Spring is in the offing and I feel that I have finally begun REAL homesteading.
Something we, as a family, decided was that it was important to get through a winter in our new house and our new locale before we committed to plans for our property. This meant that we didn’t plant a garden (sadly), add any perennial plants, or get any animals. Instead we spent time getting familiar with the lay of the land; seeing where rainwater pooled, what animals came and went from the area, wind directions and intensity, temperature variations, and finally snowfall.
The snowfall isn’t necessarily over even though today will be 60 degrees, but we found that is was very intermittent. As a matter of fact the first few snowfalls amounted to dustings that lasted on the ground only a few hours. That was not a trend that would continue. Sadly we lost a covered gazebo or canopy on our deck due to an unexpectedly heavy snowfall of 14 inches. The weight of that snow was more than the aluminum framing could support and the it crumpled under the burden. We expect more snow over the weeks of spring break, though none of it will last.
A really interesting occurence has been the fauna we have seen. More than once we have seen eagles and hawks in the back yard. While we are very familiar with hawks in central Texas, the eagles have been a treat. Local news shares that the fact that the eagles winter in this area from the northernmost states and Canada. Our other exciting sighting has been a coyote who seems to travel through our property on a regular basis. Most people would be concerned about coyotes, but we are choosing to use this as a learning opportunity. We are setting up game cameras in the hopes to know more about the habits of this particular coyote.
I have learned that coyotes are omnivorous, many having a fondness for fallen fruit. That is facinating and I wonder if the fruit trees and shrubs that we have already planted and those we have on order that we will be planting soon will change or influence the patterns of coyotes in the area. I know that we have suffered losses of chickens and ducks to coyotes in the past, so we want to be sure that we are predator proof in that area. More information will be required to know feel confident in these areas.
Lastly, I have ordered compost to start my annual fruit and vegetable garden. I want to jump start building soil here on our property. We will continue making local compost from food scraps, fallen leaves, grass clippings, and manure from our future livestock. The kids have been asking all of their friends what vegetables they like and if they have ever grown anything. I am starting seeds on a nearly daily basis. Its just around the corner. I can’t wait to start sharing growth and harvest amounts.
I wish everyone the best in their spring growth!