We are so thrilled to have daily temperatures in the high fifties and even low sixties lately. And because of that, we’ve been getting a lot done besides the annual spring pick-up and clean-up around the place. (You wouldn’t believe how much stuff gets blown around and/or buried in the snow over winter.) Even Hondo has been busy re-burying his bones which he’d buried in the snow during the winter.

David and Ashley got their now-feathered-out baby ducks moved out of the bedroom into the duck yard. Yep, it was about time as they were getting messy and stinky in their plastic tote in the bedroom. They are thrilled with their new home, too. They scarcely know what to do with all that room and so many neat things to play with. The older ducks kind of cast a wary eye on them but they’re settled in with the new guys.

Ashley taking her ducklings out to their new house

I just gave one of my trays of seedling onions a “haircut” to help them get stockier. When they get long, I take scissors and trim off part of the tops. Soon the stems become thicker and they start growing again. I may have to trim them two or more times before setting them outside in the garden but each trim makes them get thicker and stronger.

Here are the onions after their haircut.
And here they are before. See how long and wimpy they were getting?

Our rhubarb is starting to poke pointed pink noses out of the ground. For us it’s a sure sign spring is here. I simply love my rhubarb. Not only can you divide the big plants and gain more for yourself or others but you can also plant seeds just like you would tomatoes and get lots of baby plants you can begin harvesting in three years. (If you’d like to learn more about rhubarb, check out my article, Rhubarb, the pioneer “pie plant” in the Twenty-First Year Anthology.)

David’s coming along fine with his cabin. Over the weekend, he and Will cut the last 2×6 studs and sill and top plates for the first floor. Then they cut up a huge bunch of slabs which were in front of the sawmill. So now Will and I have to go out with the truck and splitter and split the ones that need it and toss them onto the truck to go into the wood shed. (Gee it’s nice to have tons of wood already split and dry, inside, and then be able to add a whole lot more so early in the year!)

We had some friends over for a visit and were walking from the berry patch to the house. Someone looked up and there was a pine squirrel poking its nose out of one of our bluebird houses! I think it saw us coming and scurried up the fence and popped into the house to hide. Even though red squirrels are pests, it was so cute I couldn’t resist a picture.

You’ve got to admit this little red squirrel looks cute watching us from inside one of our bluebird houses.

I’ve been pulling bean and pea vines off the stock panel trellises and then taking the panels down. The steel T-posts are still frozen into the ground but soon the frost will leave and I can get them out, too. Almost all of the tomato cages have been pulled and I want to get the variety name stakes out of the garden. Pretty soon it’ll be time to spread manure and till so I want to do what I can every day to get ready for it. Yea spring! — Jackie


  1. Moderation with spring’s first rhubarb ????? Oh hahahahahahahahahhhhhha
    No way. Rhubarb bars, rhubarb clafouti, rhubarb crisp, rhubarb tea cake, rhubarb in a bowl, rhubarb custard, rhubarb pie with 6 inches of meringue on top. Bring it on.

    • Okay, I was talking about eating rhubarb by the bushel every day. We, too, love everything rhubarb and after eating it for seventy some years, I don’t think it’s about to hurt me now. (You forgot rhubarb conserve, rhubarb juice, rhubarb jelly and rhubarb over ice cream!)

  2. Most of my garden is planted and growing in Oklahoma. Had a ruff start with a late freeze but it’s going well now. Thank you for the onion hair cut idea. You can even freeze them in ice cube trays and add them to soup later. Glad to hear that it’s warmed up and the baby ducks can join the others. Have a good spring and happy planting.

  3. Onion ‘hair’ leavings chopped up and put into cottage cheese is almost as good as spring chives!

  4. Thank you for the tip re giving the onions a hair cut! Mine are laying over, now I will take care of them!

  5. Great to hear about all the things going on at your homestead. Hurray for the warm temps allowing us to get outdoors and get into the dirt and chores. Finally spring has sprung! Thanks for the update Jackie!

  6. Jackie, be really careful eating rhubarb. It can cause serious problems if you have trouble with kidney stones!

    • While it’s true rhubarb, especially the poisonous leaves, contains oxalic acid, which can contribute to kidney stones, it does not cause kidney stones in healthy people, especially when eaten in moderation as most folks do. I sure wouldn’t recommend eating it if you have kidney stones or come from a family with a history of kidney stones. Luckily I don’t and come from a long line of rhubarb lovers. (Remember too, other foods contain oxalic acid. Plant leaves, especially rhubarb, cabbage, spinach, and beet tops, contain oxalic acid. It is also found in potatoes and peas. Vitamin C is metabolized to oxalic acid; it contributes to over-saturation of the urine with crystals and possibly to stone formation.
      With all things in life, I believe moderation is the key.

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