Spring Farm Chores

Reader Contribution by Brenda Arthur
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Yesterday was a beautiful spring day. We took advantage of the near perfect weather to get busy on some farm chores that we had put off for the winter.

Besides the usual feeding, watering and stall cleaning for our constantly growing animal family, we (meaning my husband) started on our new driveway from the house to the barnyard. Over the years we have driven over this section of the backyard so many times as a shortcut to the barn that we have ruts that pool water and keep the dogs muddy in wet weather. The bucket on the front-end loader did a fair job of scraping away dirt to make room for a rock bed with a gravel top. The rock and gravel should keep the area dry and the dogs cleaner! Of course I would much rather look out the back and see pretty green grass – but that won’t work here, and I’ll just have to get used to seeing a gravel drive through the middle of the yard. I guess it’s a trade-off for keeping white Great Pyrenees dogs at least fairly white.

Jack checking out our new driveway!

We also moved who knows how many tons of manure from where we put it during the winter to the back of the barnyard to complete the composting! With two horses, two cows and a donkey, the pile grew huge over the winter! It was just too cold to haul it to the area in the far end of the lot where we would normally put it – so convenience won out. John, though, may override the “convenient area” this next winter as his knees are achy from all the clutch work on the loader – but the barnyard looks so much bigger and cleaner now! I had forgotten how much room we actually have in the area! 

Moving the manure pile!

Tree-trimming season is in full swing, and a couple loads of wood chips from a local tree-trimming company have been delivered to cover the now bare ground in the barnyard. Last year we spoke with a couple of nearby companies that do tree removal and trimming, and they agreed to dump their wood chips here when they are working in the area. They won’t have to make a trip to the city dump or wherever it is they take wood chips, and we get free chips – delivered! Saves them and us time and money. Can we say – Way to Barter, John!

All in all it was a busy spring day, and we got a lot accomplished. Seems like my honey-do never gets shorter no matter how much we do – but that is farm life. Next up? Coop cleaning and enlarging and planting the garden! It isn’t easy, but it is what we love to do. We still have a lot that we have planned to do around the farm before gardening season gets in full swing and the weather gets too hot.

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