This is my fourth spring on the farm, and, I’ll be honest, the first three all found new and fun ways to kick my ass. I mean, the year that I bought this place I didn’t have any animals to take care of yet, but I also didn’t have, like, a lawn mower.
Just for reference, if you turn your back on this property for 24 hours, this is the kind of thing that happens…
Moving on to six acres of country land without a lawn mower is totally a rookie mistake. Because that shit will take over inside of two, maybe three weeks. It’s like the goddamn Day of the Triffids every single day around here.
Then after I got the mowing under control, there were the animals. Then there was the garden and the back field. Oh, and that massive rubble pile that had to be cleaned up. But this year, this year, I feel like I’m ready for all of it. I’ve got mowers and tractors, an upgraded weed whacker, a rototiller, and an effing machete.
I also have a ghostbusters-style weed sprayer backpack.
Yeah. I am so ready.
So here’s what Spring 2015 has looked like so far:
Spraying the driveways, walkways, and garden paths. Say what you will about chemicals, but I learned the hard way that this is absolutely necessary 2-3 times a year, unless I want to spend $10k on new stone for the driveway every year and 100 hours weeding the pathways, which I do not. I’m not trying to be an asshole here, but anyone who mentions “vinegar” or “hot water” to me as weed control methods and isn’t trying to manage 6 acres of land with a full-time job and without full-time crew of landscapers can kiss my ass.
Battery Upgrades. You guys, everything died this year. Not in a “let’s bury it” way, but more in a “I’ve had my jumper cables out every weekend since February” way.
The truck is alive again, and in desperate need of some regularly scheduled maintenance (also, I basically got peed on by a racoon during the taking of this picture, but that’s another story for another time…) So all’s well, clearly. I also did this weird thing a couple weeks ago and actually took the Kiterpillar (and a case of beer) off into one of the fields behind my house to enjoy the awesome weather with one of my friends instead of, like, using that time to use build a duck house or a bee hive or an effing patio table, or anything else on my list.
And it ended up being the most perfect and awesome day I’ve had this year. Except when when I tried to drive back to the farm, the golf cart totally died, necessitating a half-mile hike through the hills to get home, and then driving back with my car to jump-start the damn thing. So that was fun. (I mean, it actually was fun because there was a case of beer involved… but it really wasn’t convenient.)
The golf cart now has a new battery. I also may or may not be missing a chunk of hair from using the machete to hold my cow-hide covered seats up while trying to change the damn thing. There also may or may not be a bloody mary in that picture that might explain some things…
And injuries or no, I still need to charge or replace the battery on the mower (and a belt on the blades) and do my yearly maintenance on the tractor before everything is running smoothly this spring.
Garden, Round 1. It’s only really been “green” here for a week. Maybe two. And yet my garden is already green in all the wrong places…
My mom (always the trooper) came up last weekend to help get things under control. We did some light weeding..
Have I already mentioned in this post how much I love my tractor?
We also added some compost from my pile of two-years-of-animal-poop into the raised beds…
Also, the chickens helped…
Of course they did.
There’s still some tilling, planting, and cold frames to put in place on this side of the garden. And a blow-torch (or something similar) to use on the other side of the garden. But I’ll be damned if the whole thing won’t be beds and gravel walkways in the next month.
It’s a ton of work, but I’ll tell you, I never feel better than when I’m celebrating a lot of hard work and the end of a Spring day…
If that isn’t the quintessential picture of my life these days– paint on my hands, dirt under my nails, enjoying a glass of wine on my golf cart as the sun sets–then I don’t know what is.
Next up: Cold frames, installing bees, building (and installing) garden beds, and planting trees.
I’m not nearly done with my Spring maintenance yet, but I’m gonna get there…