The amazing story of two 40-something women on the path to matrimonial bliss

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Planning for Spring

This morning, we wake to a gorgeous, frosty, Winter wonderland.  With an overnight low of near twenty degrees, every tree, rooftop and blade of grass looks like it has been dipped and rolled in sugar.  It has its crisp beauty and the sunshine is quite nice, but it doesn't stop our plans for Spring!

The seed catalogs have been arriving in the mailbox and I have been pouring over online resources as well.  We've made our list of what we want to grow and Teri is pulling all her warm workwear to the front of the closet in preparation for her mid-January return to the wholesale nursery where she works. Despite the fact that it feels as though Lady Winter is just getting started, we are feeling the need to get ourselves ready for the Spring...
With gloves and hats and frozen noses, we crafted the new two-bedroom nest box for our little urban chicken coop on New Year's day.  We have circled the February date on the calendar when the Welsummer and Dominique chicks are set to arrive at the fancy farm store and we want our hen house to be ready.  While our current flock is on laying hiatus for the Winter (we lifted our last egg out of the nest box on Christmas day), we are promised by those wiser and more experienced than us that come February, things will pick up again so it made sense to us to make our improvements while the platform was unoccupied. 

Our big planning and building project is looming: the creation of a top bar bee hive.  We've read our books, we've taken measurements and poked around other versions, we've been to the lumber yard to scope and measure and price supplies and in the next week or two, we'll embark on the Building of the Box. We are feeling a bit of a pressure crunch since we're told February/March is when we can expect to be on standby for the acquisition of a local swarm.  OR, we will need to go the less romantic route of ordering our starter bees from afar. We keep telling ourselves, we can do this and it will probably be a bit of fun in the process.  Besides, the $30 price tag for materials seems more reasonable than the $300+ cost of a professionally built one.

So, as we warm the nectar in the hummingbird feeders and chip out the ice from the hens' water, we are also stirring warm compost into waiting garden beds and drawing diagrams of where the tomatoes are going to go this year.  While it might seem as though the world of nature stands still in the depths of Winter, that isn't necessarily true.  Early spring bulbs are pushing up through the crunchy ground all around the garden, the fruit trees wait poised with their tight buds, and we've got a lot to do in the next two months!

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