Orchestrating the Chaos

Things have really kicked into high gear around the homestead. This time of year, everything gets so hectic, and this year has been especially busy. The most obvious chore is maintaining our 2-acre property now that the flora has burst into life again. I’m constantly pulling weeds and cutting back some of the plants that tend to take over, like my chocolate mint and raspberry bushes. I’ve even managed to get the planter box cleared before it was time to get my seedlings in the the ground! My long-time regular readers will know how much I’ve struggled with that over the past two years. This year is my year!

As you can see, I still need to clean it up a bit more, and it could use some more filling. Thankfully, I have the composter now, and it fills up quick with all the baking and weeding I’ve been doing as of late. Sometime in the future, I want to replace the wood around the edges, and I’m also planning on putting a small fence and gate around the area to keep out deer and the many, many bunnies that live in the raspberry bushes right next to it. Sometime this week, I’m also going to cut back the raspberry bushes, seeing as they’re encroaching again (as they are wont to do).

For the first part of the spring, the local teen who helped mow our yard while I was heavily pregnant last year came by to help out again. We’ve decided that after this week, I’m going to take over that task again because I’m physically capable, it will get me exercising more, and it’s no longer an expense we need to incur. We’ll also need to put that money toward hiring a poison ivy removal company. Two years ago, we had hired someone, but he only showed up once or twice, did a little bit of work on the lowest-priority areas, and then disappeared. He kept claiming that he would come back with a team, but they were all out sick with poison ivy rashes. I can’t say I’m surprised, because he had no protective gear other than a long-sleeved shirt. This year, we’re going with someone more professional and more equipped to handle the large job we have on our property.

I also have the farm stand up and running! We don’t have any produce to put out yet, but I’m keeping it stocked with fresh baked goods that I’m preparing on a daily basis. The stand hasn’t quite taken off yet, but after I posted a picture of a glazed lemon loaf I had made to my Ginger Gardens Facebook page, I ended up getting an order for ten of them! I spent almost the whole weekend baking and doing fiber arts. It was quite pleasant.

That’s something else I’ve been working on. I have lots of orders on my plate for knit and crocheted items. Between a myriad of baby showers and items that people have found on Pinterest, I have quite a few projects in my queue. Once I’m comfortable that I’ll still hit all my deadlines, I also plan to make some reusable produce bags to sell at the farm stand. I’m planning on building a better relationship with the people at Great Rock Alpaca Farm, who are just up the street from Ginger Gardens. They sell the raw fiber, roving, and yarn that comes from their many high-quality alpacas. Right now, my overflowing stash is too large to justify making another purchase, but as soon as I’ve worked it down a bit, I will be paying them a visit.

What has been great is that, after a huge spring cleaning day with the help of my mother-in-law, I now have a studio where I can work again! A few weeks ago, I posted about what a cluttered mess it was, but I managed to resolve that much more quickly than I anticipated. There’s still a little bit more work that needs to be done in there, but it has improved by leaps and bounds! There’s space to work on the floor or at the desk now. I find myself migrating up there to browse my pattern books, or carrying up the baby monitor to knit in there while RT is napping.

Finally, it’s grooming time for all the pets. Kali and Tribble need it the most because of their long hair, but all five of the animals are shedding due to the change in weather. George sheds about another dog’s worth of fur every day, so sweeping is a constant chore. Tribble usually takes two days to get a full haircut. I’ll make the first pass alone. I get his back, sides, and rear. On the second pass, I need my husband’s help. One of us will hold Tribble while the other works on cutting the hair on his belly, legs, and under his neck. We trim his nails during the second pass as well. Angora rabbits are a lot of work, and they are definitely not for everyone. However, Tribble is a sweet boy who makes all the work worth it. I also don’t mind that I end up with a full bag of wool!

Spring and early summer are very busy around here, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Even with the additional responsibilities we have with RT this year, I’m still managing to get everything done. A special thanks go out to my mother, who takes time out of her schedule every week to spend a day with me and watch the baby while I do some more of the heavy lifting. It takes a lot of work to do what we do, and without my parents and my husband’s mother, we would have a much tougher time getting everything accomplished. We are so thankful to have such an amazing and supportive family!

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