Ecofeminism, Subsistence Living & Nature Awareness

March 9, 2009

A Thousand Daffodils

Filed under: Homestead garden,Paula Mariedaughter — Paula Mariedaughter @ 9:52 am

Jeanne has been planning the revival of our homestead garden for the last year. It began with our resolution to have twenty or so large sweetgum trees cut down to recover the sun for our garden beds. Removing those trees was an adventure (and misadventure) to tell about another day.

Pioneer Chimney

Pioneer Chimney

Last month Jeanne and I ordered seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds and from Seed Saver. Over the weekend we took advantage of the unseasonably warm days of 70 degrees to start digging and planting our garden. We loosened the soil in several of the terraced beds we made 21 years ago and added mushroom compost and alfalfa meal purchased from Nitron for organic fertilizer. We were pleased by all the earthworms working our soil. (For many years we had access to worm castings from a worm farm.) We reunited some of the purchased seeds with the earth by planting collards, swiss chard, bok choi, and mustard. The kale seeds we had saved from our abundant crop of last year. Of course we mulched and fenced. I had to move a lot of foxglove volunteers out of the beds and relocate them for their spring bloom.

We have over a thousand daffodils blooming–many from the pioneers who migrated to these Ozark hills in the late 1800s! The deer do not munch on daffodils, so over the years those bulbs have thrived and multiplied. Last year after bloom time I divided many of the crowded clumps located behind the chimney you see here and replanted them in new spots around our place. It was hard work then, but worth it this year to see all those jaunty yellow blooms. The celandine poppies tolerate the cold well and have begun to show the fern-like foliage that you see in the photo in the upper right picture. No blooms yet. Lila Rostenberg ( took the chimney photo last spring during our foxglove viewing event.

We have Red Russian kale that overwintered and is ready to eat in salads. Also cilantro and parsley are ready to eat. It was a wonderful warm weekend to be outside digging in the dirt.

With the mild weather, we took the opportunity to get up on our roof to play chimney sweep as we cleaned out the stovepipe of the woodstove. Since Jeanne will be in Kansas City over equinox when we need to move the angle of our solar panels to correspond to the angle of the sun for the best solar gain, we decided to reposition the panels while we were up on the roof on Sunday.

After the outside projects, I finished the binding and label on my last quilt to go in our quilt guild’s biennial quilt show. Jeanne finished the installation work on this new blog and encouraged me to post an entry. This spring we are renewing old projects like the garden and beginning new ones like this blog.

Photo credits: We thank photographer Judy VanderHam for the two photos in the top banner. The flat boulder on the left shelters Paula’s collection of fossils we locals call Bear’s paws because of the shape and resemblance to a large gray paw. Judy’s picture on the right portrays a blooming Celandine Poppy. The Celandine Poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum) bloom in early spring and are efficient self-seeders. The fern-like foliage is attractive through summer and fall. We thank Lila Rostenberg who photographed the pioneer chimney behind our house. We believe the chimney was built in the 1890s by the Mahaffey family who homesteaded this land.

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