Tuesday, June 06, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 185

It’s a beautiful week on November Hill, with the foliage feeling like it has really hit its lushest volume and  the sense this year that we really do have a haven of privacy here. The cedars and hollies we planted have grown and are healthy and offering food and shelter to birds and pollinators, and screening for us. On Sunday we decided to remove the HorseGuard tape that has kept the hollies safe from nibbling equines, and my hope was that they would do some weed-eating work for us between and around the trees. In one night they cleared out the grass and have subsequently finished off the rest of the palatable green things growing. Now it’s ready to be tidied up with a weed-eater and we’ll leave the tape off and start to do the first round of limbing up - my goal is a lovely row of hollies whose trunks are kept clear of branches up to about 4-5 feet, which will encourage them to grow fuller up top and eventually grow together. Perfect screen, great for wildlife. 

A few glimpses of the garden beds:

And the view from the potager corner of the upper front pasture. The pastures are not lush this spring and we have not done anything about that, with our herd of easy keepers. They get their 10% or less sugar/starch hay and we rotate them through the barnyard and the grass paddock periodically so they get some grass. In the fall we will spread lime and then compost and grass seed. 

I’m so happy to see the button bushes gearing up for their spectacular mid-summer bloom time! 

(Some may wonder - will I even be able to sell this farm? Some days I think not, and imagine it being a writing retreat, a guest farm, but still in our lives. An investment? We will see. I will continue carrying out my plans until I drag myself away to a new home.)

We had a special day on Sunday - my husband and I celebrated 29 years of marriage and Bear Corgi turned 13!  My husband worked hard on Sunday planting vegetables in the potager, first weeding the empty beds, then hauling up November Hill compost from the big pile. I have not spent much time sitting on the potager bench so far this spring/summer but it is on my list to take a break out there this week. 

For some reason Sunday morning struck me out of the blue as the perfect time to apply the annual tung oil to the front gate, posts, and the mailbox. I hadn’t even thought about this until suddenly the cool weather, cloudy day but with no rain coming, perfect tung oil opportunity, presented itself. I finished all but the cross bars and the large posts. The gate and mailbox look wonderful and fed. 

I had aimed to do some mowing over the weekend but when it came down to it, there were many bees of many species foraging the wildflowers and the clover, and I decided to let them go awhile longer. We will mow a path around the side strip area and will mow in front of the front pasture fence, and a path around Arcadia. The little bit of lawn we have our fire pit area in needs mowing in full but it can wait another week. 

On my list - power washing the front porch and back deck. It’s actually a satisfying task to do but we have to feed a hose through the front porch cat fencing and it’s just enough of a pain that I’ve put it off. A hot day is a good time to do it, so I’ll wait for one of those that fall on a free day. 

And, oh dear, horse blanket wash, sun dry, and pack away time. I have sworn to do it before the month is out after leaving it last year to the last minute in what was it, October? 

Otherwise I have done a little embroidery work this week and submitted several pieces of writing, and I’m now, at this moment, gearing up to start my work day with clients. All is well. 


Kathleen said...

Happy anniversary!! The farm is looking so green and beautiful!!

billie said...

Thank you!! :)