The Catch-up and Mustard Winter

My first grade teacher scheduled one school day per month as “Catch-up and Mustard Day”. Her rationale: everyone gets busy, and consequently the small tasks, like organizing papers, sorting out desks, and turning in past-due assignments, tend to fall by the wayside while more pressing concerns take center stage. One day per month, we dedicate ourselves to catching up on all those supporting tasks that will set up our success in the next phase of life. I’m coming off of a long string of busy months, and I need an entire catch-up and mustard winter.

By some unprecedented miracle, the universe has granted my request. This winter has been soothingly kind. The wind has deferred, the cold has diminished, and the sun shines on us at Strawberry Moon most days. I’ve been granted enough grace to clear the old garden, to build frames for new raised vegetable beds, and to remain in the chickens good graces. If this good fortune holds out, I’ll also be able to repay my planting debt to last year’s saplings before next year’s trees make their claim.

The garden before cleanup
The garden before cleanup
The garden after cleanup
The garden after cleanup. Behind it you can see the temporary “buddy coop” where Dwayne “The Cock” Johnson and Dr. John Wattleson live peacefully together, safely away from the bullies. A new and better house for them is planned, but not yet built.
Sunchoke Stalks still in the garden after cleanup will mark where to dig for a delicious harvest
I left some sunchoke stalks in place, to mark my digging spots for a delicious harvest.
Beautiful boulders of happiness, leftover from a big summer project
Some boulders, painstakingly carried home after a big summer project.
New raised beds for an easier care vegetable garden
New raised beds for an easier care vegetable garden. Also in view: the hen house, which needs to have its wheels repaired so it can move to a new spot, and the little hospital coop that needs to be cleaned and stored until needed by the next patient.
Saplings in trenches, meant to have been planted last spring/fall
Last spring’s saplings, still in their trenches. They should have been already planted, but they’re still healthy!
Sticks waiting to become mulch
Sticks waiting to become mulch. About half of these sticks have already been mulched since the taking of this photo.
Bigger logs waiting to become firewood
Bigger logs waiting to become firewood. I haven’t even started on this yet, but I did finally get my chainsaw back up and running. Weather permitting, I’ll tackle it this weekend.

Wishing you good luck and good winter for all your catch-up chores. Spring is coming!

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