In ancient Germania, May was called Thrimilce, or “the month of three milkings.” After the long and cold winters of the frozen north, livestock were often so well fed on fresh spring grass that they could be milked three times a day. What a change this must have been from the lean months after Fall Harvest.
Here, on our land, April is usually our mud season but this year with all the freezing and thawing, May has quickly taken its place. For us, May is not Thrimilce but Quagmire!
Nature moved slowly this year but as a comparison, these pictures show the slow march towards warmth and growth.
Remnants of Old Man Willow still lay upon the ground from an earlier winter storm and baby peas are poking up out of one garden bed. The leaf mould, grass and rabbit manure that I put on the beds last fall has all decomposed nicely. In the picture with the shed, there are still a few overwintered crops left in a couple of beds. Some of those are parsnips which came back quite nicely and produced many seeds for us. In the background, our three Barred Rocks that we keep in a second flock are out in one of the chicken tractors. We keep them separate for pure bloodlines and as a redundancy in case something happens to our primary rooster, Ned Stark. They spent most of the summer in the tractor until I found these tracks one morning:
Racoon again. Luckily, my live trap worked fantastic and I was easily able to rid the property of the predator. A tip I found worked out great for me – if you have the type of live trap with a pan that snaps the door shut, place a marshmallow under the pan from below the trap. The marshmallow will get stuck under the pan between the metal and the bottom of the cage. In this way, the racoon will set the trap off simply by standing on the pan and trying to pull the marshmallow out.
To continue the comparison to the rather bleak gardens above, these were taken mid-May on a (finally) warmer day.
This is a glimpse of the rabbit barn and our two herb beds. The herb beds are central to our homestead since they provide tea, food and medicines. It is also a slight enigma to me because this is one area that I rarely personally attend to. For that reason and because these plants mean so much to us, the entire area has a sense of the magical to it. Of course, we have plans to expand as we incorporate many more important herbs into our system.