Well Spring is seeming to come early, though we’ve had little re-freezes these past few weeks.  And with the onset of Spring, we are gearing up for lots of tasks at the HARN (shortened lexicon for House-Barn, which beats the crap out of Shed-House (Shouse) where you might need a trap or… some toilet paper).

Some of the work is repair from the winter:

  • Removing the cracked garden cistern.  We hope to be able to use this for ponds once we cut it apart.  Really a bummer of a loss this past winter – we should have drained it completely at the end of fall. 😦
  • Digging out under the porch door to remove frost heaved areas that prevent full door swing.
  • Remove frost heaved dirt under the pallet porch to allow the porch door to open.

Some just infrastructure repair/modification/upgrade:

  • Filling in holes to flatten the side and back yard areas.
  • Adding insulation to the ground on North and East sides (then covering it with dirt) to push out the freeze line.
  • Digging ponds and swales for water flow from the South facing roof.

Some of it is prep for the new gardens:

  • Creating Hugelkulture mounds.
  • Building an herb spiral near the door.
  • Planting herbs, perennials and annuals for food, nitrogen fixing and dynamic accumulation and to draw pollinators and predators and ward off herbivores.
  • Planting 75 trees from Clearwater County Soil & Water Conservation District.
  • Planting several berry bushes from Honeyberry USA –  We’re still working to determine how many types we will plant and how many overall bushes we will need but this is important as it takes a couple years for trees to become productive.
  • Planting some apple, pear, plum trees – we need to consult on this still as well but I imagine this will be about 5-8 trees.

And some things for our final move to the Harn are just now coming to fruition:

  • We moved the Bed to the Harn – it’s finally BEDreally Home now.  So much more comfy than that futon!
  • Getting the furniture in place – and finding room for it all – now that everything is here.
  • Finishing the kitchen countertop that has been planned for years now.  I got all the bottle caps in place and now the epoxy just needs to be poured.  I tried a small project first to be sure it works and it does!  I think I have WAY too much epoxy to I see more little projects once the counter is done.  We’ll likely have to wait for a span of nice warm weather so we can open the windows or do it outside – it’s a little stinky!
  • Working on the decluttering, the downsizing of stuff, to make things easy to find/manage/complete.  It seems like every time a flat surface opens up, it’s filled with something else!

I’m amazed at how little things can bring big change.  We’ve seen it this past season with the some of our projects:

  • Prior to adding the deer carcass, we had almost no bird activity, even with a heated water bath and sunflower seeds.  But once we hung the carcass, we immediately saw a HUGE influx of birds.
  • Worrying about heating with wood as I watched our supply dwindle faster than expected was quickly eased with the addition of a space heater.  Using this backup heat, while costing a bit on the electric bill, gave great peace that I would have enough wood for heating and wouldn’t be too cold. I still keep things much cooler when Dan isn’t here.  There are also a lot less lights on when he’s not here! 🙂
  • I have been collecting wood this past week – just the deadfall from the trees.  It really stretches the remaining logs I have and I’m feeling good about what I have in reserves.  Those few pieces can really make a big difference!
  • Being able to turn on the sink to wash hands – so much easier than pouring water from a jug.  And I use less water too!
  • Even just a few days of warm can result in large quantities of snow melt!  The cisterns remain pretty much full, even with my current water usage.  We had rain steady most of Thursday (yes, when we moved the mattress north) and that will help as well.

I am really excited about Dan being here full-time.  It’s been a long time coming and will be a big season of work ahead of us so it will be nice to work together on everything.

Hope you have some exciting spring projects.  There’s always some kind of adventure in life, eh?