNOW, and then SICK. BUT they are running again in May.
- Spring Garden School (March 20, 8:30-3:30 @ AB Tech, Ferguson Center, $10) This class was awesome! I kept writing notes, paying attention, and waiting to get bored, but it didn’t happen. I loved the presentation on the basics of growing in this zone, details on how to grow tomatoes effectively, container gardening, pest management, and edible landscaping. I also finally met Ashley English of “Design Sponge” and “Small Measures” fame! Yay!
- Continue to invest time in building and promoting my Etsy shop – sales are steady, and I’m progressing with making this REAL. Pixie’s Pocket™ is in the process of becoming a legitimate legal business within North Carolina. I’m now advertising with Project Wonderful on awesome sites like Octopus Pie, and gaining followers on Twitter. I’m also proud to be a sponsor of the 2010 Think Green Fair in Rochester, MN!
- Invest time in my local community by joining farm markets and supplying local shops with my products – this is still in progress, and ever will be. Markets start soon and I am pretty sure I’ll be helping Shannon Houn at House of Herbs with the Earthfare vendor market.
- Gopher/Vole/Groundhog proof the garden beds & varmint-proof the Coop
- GET CHICKENS!
- Buy local, heirloom veggies that will thrive here (zone 7b) – So far, I have hybrid bush cherry tomato and an heirloom “Mortgage Lifter” tomato seeds starting to sprout! Also, I will have basil coming out of my EARS…it’s taking off like crazy! We will be waiting until May to put out summer veggies. I’ll be direct-sowing lettuces and spinach tomorrow.
- Take other classes that come up that can help me with chickens, bees, gardens!! This list includes joining the WNC Beekeepers Association and the Asheville City Chickens Group. Also more free classes at AB Tech and other local presenters…more TBA!
So that’s about it. Back to work scrubbing the kitchen floor and vacuuming up a winter’s worth of slack…it sure does feel good to MOVE and STRETCH and wake up with the earth!
What is Spring encouraging you to do? Or for you on the opposite end of the globe – what fall projects are keeping you busy?