Last night, Eric called me to rise from the couch and heating pad where I had nested to come outside. It was hard, but I went forth and out to the back porch, where a chorus of peeping frogs sang their joyous rhythm! It’s the first time we’ve heard them this year, and it made my heart leap in my chest! Peeking between the fast-moving clouds, I saw the slender crescent moon for the first time since the New Moon.
Today, I walked the yard and checked on the roses, the trees, all of the plant friends who have been napping for months. There are buds everywhere! Tulips are pushing their green flags proudly upwards through the wet clay, and daffodil clumps are lifting dead leaves in their hands for the winds to carry away. The big healthy elderberry is exploding in miniature green fireworks, as are the forsythia, old roses, and crabapple trees. Even better, the elderberry that I thought had died is springing tiny and green from the wet earth, ready to try again.
The echinacea is perking up, motherwort, mint, and mugwort are peeking up through the leaf litter, and the soapwort made it through another winter. Green sprigs of yarrow leaf and hyssop and a mat of wee lemon balm are showing up, too. Oh! Even the tiny nettles patch has revived from that last freeze – it is definitely spreading and should be a nice patch in a year or so.
Right now, I have the house open to the fresh air! I hear a woodpecker, and I’ve seen robins, doves, and bluebirds around in the past few days. The roses are wick and greening, and the whole earth is shivering in anticipation of the explosion of spring! The world is waking under my muddy, bare feet!
We’ve been planning our spring planting since January. We have staked out some spots for some dwarf fruit trees, a new patch of garden to expand on what we grew last year, and started making plans for tending the compost and doing a spring clean of the chicken coop. The chickens also need some replanting in their muddy run, or an expanded place to explore. They’ve resumed laying and I’ve been swimming in lovely eggs!
A nearby farm is having a bare-root plant sale in two weeks, and they allow preorders. With no small amount of delight, I just placed an order for some dwarf fruit trees, plants, and well, just look:
Blueberry, Alapaho (Rabbiteye)
Blueberry, Brightwell (Rabbiteye)
Blueberry, Premier (Rabbiteye)
Goji Berry, Standard
Strawberry (Everbearing), Albion (10 starters)
Apple Dwarf, Stayman Winesap
Apple Dwarf, Macintosh
Apple Dwarf, Yates Heirloom
Peach Dwarf, Surecrop
Now I’m delving into companion planting so that I can decide which herbs go around the bases of the trees, and where best to put the blueberries and goji, and relishing the chance to put into practice these things I’ve studied and daydreamed about for years! Chamomile, hyssop, comfrey, garlic, onions, tansy, dill, coriander, lemongrass, nasturtiums, marigolds are all ideal for the base of apple trees.
We also want to plant a few other things, like cherries and grapes, mulberry and mimosa, but this should be a good start in our intended direction of having fresh fruit and medicine growing in abundance to use and share with our community! The Winesap Apples are good for juicing, and the Yates Heirloom apples are considered great for cider, so I look forward to giving those projects a try. It will likely take a while for the apples to fruit, so I should have time to get a hopper for my cider press.
But for now, we wait, we plan, we prepare. We nest and fuss and work to make a space for this baby, for ourselves, and for all the fruits of the beautiful labor that makes this world keep moving. It is not spring yet, but it is coming, friends! It is coming!