Spring Cleaning on the Farm

calvesAll winter long things piled up. Yes, let’s just say those piles include organic material best suited for the garden. It is clean up the pens time… and it so much fun. Not.

I thought cleaning my house in the Spring was bad. Playing with the John Deere in two feet of “Farm Pies” has got anything in the house beat. The smell is pure methane. Whew! The corral was first, then the calf pen.  No wonder they spent all winter curled up on that pile of hay. I could feel the heat coming off the rotting stuff.

Our four calves from last year are to be moved shortly from this pen.  I have decided to not raise any bottle calves this year. It is not worth the cost. Weaned babies are selling for less so why go through the fuss?  Next year I hope to have five cows provide a fresh batch of calves, no maintenance required. No milk bottles- Yay!

The goat house needs to be lifted and everything pushed off the deck. For the winter I put skids and horse mats in to get them off the deck, then pile it with hay, layer after layer. Their manure is so  garden ready it can be tossed right in, just like the rabbits contributions.

The neighbor came down to grind everything up for me. With this giant tractor and plow he gets the job done in minutes. It really digs and does the job. Just as I started pulling the seeds off the shelf the weather took a wet nose dive. Hurry up and wait seems to be a homesteading theme.

A tractor is an absolute necessity for a homestead. We have yet to buy the plow my neighbor owns so we just send up some deer steaks as a thank you. The plow/tiller is expensive. If we were doing more than a thirty by thirty square garden it would be worth the investment. The tool would come in handy for deer plots and replanting areas the cattle damaged, too.

Even though we have has a completely mild winter this year, an old timer told us not to plant until after mother’s day. Some of last year’s potatoes had come in the garden and were about eight inches high. One morning last week I woke up to frost on the windshield. There went the potatoes and my beautiful wisteria flowers. Young trees lost their leaves as well. Mother’s day is tomorrow. Smart old timer.



Author: cynthia queen

Living on a small farm just three miles short of the West Virginia border I am kept extremely busy with writing, working part time, remodeling our rental mobile homes and running the farm. I lived most of my life on the New York border in the Tyoga County backwoods. Our family has known nothing but hardship and scraping by. I bought this farm with the intent of bringing my family to a better place. I'm hoping my writing will begin to supplement the income and make bringing the family here a reality.