Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"It's almost spring" chores

I know it's not spring yet.  I am fully prepared to endure at least one more snowfall and many more cold days.  But when we get a glimpse of spring, like we have been this past week, it's time to start preparing.

First, the annual "What was the snow hiding?" hunt.  Before we can actually play out in the yard, the kids and I have to do a sweep to find all of the toys, tools, etc. we have been missing and, more importantly, all of the things we don't want to step on.  (Side note:  Our oldest is the absolute best at this game.  This year, he actually found the tiny little "pen" that goes to a pocket Sudoku game.  His brother had dropped it outside, in the dark, the night before we got many inches of snow two months prior.  In a previous year, he found my lawn mower key and a British coin from WWI.) With two large outside dogs, there are lots of things we don't want to step on.  First and foremost, we take care of the poo.  The kids fan out over the yard, stopping when they find some.  I go around picking it up and disposing of it.  Luckily, we only have to do this for a small fraction of our property, but it is very necessary, as it is the field the kids most use.

Next, we do a dead animal count.  Fortunately, it was a light year.  Guess the cold (or the coyotes) kept the big animals away.  We only found two oppossums, three moles, and the inards of an unidentifiable animal.  These are also disposed of.

The kids then get to play for a while.

The husband, the children, and I then tackle the sticks and branches that have fallen.  So glad that we splurged and purchased a mulcher last fall.  We used to have to drag them all to the burn pile on the far side of the property.  This year, very little dragging.  Just took the mulcher around the yard, then wheel-barrowed the mulch to the flower bed.  So much easier!

The compost pile then gets some attention.  The children are not able (or is it willing?) to get all of the food scraps onto the actual compost pile when there is so much snow.  So, after we take out the lovely dirt to put on the garden, we must scoop the scraps up and put them in their proper place.

Lastly, we spread the compost dirt and clean up the garden to get it ready for tilling and planting.

So far, so good.  We got all of this done in two afternoons.  Next up, fixing the fences and barns before the chickens and pigs arrive.  Those coyotes are going to have to go somewhere else for their meals this year!

What does your family do to get ready for spring?


  1. Coyotes are really bad right now. The boys hate to hear them in the evening. We'd love to get chickens. But when I think of the fortress we'd have to build to protect them (from the hawks, too) I push it off.

  2. We haven't had a problem until this year. Not only did they get our chickens, but they managed to dig under the fence one night and got our largest hog (250 pounds) one week before it went to the butcher. They are horrible this year!

    If you only want a small flock, there are lots of solid options for housing. We would certainly recommend getting a few!


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