A River Runs Through It

“There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, The earth, and every common sight, To me did seem Appareled in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream. It is not now as it hath been of yore;- Turn wheresoe’er I may, By night or day, The things which I have seen I now can see no more.”


The snow has all melted away over the last few days of steady rain and rising temperatures.  This is what the front pasture looked like a few days ago at the height of the flooding.  Typically this happens two or three times a year and mostly during the spring rains.  The water comes pouring down through the woods, out into the back pasture and rushes down through the paddocks and into this garden area.  Of all the garden beds that lay in this field, only one of them ever becomes inundated with water and fixing that problem is a priority for us this summer.

IMG_0626I created this swale along the fence row last fall to divert the water away from the beds and move it down toward the paddock gate.  It has been working great and is why there is so much water flowing under the entrance in the top picture.  I spent a bit of time yesterday shoring it up after the winter and placing this chicken barrier along the ditch.  After I put this together, I seeded some clover to help with the erosion.

After working on the swale, I began to do some spring cleaning and realized that I had made a pretty costly mistake last fall.  We harvested about 100 bulbs of onions that I had tied up to string and left hanging in the garage to dry out.  This was our first year of saving a fairly large amount of onions and apparently keeping them in the cold was not a great idea.  They had frozen and thawed and then frozen and thawed again. The result was 100 bulbs of mush.  Next year, they will go in the house with the rest of the produce.  Tossing them out one by one was a difficult thing to do.  I guess the silver lining is that I learned this lesson now and not when we were depending on them for sustenance.

One of the benefits of the warming weather and the longer days is that the chickens are slowly being moved out of their winter quarters and out into the pastures.  Here is a picture of my Black Australorp and my Barred Rock roosters meeting for the first time this year.

IMG_0622I keep them separate for breeding purposes and all last summer they seemed fairly indifferent to each other. Not so this spring.  I had to quickly move them away from each other until the blood lust subsided.


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