I think I have been putting off this post because I like my posts to be positive and uplifting, but when I looked at the radar this morning and saw the storm headed our way I wanted to cry. My feelings only became more intense as I saw the dark clouds roll in and the heavy rain poured down on us. I did manage to hold back my tears, after all the last thing we need right now is more water – ANYWHERE.
Not everything that is happening is negative, but our spring weather has not been favorable for agriculture in Michigan. Temperatures in April and May stayed cool and the rains came like continual ocean waves. While we are thankful that we have not experienced the dangerous flooding and tornados that have devastated other parts of the country, the weather conditions we have experienced could certainly cause hardships and effects can be far reaching. Commercial farmers are suffering because the fields are simply too wet. It has been impossible to even get into the fields and it is getting quite late in the season for corn to be planted.
All that corn that might not be grown this year is normally used in food production, as animal feed and to make ethanol. Consumers of any of these products can expect to pay higher prices as shortages occur.
Though we are not commercial farmers we are struggling as well. It was April 23 when I posted that the first asparagus shoots were poking up through the ground. I was really looking forward to picking and eating our fresh asparagus. After I posted that the cool temperatures and rains continued and it was at least 10 days before we picked those few spears. It was equally as long before I began seeing any other shoots appear. Eventually more of the plants began putting up a few shoots and I was able to pick enough to have with our dinner one night. The asparagus was still slow to produce and with only about 20% of our approximately 100 plants producing at all so we decided not to harvest anymore this year with hopes of saving any plants that have survived.
Like the commercial farmers our fields are too wet to plant. It is frustrating that we have no idea when we will be able to plant our vegetable garden for this year.
Now let me take you on a little farm tour and show you some of the things we observed earlier this week.
Like everything else the garlic field is too wet to work in. The garlic has come up but it is struggling and being taken over by weeds. We will need several dry and warm days in a row for it to dry out enough that we can work in there.
The dandelions that began to blossom just a few days after we set up our 5 new bee hives
have nearly all gone to seed.
The grape vines are loaded with tiny bunches of grapes. Last year we did not have any grapes so this gives us hope.
The apple trees blossomed and the bees and other pollinators worked their magic.
There are now tiny apples on all of the apple trees.
With the dandelions and apple blossoms gone I was curious what the bees were foraging now.
I discovered some on the Autumn Olives. (The bee moving caused the picture to blur.)Although these shrubs seem are said to be an invasive species, they do have their usefulness.
They also have a lovely fragrance.
Honey bees aren’t the only ones hard at work. This bumble bee was working over a daisy-like flower.
The clover is beginning to blossom, and while I was looking for bees in the clover I noticed these two damsel flies (look just to the upper right of the clover blossom). I think they were too busy to notice me.
Though the clover is just beginning to blossom I was happy to see that the honey bees are finding it.
The blueberries have blossomed
and the baby bunnies have left their nest.
This little one was actually number 5. ☺
The blueberry bushes are now in the process of making berries.
The strawberry patch is lush and green and full of blossoms.
While the honey bees usually don’t pollinate our strawberries many other insects do. I am not sure if this is a butterfly or moth but I thought it was quite interesting.
The strawberries are starting to form, but at the same time some of the plants are beginning to wilt, apparently from being too wet. It is too soon to know how this crop turn out.
The chives are in full bloom and while I didn’t see honey bees there while I had camera in hand, I had seen them there the day before.
The beautiful daffodil flowers that ushered in spring have faded away,
but the Irises are now in full bloom. Have you ever smelled an Iris? They have a wonderful, somewhat spicy, fragrance.
The thyme (in the foreground) and the salvia (in the background) are just beginning to blossom. These are both favorites of honey bees.
I think it’s time to harvest some oregano.
While my husband and I were standing near the pond we noticed a bird fly out of the cattails. My husband said “don’t tell me,”
“there is. ” When I asked what he was talking about he pointed out the nest built amongst the cattails. It is well hidden. Can you spot it (just left of center) in this photo.?
The bird didn’t go far. She sat in the hickory tree and kept an eye on us. We are not sure what type of bird this is so if you have any idea feel free to leave it in the comments below.
Peaceful – It’s the word most commonly used to describe our farm. It’s the feeling I was seeking this morning.
I found it in the following words.
Matthew 6:25-34 New International Version (NIV)
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
If you are wondering what we are doing since we can’t work in the gardens –
I assure you we are keeping busy.
Thanks for reading. How is the weather in your part of the world?