10 Things I’m Grateful For This Spring

Spring on the farm is so wonderfully insane that all I really have time for is making lists. Like this one, for example, because there wasn’t enough space on my bigass chalkboard for all the things I need to get done in the next few weeks…


I am determined not to let that list overwhelm me this year, so instead of focusing on holy-shit-I-have-to-do-all-the-things!, here’s a list of stuff I’m grateful for this spring. (Complete with all kinds of excessive exclamation points! Because spring!)

1.) Things are growing in the garden! 


The makeshift coldframes my mom and I created (out of panels from my disassembled greenhouse) are totally working! All the seeds we planted a couple of weeks ago have sprouted.

2.) The rest of the existing raised beds are full of dirt and ready for planting! 


Last year I installed 9 new raised beds on the formerly weed-ridden side of the garden, but only managed to get 5 of them filled with dirt and planted. I finally finished that project off last weekend, which means there are 4 new raised beds just waiting for be planted. (Of course, you know I’m also going to build half a dozen more of these things this year because I can’t help myself… but that’s a story for another post.)

3.) The first bonfire of the season! 


Felt a little magical (and looked a little magical too.)

4.) A decided lack of ticks! 


The guineas have really started earning their keep this year. There are 7 in my current flock, and they’ve finally started roaming the whole property (back field, pasture, even across the street in my neighbors yard) and so far this year I’ve found only one tick on one of the donkeys. All accounts around my area are that it’s a horrible year for ticks–and I never find just one on the donkeys–but so far we’ve been pretty tick free over here, which is amazing.

5.) Progress on the garden trellis! 

For a couple of years the entry to the garden has looked like this…


And it makes my eye twitch every time I look at it. I finally got my act together last week and put the top on it…


Now all it needs is a little lattice up the sides and a beautiful climbing flower to complete the garden entry.

6.) Cherry blossoms! 


A lot of the trees out in the orchard are blooming. My pears and older peach trees are doing awesome, the apples are making a strong showing this year, and even my tiny little cherry trees are showing some life. It’s an awesome to see everything waking up after a long winter.

7.) Chicken tetherball! 


I mean, seriously. Also, I’m attempting to grow some well-protected fountain-grass in the run..


We’ll see how that goes.

8.) So many bees! 

I have two packages of bees coming in early May to replace the hives I lost last fall, but even more exciting is that my friend Katy just got her first hives, which I helped her install this week…


“Helped” = took pictures and provided moral support, but really I’m just super excited to have another beekeeper in my circle of friends!

9.)  These guys! 


I mean, yeah, some of us are working our asses off out here this spring, and the actual asses are just napping in the pasture, but seriously, those faces.

10.) A place to put my feet up! 


The patio furniture is out, which means at the end of a hard days work I’ve got a place to kick back, drink a glass of wine, and enjoy the sunset… which, really, is all a girl can ask for out here on the farm.

(And, okay, even I’m sick of the exclamation points right now, even though every single one of those things feels exciting enough to deserve one.)

If I’m going to be honest and authentic here for a minute I’ll tell you that spring continues to be a mix of good and bad, really tough and really amazing, so much anxiety and so much “hell yes, I can do this!” There’s a part of me that wants to sit down and capture all of the many stories that are happening in this crazy time of year, but a bigger part of me needs to go lay down and sleep for a gazillion hours.

I’m still kind of raw and hurting from what feels like a disproportionate amount of loss on the farm last year (and early this year as well), I have some very real anxiety around failing to protect and nurture everything I’m responsible for here, and I’m also dealing with some frustrating health issues that make everything seem just a little more difficult… but despite all of that (and a nagging voice in the back of my head that keeps trying to tell me that I “can’t”) I’m reminding myself to look up from my problems, look around at all the awesome things around me, and be grateful for what I’ve got.

12 Responses

  1. Awesome post. Love your honesty at the end. I love that when I’m starting to let life get me down, I can look around at where I am lucky enough to live (depsite the extra eork that comes with an old house) and be humbled and thankful. My home is my haven and clearly yours is as well. You’ve accomplished so much!

  2. You’re awesome Kit…. you have accomplished so much and I really don’t know how you do it all, seriously.

    One day at a time…. and one project at a time….one bottle of wine at a time. 😉 You’ve got this.

  3. Kit you are truly an inspiration to me! I’m almost 60 years old and I bought a little farmhouse fixer upper a couple years ago. My dreams for my LITTLE 1/3 acre are similar to yours but on a tiny weenie scale! LOL. You inspire me to keep my head up and plug along! Thanks for all your posts and your “I Can Do This” attitude! Helps me believe I can too! 😉

  4. I find it remarkable that the guineas, which are relatively small as far as animals go, can find (and eat) ticks, which are incredibly small in the grand scheme of things… I hate ticks, as I’ve had two lyme scares in the last couple of years. Nasty buggers!
    I also find it remarkable that you are able to do all the awesome things you do on the farm and still find time to share it with all of us. Thanks!!

  5. You’re doing wonderful things on your farm, and still kicking butt even when you feel like life is kicking yours! Loss on a farm is a rough thing to deal with, and when you’re not feeling well it’s hard to bounce back from that. Some years the to-do list doesn’t get finished, and that’s ok. On a farm I’m not sure there’s such thing as a completely “finished” list anyway. Take care of yourself, lean on your friends and family, and feel better soon!

  6. What Reenie & Laura said Kit…seriously. I have been in my little piece of paradise along the Wapsi River five yrs next month. I have less land, one animal (Willie – full size Golden Doodle, mostly doodle) I have but only two part time jobs with very flexible hrs. I, as many, are impressed and amazed at the transformation and what you’ve accomplished on the Black Feather Farm in such a short time.
    When spring and mother nature wakes there’s only about forty-five things needing done (right now!) You have amazed, inspired and encouraged many with your preserverance, tenacity, grit and hold my wine – I got this attitude. I am appreciative for what I have but do envy your organizational skills and have implimented a smaller chalkboard hanging inside the shop/mancave door. I’ve been so busy with things that need done now – I haven’t updated it n need to…makes for a great guideline and reminder…I’m bad about reading set up instructions and never get lost as well 😉
    be well n up to speed soon

  7. I always find your blog very inspiring and uplifting. I’ve followed for years and wanted to tell you how much I enjoy it. I hope you feel better soon.

  8. To be absolutely perfectly selfish this post is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. Will be hoping things improve for you in all ways!!!! (Extra exclamation points in case you need an extra).
    Have you ever thought of taking on extra help every once in a while? I would come to MI on my own dime to work on your farm for free for a week. Why? Because I like your blog, wish to help, miss Michigan, and miss being around animals.
    Hugs to you.

  9. love this post, love chicken tetherball (can’t wait to show my husband your video after work!) and i hope your health issues are manageable and don’t get you down too much.

  10. I love spring. It’s such a long winter in Michigan. The first signs always pick my spirits up. I’m in the city, however, I also enjoy the cherry blossoms.

    – J

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