I have received many wishes for a Happy Mother’s Day and I had one. I heard from all of my kids and several visited. I also went to church and heard an inspiring sermon on the origins of the day. It turns out the holiday was not created to enrich the coffers of Hallmark but rather to support the cause of peace after the Civil War. It was started by a woman so devastated by the loss of her son that she banded with other mothers to pursue peace. Peace is still illusive but I have asked that this be the last year I receive purchased cards or gifts. I am asking that my kids either make me something, grow something or donate to a charity that promotes peace. I still want a recognition of the day, just not one that involves a monetary outlay.

I spent the yesterday building a new compost pile. I am determined to do it right this time. I know the fundamentals but I never seem to do it right. The pile keeps shrinking and I keep adding to it, never removing any finished compost. I want this compost to sit and cook for the summer and hope to actually use it next spring. I have put an old kitchen garbage can on the back porch. As the inside compost bucket fills up I bring it out there. When that’s filled, I will haul it out to be another layer for the pile. I started the pile with a layer of downed and dried sticks and branches, then added a layer of the sod we pulled from the lawn when we put the blueberries in. Next I added layers of rotting hay and the kitchen compostables. and covered it all with a layer of last year’s leaves. I have an old tarp to cover it with. I have very little kitchen waste as the chickens get most of the food scraps.

We got the blackberries pulled up. They were deadly, with huge thorns. I had put them way too close to the neighbor’s clothesline. We’re growing a hedge of elderberries to separate the two properties. We may head out to the nursery to pick up a few more. We also need to replace two trees that didn’t mae it through the winter. Bruce is determined to have peach trees but I think it’s a mistake. We’re a bit too close to the river and often get a late frost. I think it makes more sense to swap with my neighbor for peaches and to concentrate on what grows well, predictably and with little effort.

I got a third greenhouse! A friend had gotten one on Craig’s List a couple of years ago and has decided that it was an ill-advised purchase. I’m getting it for a song, still in the box. I’m not sure It will get up this year but I don’t mind storing it until I have the time to put it up or until Ben and Maggie need it. It sure is nice having the extra help with some of our heavier chores. Ben dug up a blueberry bush and got it moved so the summer kitchen and greenhouse can go in. Maggie and I are going to organize all of my canning supplies before the coming glut of food.