Tiny Hell Week

That's what I'm calling the last 10 days of April 2016. There were marathon day of dawn till dusk work. There was rain and mud. There was injury and and there was setback. 

In other words: spring planting season.

Raining

Raining

Combined with trying to fix, clean and rent the old house, our day jobs, and a few more things I know I'm forgetting now that I'm on the other side of the whirlwind, it was a rough end to the month. 

We had wanted to till up our field for the strawberries and raspberries in the beginning of April so it would be done and ready to plant before all the plants arrived. We were going to rent a tractor and tiller then, but the last person to rent it had broken the tiller attachment and it had to be sent out for repairs. We asked around to use a neighbor's or a friend of a neighbor's or anyone, but no one had a spare tractor for us to use. So we had to wait. We got the tractor the same day our first delivery of plants arrived so we had to rush and get it tilled up and everything planted - in the rain, no less. It rained every day we planted or tilled for 9 days. 

Totally raining

Totally raining

We did get planted 2000+ strawberry plants, 126 buffalo berry bushes, 50 gooseberry bushes, 100 raspberry canes, 100 service berry bushes, 100 golden currants bushes, 100 native american plum trees, and 100 chokecherry bushes. That is a lot of big holes dug and a lot of bending and stooping. My back is really feeling the burn. I ended up laying flat on the wood floor after a day of bending over the strawberry plants trying to catch my breath. Trying to quickly plant so many things that need individual holes dug - without an tractor and transplanter - is truly backbreaking. 

Just sprinkling  

Just sprinkling  

I discovered over the week that digging holes with a shovel is great aerobic exercise. We were expecting the bushes we ordered to be tiny saplings when we ordered them. But when they got here, they were 2-3 times bigger than we thought. And we had already pre-dug the holes... so we had to re-dig 400 holes to accommodate the larger root balls. 

After the rain

After the rain

On the First day of May, we had a group of friends come out and help us with the final push of planting. Lindsay, her girls, and Nick. What rock stars. What a blessing they were! We knocked out much more than the two of us could have done alone. And then it was done. We treated them to lunch on the farm and sent them away with food for their help. Thank goodness for friends.

Next up: Summer crops. 

Getting the farm started this year in virgin soil, deciding what is "yard" and what is "farm" is tough. But as our project progresses I see our future. In the land, the trees, and our sweat. 

Still raining

Still raining