Spring at the Future Homestead

” Spring is nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s Party!’ ”  ~ Robin Williams

Spring has sprung at the future homestead.  I thought I would share a few pictures with you I took on our recent trip up there. We can’t wait until this is our permanent home!

The fruit and nut trees are blooming and the bees are buzzing.

Cherry blossoms

The cherries are blooming! This is a Utah Giant. It had just a few blossoms last year, but no fruit. We hope to get some fruit this year.

We are lucky enough to have some natural pollinators up on the future homestead including mason orchard bees and bumble bees, among others.  We hope to get a few honey bee hives soon – one for the orchard and one for the vegetable garden.

All-In-One Almond Tree

We planted this almond tree last year, so this will be it’s second summer. This is an All-In-One almond. Can you see the little baby almond??!!

We have purchased all of our fruit and nut trees from a wonderful nursery in Nevada City, Ca, called Peaceful Valley.  If you are anywhere near Nevada City, it’s certainly worth a visit.  Of course, they have quite a selection on line and you can visit them here:  Peaceful Valley Grow Organic

The Ambassador Walnut tree seems to be quite happy!  Look at all those catkins!  She is such a young tree, but her enthusiasm tells me we might get a walnut or two this year!

The Ambassador Walnut tree seems to be quite happy! Look at all those catkins! She is such a young tree, but her enthusiasm tells me we might get a walnut or two this year!

We also planted a few artichokes last year and I mulched them heavily over the winter.  Imagine my surprise when I saw them poking out of the mulch, a day after the most recent snow had melted!

mulched artichoke plants

Globe artichokes peaking up through the mulch. I didn’t expect to see them so early in the spring!

Of course, along with the bursting forth of new growth on the plants comes the plant eaters!

Banana slug in Sierra Nevada Mountains

This is the third banana slug we have found on our future homestead. We saw it’s silvery trail and found the slug just chillin’. My middle finger is 3-1/4 inches long, so you can see Mr. Slugo is about 4 inches long – and fat! I’m sure he could devastate our vegetable garden overnight!

And then the bug eaters –

Western Skink

This is a skink. They have a very long body and tail and look like a slithering snake when they are moving quickly across the ground. Skinks are great bug catchers. Hmmmm. I wonder if they eat banana slugs?

The evenings are still pretty cool, so a warm campfire is always fun.


We have a lot of sticks, twigs and punk wood that we burn in the campfire. This year I want to cook with a dutch oven in the firepit more often. Yum! Marshmallows anyone?

We also set up the “living room”…..

future homestead

This is where we sit for a well deserved rest after working on our future homestead. We haven’t put up the screens yet but those will be necessary soon. Come join me for a cup of coffee – or later this afternoon for a glass of tea!

So, we are ready for another year of preparations to make this our permanent home.  This year we plan to finish our back road, clear an area for a metal shipping container box that we plan to use for storage, clear a patch for our raised bed vegetable garden, and finalize the plans for our new home.  Do you need some exercise?  Come join us!!!!


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25 thoughts on “Spring at the Future Homestead

  1. Ahhhh! I love your set up! It looks fantastic.
    Now all that banana slug needs is a gaping maw and sharp teeth and he’d be able to work in show business! (sorry, been watching Supernatural lately :P)
    I am green with envy over your nut trees! And happy for you at the same time! They look lovely.

    • Oh my. If that banana slug had teeth, I would have been very, very afraid! 🙂 Actually, since I don’t know how many of the little slimers we have up there, I am a bit afraid for our soon-to-be vegetable garden! Aren’t those baby nut trees cute! I hope we get at least one nut from each of them this year, but really, they aren’t supposed to produce for another year or two.

    • Well, if you really want to see me work (all sweaty and dirty with patches of poison oak on my cheek) you should fly out here to California and join us work weekend! 🙂 Thank you both so much for all of your encouragement! I hope your property search is going well this weekend with oodles of possibilities!

    • You know, I was thinking of getting a leash for that slug! It’s big enough, though I think we would be taking a mighty slow walk. 😉 Could imagine the damage it could do to a lettuce garden in one day?

    • You are so welcome, Ricki! Yes, it’s a BIG slug. Believe it or not, where I like to hike over on the Pacific Coast in California, our banana slug would be considered a baby! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Hello Vickie,
    I can well imagine that you can not do it wait ……
    Your new, future and at home is really great.
    Our cherry tree last year has borne no fruit.
    Do you also have pear trees?
    We like the pictures in the post very well.
    We would also like to want to live like that.
    We will send an email with pictures of times our garden, then you can see how it looks in our times …

    Greetings fom Germany

    Uwe and Angelika

    • It’s good to hear from you again, Uwe! I would love to see pictures of your garden. I’m sure you and Angelika have a beautiful garden. We don’t have a pear tree yet. We plan to plant one in front of our new home after we build it next year. Is your cherry tree young, or was it just a bad year for the tree?

  3. What a wonderful place in nature you have! Oh I have never seen a real banana slug! I saw many drawings of them at UCSanta Cruz!.Nice to meet you!

    • So nice to meet you too, Raquel! Yes, UC Santa Cruz and the Banana Slugs, strange but unique! 😉 Thank you so much for the compliment – I think we have a wonderful place also!

  4. We are retired also, and spend our time traveling…I loved your post about springtime. Your life sounds so peaceful, and I envy your beautiful location,! Found you at the Fabulously Frugal blog party.

    • I can’t wait until hubby finally “pulls the plug” (retires), then we can live up on our future homestead full-time! Once we get our house built and everything is fairly settled, we plan to do some traveling also. There are so many places in this United States that I want to see. Of course, Italy, Ireland and Germany are on my bucket list also. Thanks for stopping by, Karan!

  5. You have quite a bit more blooming going on than in my neck of the woods. It’s just starting to warm here, and I am finally seeing some small buds start on our trees. Those slugs are icky! Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded!


    • Believe it or not – my daffodils were already done blooming a couple of weeks ago and the peach and almond trees have just about dropped their last blossoms. It has been a very warm, dry winter here and I think the plants and trees are a little confused. We had some snow after the almond and peach trees bloomed out, but it doesn’t seem to have hurt them much as there is still some itty-bitty fruit on the trees. Oh, and if you would like to have one of those slugs as a pet, I’m sure I could send one to you! 😉 Thanks for hosting, Alison.

  6. It looks like you are well on your way to sustainability with all the great trees! That banana slug is disgusting! We just have the little garden slugs here and they are bad enough. Thank you for sharing this and your interesting post on candied acorns at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week! ~Deborah

    • Thank you Deborah! You know, you can actually look at those slugs a couple of ways. Yes, they are disgusting, but in a way they seem, well, cute! I guess that’s why University of California at Santa Cruz made them their mascot!

    • It’s such a peaceful little living room – no TV allowed! 🙂 The banana slug IS disgusting. But, I’m more nervous about how much damage it can do to my vegetable garden than anything else! Thanks for stopping by, Deb.