Chores, Chores, Chores

February 20, 2017

img_0424Like yesterday’s garlic shoots, another sure sign of spring are the chores.

With the first hint of warmer weather, they just literally start popping up.  There is never a lack of things to do.

Unfortunately, however, we do have a lack of time.  From where we’re living now, the drive out to the farm is still about 30 minutes long, so we’ve been spending a lot of time lately driving back and forth.  We never seem to spend more than a couple of hours at the farm itself, because we have to make sure and get back to town before our oldest daughter gets home from school in the early afternoon.

Lord, will it be nice to live there, and just be there already to do all the things that need doing!

Like cleaning up and tilling the garden for spring planting:

0218 garden.jpgAck, I know!  The horror!

All I need is some twangy banjo music accompaniment to complete the picture- the garden looks that awful!  It hurts my heart a little bit to see it looking so neglected and trashed.

It’s my own darn fault – I got lazy last fall and didn’t clean up properly when the season was over, so there’s still corn and sunflower stalks lying about, and the pulled, brittle skeletons of asparagus and radish blooms.  Cleaning up the garden is so important, to get rid of pests and diseases, and to prevent this exact sort of last minute scramble, but we got wrapped up in selling our house and just let it go.

Bad on us.  Me, specifically.

So.  Number one on my list of things to do is to rake up all that detritus and do a general tidy up.  We spread that black plastic sheeting and the cardboard out to kill off some of the grass, but I think it’s probably time to pull that up and just give everything a good till.  Then we can spread out manure and amendments, till again, get ready for planting and for the prettiness to come back.

0218-pruning3Chore number two is pruning.  So.  Much.  Pruning.

We had an arborist come out last month and give us an estimate, but it would have cost about $1200 to get all the fruit producing trees into tip-top shape.  We might hire them next year, but we decided that this year that money would be better spent on building a house for us to live in.

So we’re pruning them ourselves!  We’re trying to stick to commonsense things like getting rid of suckers and dead branches, but really we’re complete amateurs and have no idea what we’re doing.  The trees have been untouched for a number of years though, so I’m pretty sure any love and attention we can give them will pay off.  We hope, anyway.

And, lastly, all that garden cleanup and tree pruning means it’s time for some more fires!

0218 fire.jpg

The weather has been wet and pretty unpleasant lately, contrary to what my photos might lead you to believe.  It took us a few separate tries on a few separate days to finally get the first pile of very wet wood to burn, but we did it!  Now we just need to do it a few more times, weather willing.

Ah, chores.  Accompanied by the earthy, dark smell of freshly turned dirt and the tang of smoke in the breeze.  It’s hard and dirty work, but it does lift the spirits so.


  • arlingwoman

    February 21, 2017 at 12:06 am

    Every time I read your blog, I think “she sure has her hands full.” Whew. The garden will be fine soon and so will the fruit trees, which can withstand a lot–except for NOT being pruned. I wish you energy and luck.

    1. sproutandsprig

      February 21, 2017 at 2:37 am

      Haha, I think that too!

  • polymath0

    February 22, 2017 at 3:29 am

    Hello, I just started following you. I read this post and completely sympathize. I don’t have a farm, but I have enough garden to supplement the diets of myself and my husband for the winter. It’s a lot of work, and I often get lazy at the end of the year, spending most of my energy and excitement in spring. Oh darn. Part of me is relieved by the freezes we still have, but another part of me is eager for spring.

  • foxpineshomestead

    February 23, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Your situation sounds very much like our own, except you are probably 25 years younger! We have out place purchased, now free of debt, and are in the process of building a pole barn so its completed and paid for by the time we move, which will hopefully be by year end. I’m ready to give up the 40+ hour work week, slow down and enjoy the garden, birds and animals more than ever!

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