“I’d much rather work outside in the rain than inside during nice weather!”
I found myself exclaiming/reminding myself of this several times over the past couple of weeks. It has been downright SOGGY up here in the northlands. One of my friends recorded more than six inches of rain on her small farm between Sunday and Wednesday of last week, and we had plenty of rain on both sides of that window, as well.
Opal finds great joy in slurping water from the large brassica leaves.
Hey Farmgirl Friends!
It’s been a busy and eventful month up here in Alaska. The farming season is in full swing. It’s the time of year when pretty much everything that can happen on the farm is happening (or at least supposed to be…). We are transplanting seedlings, seeding greens and roots, harvesting, sowing a few more trays of starts, pulling spent crops, amending new rows, irrigating, putting up and taking down row cover, pruning, suckering, weeding (Oh, the weeds…), fearing the ever growing slug population, moving chickens around in their tractors, opening and closing all of the structures, going to market, running the farm stand and divvying out CSA shares. Phew!
You look radishing!
In prepping for this post, I looked up the etymology of the word “Solstice.” It breaks down to two Latin root words–sol: “sun” and “stice” or –stit: stationary, stopped. This is an apt description of solstice, especially in Alaska. The sun is stuck in the sky!
Soaring high under the midnight sun (well…8:30 p.m. sun!)
As promised, the newest addition to the Wilder clan has arrived…and it’s another new Farmgirl! We couldn’t be happier to introduce little miss Fern Ruth Wilder, born at home at 6:37 a.m. on Tuesday, April 3. She was very content in my belly and apparently didn’t want to come earthside until the “last minute” (I was 18 hours away from timing out of midwifery care because of some arbitrary rules in Alaska regarding out-of-hospital births). While I believe babies almost always come when they are ready and we should generally wait for them–I was so ready to meet the newest member of our family (and so were so many other people, of course!).
Happy spring to one and all! Today felt very springlike up here in Alaska. The snow that has piled up over the past few weeks was soft and slushy, eaves and gutters dripped with snow melt, wooded areas were alive with calling birds and there was a palpable energy “springing” forth from all of the places and people I visited with today.
My midwife came by today and delivered a few things for the upcoming birth of Baby Wilder #3 who should be here within the next few days or weeks! We are now playing the waiting game. I’ve had some significant contractions, but nothing even close to consistent…just my body training for the real deal. It is pretty amazing what the female body does to keep the human race chugging along!
My big decorated belly. Baby Wilder is still cooking away!
Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind. ~Bruce Lee
Whew! What a month! The second half of January and first half of February have been a doozy for the Wilders. We (well…I) have been sick for the last three weeks. Ugh. It is finally passing and I’ve been going out into the non-grocery store and healthcare appointments world. I am fairly certain we had one of the influenzas tear through our home (fevers, body aches, general delirium, inability to move for more than ten minutes, loss of appetite, nose and chest crud, etc.); and I’ve had a lingering, exhausting cough that has been driving me bonkers! I’ve had the cough for going on three weeks, but it is much improved and doesn’t leave me exhausted by noon anymore. Ava estimated that it would be over in six days. I have a feeling her intuitive diagnosis is very close to reality! There is a light at the end of the tunnel!
Sick mama means lots of pajama days and books for the girls.
Happy New Year, Farmgirl sisters! If you haven’t noticed, it’s been a cold January for nearly every corner of the United States at some point this month. My family and I have been in Minnesota and North Dakota for the past two weeks and have seen temperatures as low as -30–and that was without the wind chill! Where we live in Alaska has been surprisingly warm, with some days registering nearly eighty degrees warmer than spots in the Midwest.
Leaving balmy Alaska for the frigid lower 48. That doesn’t sound right!
What better way to figure out how to get through writer’s block than to write about it, right? It has to get something flowing…
Turn on weird ethereal music (Radiohead’s 2016 release)
Watch birds at feeders outside windows for a bit.
Make some tea.
I spend quite a bit of time mentally preparing my writings, generally just thinking about a topic and how I want to narrow it down and connect it to other happenings in life or lore. Often, while doing something, I’ll note to myself that it would be a good topic to put into writing. I intended to write this blog post about winter birds and bird feeders (after making bird feeders with the girls), spending time close to nature, and solstice preparations (both physical and mental!). However, now that I’m sitting down to write, I can’t find the words. My mind is locked into holiday preparations.
Nature-inspired additions to Opal’s gingerbread house: Snails and a mushrooms (Opal assisted).
There isn’t much I love more in the world than brand new snow. After falling asleep in a world that is largely brown and barren it is such a treat to wake up to a glittering, sparkling snowfall–reflecting a million little sunrises back at us. “Isn’t it beautiful?!” I gasp and ask my children. This time of year can be a gift with the first few snowfalls often melting between each event.
The girls admiring the morning snow fall.
Hello Farmgirl Friends,
Autumn is taking its last breaths up here in the Alaskan north. The last three mornings have revealed frost on all surfaces–a frost that persists during the day if it never sees the sun. Trees are bare, birds are fattening up and quarreling at the feeder; sleeping in is becoming easier and easier as the sun rises later and later, day after day.