The Farm on Oak Creek

Oh No!

It’s almost 70 degrees outside today! How could spring have arrived so early? Wait. I know better. This is Cornville, where spring behaves more like a coy girl peeking around a corner than a timely German passenger train. This happens every year. We’re taunted by a few beautiful spring-like days only to find ourselves once again trapped in a stretch of dour cold.

But tell that to the bees, who have awakened only to find NO blooming arugula on my property for the first time in years (although the violets are blooming). I’d better make certain the turkey food dish is filled so my trusty and important little apian friends will at least have something to eat. Today I checked on my hillside apple trees. Up until this 70 degree thing today, I was expecting big things from those twenty or so trees. Five of them produced a few apples last year. This was to be the year when all of them put on some fruit and I’d have apples coming out of my ears. Ack, their buds are beginning to swell! I’ll get nothing from them if they blossom then freeze. Worse, I never got around to pruning them!

Not expecting spring to arrive so soon, I put my sheep into my winter garden a few days ago. They were in dire need of something fresh and green, something better for them than alfalfa. I told myself that the kale was three years old and ready to go, and that I was pretty sure the volunteer chard would come back after being eaten down to the ground. The girls were thrilled and made short work of the “good” stuff then started on the stuff I really wanted them to eat: bermuda grass, crabgrass, nutsedge, common mallow, and henbit. They had everything down to right above ground level in three days. That’s when I kicked them out and started raking. I now have six nice composting piles of dried leaves, sheep manure and alfalfa stalks. (My sheep are picky girls and only eat the alfalfa flowers, thank you very much.)

I blame it on the raking, or maybe on raking in the warm sun. Never mind that I know the temperature will dive back down to freezing at least once more before spring officially arrives. Never mind that the new brooder coop isn’t quite finished or that I need to muck out the turkey/chicken coop. Never mind that I will be beginning my next book in two days. The urge to get my hands into the soil is rising with the outside temperature.

Oh no, I have spring fever!

© Denise Domning, 2023