Sunday, December 6, 2015

Frost and thaw.

What a weekend. Each morning started with a heavy frost that blanketed the landscape and added a crunch to each step. It was a brief freeze that started with gloves and a hat and finished with short sleeves. The crackling sounds of the forest thawing sounded like a herd of deer tip toeing by a sleeping hunter. It was a rare December weekend that allowed me to accomplish more than I ever thought I could. 

Frost kissed kale and rainbow chard holding on without cover.

As you can see I redressed the raised beds with some fresh compost, a project I did not expect to get done till spring but the weather was on our side and the giant pile of compost that seemed to never end had to be moved before the snow starts piling up. It was something that needed to be done but always was set on the backburner. With sunlight at a premium, the weekends have been the only time to get the final projects finished outside and this weekend weather proved perfect to conquer the last hurdle. It was grueling, exhausting but satisfying ! Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow, shovel after shovel.

Good bye pile... oh wait I just moved most of it into a bin made of scrap wood and pallets.

Got it out of the driveway... added some layers of dried crispy oak leaves and lined the gaps with birch bark. Using some things I learned building the raised beds. Hopefully the structure will hold everything in place for the winter without busting out the walls. I used a few small beech trees to stake the front and lay logs across so when I need access again in the spring I can take the logs out and keep things tidy in the process. Works pretty good considering the cost was about $10 for screws. 

I did manage to also build a small flower bed that will be great come spring when we can plant a few annuals to greet us when we pull up in the driveway.

With the abundance of soil to move and the bin filled to the brim I figured the 50 degree day was natures way of saying we should plant more garlic as I had originally planned. Welp an hour or so later a new raised bed was constructed and more wheelbarrows of compost dumped.

More garlic under a thick layer of leaves and mulch. That makes two full beds. Fingers crossed for an abundance of garlic come summer 2016 !

But back to 2015... it will be our first Christmas at the homestead and we figured we should add some holiday spirit to the landscape. We purchased a beautiful wreath from Balsam Ridge Farm who has a family run tree farm and maple syrup house just up the road. You may also notice a fresh coat of paint on that door and trim too. We have been busy !

We snipped some greens from around the woods and made a little archway to liven up the entrance and keep the lights flowing across the walkway.

I got a little creative with some birch bark and cut a star out with hopes the light would shine from behind... it worked pretty good but these LED energy saver lights don't glow as much as the old timey ones.

We even got our favorite Maine knitted stockings up and brought a little bit of forest cheer onto our mantle.

Season's Greetings from the Localrootz Homestead !

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