Thursday, May 17, 2012

Annual Chores

We have been on the homestead for a couple of years now, long enough to start to feel the cycles of projects that come around every year.  

Every year, winter wind and snow bring down branches. We have a lot of Douglas Firs on the property. They are big and beautiful, and they loose branches pretty regularly.
They accumulate around the bottom of the trees. When I clean them up, the little limbs go into the burn pile, the rest make great firewood.
There are some old fruit trees around. This poor plum tree lost about half its limbs. I had to get the downed branches up off the ground so we could mow underneath, to keep the blackberries from growing up through it.
We will take another look at the tree when I get serious about fire wood. It is probably too damaged to keep, and is likely going to end up in the wood shed this fall.
In addition to the blackberries, the other scourge we have to deal with is Scotch Broom. It is invasive and grows quickly and thickly in open areas.
Every spring Phoebe pushes it a little further from the edge of the driveway. She lops it off at ground level, and I take load after load away in the trailer. I think we filled the trailer 9 times this year. 
All these bits end up on the burn pile. It makes for a full day of burning.
And of course, there is the mowing. Phoebe already cut this field a couple of times, and I was feeling like I needed to take a turn. In the distance behind me are the yellow blooms of the Scotch Broom, and the green brambles of blackberries. We would love to get those cleared, but that is for another spring.
Another spring ritual is to take a look at the old cherry tree, to see how she is doing this year. The tree looks dead, and would have been cut down if Phoebe had not spotted a couple of new branches on one side. Every year, they get a little bigger, and right now, they look beautiful.
And there are always surprises. 
Phoebe and I were having our morning tea in the Oasis trailer, when she looked out the window and noticed the green roof on the loafing shed in the paddock.
It is a thick, and probably structurally unhealthy, carpet of growth on the gently sloping roof. I am not sure how many different kinds of vegetation are up there, but it sure looks pretty.
As always, we enjoy hearing from you. Do you have any spring chores that you look forward to or want to run away from?


  1. Last spring I had hired a gardener to get rid of fallen branches and blckberries and trim the overgrowth. He sprayed something saying it would kill the blackberries but I have more coming up! Grrrr!! That is my chore which I have been avoiding. How is Aubra? Long time since she posted on her blog.

  2. The same goes for here. Cleaning up branches, burning brush piles, mowing, gardening, working on clearing blackberries, etc. Once we get some more brambles cleared we need to start on fences, get some gutters up before fall, and a concrete pad in for the water pressure tank. I really look forward to spring and summer for all the stuff we get done outside. Somehow we never seem to finish it all before winter comes though.

    1. Hi Robin. I think the idea of finishing is overrated, or at least misplaced. I have been inspired recently to do a post on the idea of being "done."

      I am not surprised that you have similar chores, since you are just down the valley from us, and our land has some common elements. It is satisfying to get a big chunk of it done, whether or not it all gets finished. Thanks for checking in.

  3. I love the sense of rhythm the seasons bring. That is so lost in modern society. Seems like everyone has an invasive species to deal with. Good luck in conquering yours!

    1. Thanks for the good wishes. It does make me sad to see the bright yellow blooms of Scotch Broom running through the woods. But it was a problem that was there before we arrived, and it will take more than we have now to get rid of it. So, we take it a step at a time, and focus on the long run. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Don't cut down that tree..take some scions and make a new tree from it..no pressure but that is what I would do, hehe. a green roof on the paddock, didn't you just build that last year? wow!


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