April. Hello, Spring?

Over the past few weeks I’ve nibbled away at the bramble pile. Yes, that bramble pile. It’s half gone. It’s like my own personal Everest I scale from time to time. I’m both delighted and overwhelmed to discover soil and worms at the top of the pile. It’s so thoroughly packed down I’m hoping when the fallers fall the maples, the pile will fall apart. Somehow I think that’s wishful thinking! There’s going to be great dirt in the middle of it though! There’s a pic in the slideshow below, of a friend standing beside the pile. For scale, she’s 5’5″.

Things are slowly greening out. Spring is late. We had a teaser of sun this morning, quickly to fade back to grey and cold. I’ve yet to start seeds in the greenhouse. The veggie garden area will be smaller this year. I’ve arranged for a young man with a backhoe to come in and dig two jolly great holes and a trench joining them — in early July. He’ll need maneuvering room, hence the smaller garden. I’ll plant squash and things closer to the house. I’m looking forward to this!

Gardening is magnificently expressive. Trying new things, new places to grow things, successes and failures, I love the adventure of it!

Roo’s growing like a weed. Just over fifty pounds at 7 months. He loves the water which is unusual for Sharpei. Great fun watching him! It’s his last Best Manners class this evening. He’s a clever boy and loves learning.

I’ll spare you a rant about plastic.

Harold is sleeping. He’s looking forward to long snoozes on the futon on the porch when the weather warms up. We’re all looking forward to that!

Do you have an Everest of a gardening project? Are you still in the depths of winter?

Here’s wishing you all well!

Warmly,

Brin

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Nibbling away in the garden

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Hello, Spring? Where are you?

Agh, this winter has trudged on and on. The weather is unpredictable and we’ve had an inordinate amount of snowfall. According to some sources, between October and now, the power has gone out at least eleven times, for a minimum of six hours, more often than not, considerably longer. As this is a small island, it’s inevitable we lose power during a late evening storm and the repair crews can’t get here until the first ferry in the morning. They do an incredible job, and I wholeheartedly applaud them, but this wintry weather is quite enough, thank-you-very-much!

Roo, bless his little heart, turned six months old yesterday. He’s a whopping 44.3 pounds of joyous, loving, sharpei. Here’s a pic. I think he looks like a tadpole.

Last year was all about the house and I’m delighted with the results. I have the tile for the kitchen and laundry room. Those jobs will get done during the summer months. The bathroom reno will have to wait, as will the baseboards. This year is all about the garden.

I developed my five year plan and a “fellow in the permaculture know” dropped by to walk the property with me and go over my notes. I’m pleased he agreed with my ideas and added some great ones of his own. (No surprise there!) In between snowfalls, I bought and planted a bare-root apple combo. It has Fuji, Braeburn, Red Delicious, Gala, and Honecrisp grafts to the main root-stock. How wonderful that tree will be in the future! Tomorrow afternoon I meet Peter of TreeEater Nursery on Denman Island and pick up the following: 2 Autumn Olive “Portunguese Superhero, 1 Goji Berry, 1 Goumi Berry, 1 Jujube – Li, 1 Pomegranate, 2 Paw Paw, 2 Persimmon, 2 Seaberry/Seabuckthorn, 1 Honey Locust, 4 Comfrey, and 2 GOBO! Yeehaw! This is the beginning of my forest garden, I’m bursting with excitement.

First things first, though. Clearing up the brambles which were cut down last year. What a mountain that is. Each time I slot time to get outside and tidy up, it snows. I am hopeful this weekend will be different. Things must get done this weekend, rain or shine. On Thursday the faller will arrive with his crew. They’ll tidy up the front part of the property to let in more light, that’s the side the persimmon will go on, and they’ll cut back the maples. My intention is to let the maples naturally coppice. That way, I’ll be able to supply some of my own firewood about every six years or so. I’m hopeful to get some seeds started in the greenhouse soon too. More bull-work required getting the veggie garden area ready — sigh — brambles.

People comment how nice the property is looking now and they’re pleased to see it come back to life. This heartens me greatly.

Harold lounges in a rather ungentlemanly pose in my lap and Roo is plastered to my side. It’s a challenge to type.

My challenge reducing plastic continues. The stuff is on everything. I wish the government would ban it completely, but that seems unlikely. Shopping bags would be a good start.

What projects are you working on this year? Are you working on Zero Waste? What successes and failures have you had? Do you have a Forest or Permaculture garden? I hope you’ll comment!

I am grateful for my many blessings.

With loving and warmth,

Brin

2017, a new year.

2016. A year filled with the deaths of too many of our favourite celebrities, a year fraught with political angst, and the year in which sweet Tia died. I admit in this regard, I was glad to see the back of a hellish year.

2016. A year also filled with joy. My joys were home renovations, the vegetable garden, attending the 2nd Writer Unboxed UnCon in Salem, MA, and the addition of Rupert (Roo) to my family. (Check out his Bio pic page.)

I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions, it’s more I think of how I want to continue to simplify my life, and how I envision that.

So, for 2017, I will continue to:

  • Focus on zero waste and eliminate plastic products from my home. A dastardly thing to do. The stuff is everywhere.
  • Turn my small property into a functioning permaculture property. To do this, I need to work on my five-year plan. I also need to keep the brambles at bay! (If I get my veggie garden in again this year, I’ll be happy!)
  • Revel in the paradise in which I find myself. Take long walks with Roo. Snuggle with Harold.
  • Build my reflexology business. Delight in teaching reflexology.
  • Complete the latest draft of my novel and get it to beta-readers.

That’s more than enough to keep me out of trouble!

What hopes and dreams do you have for 2017?

Warmly,

Brin