The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Signs of spring in 2012

Early spring in the garden

I let spring creep up on us without telling you.  The elderberry leaves have been poking out of their buds for weeks now (although not getting terribly far), and I noticed the first Egyptian onion leavespeas slipping up through the soil last week.  Meanwhile, the Egyptian onions are growing so fast my frequent cuttings become invisible by the next day.

We also started eating the first spring lettuce, but it wasn't quite as much of an event as usual since we've been enjoying homegrown salads all winter.  It is fun to switch our salad greens from primarily kale to lettuce, though, since that frees up the greens for sauteing.

I saw blooming spring beauties and spicebushes (not pictured) while walking Lucy Tuesday, but the real event was ground dry enough (in spots) to wander around barefoot.  With beautiful weather dominating the 10 day forecast, I can't help but wonder if the floodplain might not become passable in a week or two.

Our chicken waterer keeps the chicks busy in their brooder while maintaining dry, sanitary bedding.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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That picture is too cutiful! I almost can't handle how cute that baby chicky is.
Comment by Maggie Wed Mar 14 08:41:13 2012
That foot on clover should replace your "yellow rain boot" photograph. It rocks. And is superior in all ways.
Comment by Maggie Wed Mar 14 08:42:51 2012
Maggie --- So glad you like the pictures! The chicks don't really relate to the post, but they're cute... :-)
Comment by anna Wed Mar 14 13:29:05 2012

This is a great time of year! I was walking around our yard and saw something that resembles flower buds.

I'm hoping that is what they are. What do you think? How are your Kiwi vines doing?

Looking at last years pictures it appears we are 2-3 weeks earlier than last year and it's not even spring yet.

Comment by Brian Wed Mar 14 14:15:40 2012

Brian --- Wow! That sure looks like kiwi flower buds to me!

Our kiwis are still sound asleep (and I want them to stay that way as long as possible --- they're very frost sensitive.) But the vines look ten times better than last year and I have a feeling this might be the year ours bloom too....

Did you ever tell me which varieties you have? We have a male and two females (Dunbarton Oaks and Ananasnaya.) We could possibly swap some cuttings this year if you're interested in expanding your repertoire....

Comment by anna Wed Mar 14 14:43:46 2012
We have 2 Issai vines if you want to swap cuttings let me know and we can work out the when and how to take the cuttings. I'd be very interested in a cutting of your male kiwi to see if I could increase the fruit set on our vines. I don't know if we have room for more females at this point, but I will have to think harder on if I can fit them in somewhere.
Comment by Brian Wed Mar 14 16:30:34 2012

Brian --- Issai does fit the them of your garden very well (lots in a small space.) I've never heard of anyone grafting kiwis, but I wonder if you could graft a branch from my male onto your vine?

I need to do some more research about kiwi propagation, but I'll probably get back with you about cuttings. I love extra varieties, and think that some of our pasture fences could do well with kiwis along them.... :-)

Comment by anna Wed Mar 14 17:02:38 2012

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