Be careful what you wish for...the dream of living up at the ranch full time - what a huge learning curve we got to experience over this past summer at DRR!!! Spring and summer seemed to just fly by, always something to do and here we are - almost the middle of October! First I have to admit, as much as I complained about it, we were so happy and grateful to have had all of that snow last winter/spring, it brought such incredible beauty to the ranch over the spring/summer. Our little temporary creek was filled to overflowing and plants that we have never seen before were blooming with the ones we normally have, filling the hills and valleys with color!
We knew it would be busy living up here full-time but nothing could have prepared us for the constantness of what had to be accomplished daily in order to stay on top of everything! We very quickly discovered that you can't really know a thing unless you experience it first hand.
Spring started early with the planting of seeds and quickly moved into the harvesting of our beautiful bulbs (which I discovered I hadn't paid attention to bloom times when ordering and bloomed too early to serve much purpose except to give away and grace our own tables, which I loved), preparing beds, planting and the never ending chore of weeding!
Because of the late snows and cold, planting took place later than we would have liked but there were only a few losses to the last frost. While we are waiting for our lavender to reach its peak for production, I thought it would be fun to add annuals to use as cut flowers to sell at the Red Feather Lakes Farmers Market this summer. Being able to share flowers with an area that mostly is unable to grow them was so rewarding! I just loved seeing the happiness on people's faces when they picked up their order!
Our poor bees suffered some losses this year as I wasn't able to stay on top of their treatments like I needed to. We lost two hives and I am hoping to be able to keep the other three going through winter and hopefully divide them next spring to increase production of our delicious honey. With all of the wild flowers blooming as well as our pollinator friendly landscaping, they had so many flowers to choose from!
It was a very successful season as far as harvesting our lavender, annual flowers, veggie garden and even our fruit trees produced for the first time! During these times of uncertainty in what's around the corner, it feels really great to be able to put up food in the pantry and freezer from the bounty of our land.
Autumn has crept up on us slowly, the leaves are changing color, but up until the last week the temps were still in the 80's. We know winter is right around the corner - there are many projects on our list to get us ready for it and be better prepared to hit the ground running in the spring. Blowing out irrigation lines, putting up wind fences, laying landscape fabric, gathering seeds for planting next season, feeding the bees and wrapping the hives, digging up dahlia tubers, planting more bulbs...the list goes on and on, but we are moving at a much less frantic pace than we were dealing with during the spring. Time to slow down a bit and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us!