April on a small holding feels like the Christmas rush in retail - absolutely everything needs tending! And things look hopeful for a bountiful fruit harvest later in the summer. Last year a cold spell stopped most of the trees from setting but so far so good this year. I’m even crossing my fingers that the baby nectarine tree (only about 4 ft tall) might make at least one.
Seed starting is the top priority
The green house benches are full and I’ve got a rotation schedule for the heated mats in the mudroom. Slowly but surely the pile of seed packets is getting lower and more and more things can be planted out into final position. At the moment that means cabbages and beets are planted (except for the Savoys that I forgot!) Lettuces and mustards are out and within easy reach of the kitchen. Peas are going in this week and the all the squashy relatives will get going in the seed trays too.
Letting go of guilt
I hate putting seedlings on the compost pile. It seems like such a waste of potential, not to mention effort. And strangely giving them away seems to create a sense of obligation in the reverse direction ‘fine, if I have to I’ll take one off your hands’. So I’ve stopped doing that, too. Bottom line is in the past I’ve crammed too many in, too close together and had the miniature results that this produces. I’m working hard to break this habit; improved this year if not perfect. The remaining seedlings hang around until I either need them, use them as micro greens or feed them to the chickens.
The big excitement
By far the biggest event in April will be the arrival of honey bees. The hive is ready, the location picked and the bee suit is on standby. Now we just wait until the end of the month when I can go pick them up, convince them I’m going to be a great bee mom and hope that they don’t mind a short trip on the ferry to get to their new home. There won’t be honey (for me) until next year, but I’m eagerly awaiting that as well.