Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thankful Thursday: The Busy-ness of Spring

3-30 choretime

As the snow totals from Sunday’s freak storm increased, our hopes of getting back on track with “spring sprint” faded quickly.  When the snow finished, we had five inches on the ground. (freak storm indeed…others in the area saw nothing!)

But, with the ever-changing weather that is March, afternoon brought sunshine and lots of wind, so by Monday morning, the white stuff was but a memory.  …and the grass seemed to be getting greener by the minute.

3-31 choretime

…and just like that…the possibility of re-claiming the schedule returned!

…and just like that…the to-do list began growing…exponentially…by the moment.
I'm pretty sure I can see at least 10 jobs from the top of the lane!

The sheep needed attention, the gardens needed attention, the hoophouses needed attention…and don’t forget the greenhouses.  The freezer in the Market trailer needed to be stocked.  But, wait!  It got left open and is “de-frosting”…does it even work? The cooler should be cleaned out. We’re running out of hay.  I need to run to the bank, the feedstore and get groceries. Then, there was the bookwork…and that little thing called housework…
look at the green!


Spring planting is always an iffy proposition (well, any planting can be an iffy proposition…) The April showers that bring May flowers can be a blessing and a curse.  It seems we’re always working with one eye on the job and the other on the sky (or the weather page).  But, there was a small window of opportunity that we couldn’t afford to miss.

ready to go in the garden

Those brassica plants (brassica is the family name for all those cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage) really needed to get in the garden. ASAP!  Seedlings can only get so big in the flats before they need more root room and more nourishment and water than the small cells can provide. These beautiful plants were at their limit.

That would be job one.  No, wait a minute…maybe the sheep… No, wait another minute…I’ve got an appointment for the cat at the vet! Oops…nearly forgot that one! Tess and I hopped in the X and headed off to the clinic. It only seemed appropriate that the song playing as I waited in the vet’s office was the Eagle’s “life in the fast lane”. Did you read this one? (that post from a couple years ago exemplifies the chaos that is the norm around here)
working the sheep

The chicken yard needed attention...the henhouse had to re-positioned. It looked dry enough for the first pass on tilling the garden beds...
first tiller pass

Somewhere in there UPS delivered two boxes of onions. (about 4,000 little plants) Presently, they are in the shop, along with sacks and sacks of seed potatoes, awaiting planting.

And just like that...we went from the land of Frozen…where it seemed that life focused on the struggle to maintain any sense of warmth and entered that somewhat controlled chaos that is the farm in Spring. The Boss was heard to exclaim, “It actually feels good to sweat!” And, it did.  
freshly tilled

During our planting session, the post office called to inform me that the latest batch of broilers had arrived.  Jump in the X again! Thankfully, that trip was just to Mbrook, and we were back planting in just a few minutes. 
700 brassicas all planted and waiting for rain

But, the arrival of the chicks created a new dilemma that required yet aother change in plans.  The hatchery made a mistake and sent too many babies (!) Good for us (sort of) but bad for the hatchery.  They were apologetic and gracious and gave us the extras…but, that meant that the big box in the shop wouldn’t be nearly big enough.  The other broilers needed to move.  The brooder would have to be cleaned and the new chicks housed...
TOO many babies!

Okay, job one for tomorrow! But, first…the hay supply is dwindling…and even though the grass is green and growing…it’s not ready to withstand all those hungry mouths and sharp hooves. One more tiny load of hay should do us. No, wait…we’ll have to…

And, so it goes.  I’m certain daylight will bring even more jobs that need immediate attention, particularly as Opening Day of the Staunton/Augusta Farmers’ Market is Saturday.  Saturday.  SATURDAY!  Market preparation will take precedence over everything else.

But…the hay…and the chicks…and the hoophouse…

We’re off and running…and yes, sometimes in circles…getting back in the rhythm and routine that is the growing season. We’ll have some sore muscles, broken fingernails and aching backs at the end of the work day and I can assure you that we will indeed sleep well. But, it feels so good to be back at the work of growing food!

This year, I feel particularly thankful for the Busy-ness of Spring!

**Last week, it was Saturday before I realized I hadn’t done a THANKFUL THURSDAY blog…and it seemed sorta silly to post at that point.   I then remembered why my TT posts were so erratic.  Yep…busy-ness! While I may not manage to get a thankful post written, I am ever thankful for this busy, busy life!**


  1. Oh my goodness, you busy busy bees! So much goodness going on at your farm... I love seeing all the growth and green. Happy spring :)

    1. Happy Spring to you, too!
      Love this time of year and all its craziness. :)

  2. I'm sure my blood pressure was rising while reading that.
    And still you find time to post a blog!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting!
      It feels SO good to be busy outside again. Early mornings are just made for writing. :)

  3. Ahhhh....I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels they're running around with a list to do bigger than they are. :)

    I understand the eek! Extra chicks! too. It's awesome but sometimes the extra housing and feed is a pain which makes you feel guilty because eeek!! Extra chicks! ;)

    (I went to pick up 300 chicks and came home with 600. My hubby sighed , moved the other car out of the garage and made the brooder even bigger. ;) )

    ~ Honey

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
      I like the busy-ness of Spring, although occasionally I do think I am losing my mind. This year the change in pace happened with absolutely no time to ease into it. But, that's okay. The sun is shining. :)
      Yikes, 300, wait 600! Woweee! That is a LOT of chicks (particularly in the That sounds like quite the story.
      Hope you'll visit us again. :)