Spring Chores

Day to day life on a farm is seasonal, of course. There is a rhythm to everything and the season determines the rhythm.

The morning chores change with the seasons. Year-round, every morning includes opening the chicken coops. But in the summer and fall I also feed the pigs. In the winter I load the stove with wood. And now, in the spring, I pick the asparagus.


Spring is also the time for cleaning out the coops, the sheds and the barn stalls. We use the “deep litter” method, which means that when fresh bedding is needed during the year, we just pile it  on top of the old bepooped bedding. Then, once a year, we clean it all out and start over.

I can use the loader on the tractor to scoop up most of the old bedding in the sheds, but in the coops and barn sheds it has to be done by pitchfork and shovel. Fortunately it only has to be done once a year.


Of course the old bedding is an important part of the ecosystem that is our farm. From the stalls it travels to the compost pile to cook. The following spring, as part of another of our once-a-year spring chores, we’ll spread it on the gardens and till it into the soil, where it will feed the plants that will, in time, feed us.


In the foreground, this years compost pile. In the background, year-old black gold.

When summer comes around, of course, there will be a new set of chores and the season will dictate a different rhythm of life here.