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.




26 comments on “Spring Chores

  1. avwalters says:

    I love the rhythm of your chores. In spite of myself (and I try to be better) I am insanely jealous of your asparagus.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres says:

    I had a big pile of fresh-from-the-farm asparagus for dinner tonight. Oh, it was good.

    I should have stopped this weekend and taken a photo of the corn for you. There were fields where it’s already knee high. I just laughed. It’s not particularly ahead of time — maybe a bit — but when I moved down here, I was astonished to find “knee high by the 4th of July” no longer applied.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh seriously, now you’re talking about actually eating it? Such divine torture – especially as it’s just started snowing AGAIN here! ): And no, this is NOT normal; we are currently 10*C below norms – March and April have apparently reversed themselves this year. La Niña, anyone?


    • Bill says:

      We aim for shoulder high by the 4th of July. 🙂 But ours isn’t even planted yet. The earliest we can get started is about April 20.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying fresh asparagus. It’s hard to beat. I’m still surprised that it grows in Texas!


  3. I’m so jealous Bill! ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Susan says:

    I love the rhythms of country life–even my relatively “small” food plot gives me plenty of chores.

    And am I the only one that thinks of compost as a thing of beauty? I wish more people would put pics of their piles on their blogs . To me, that’s the REAL backbone of any garden (or farm!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      That makes me smile. Yes, I too enjoy seeing pictures of compost piles. I’ve even devoted entire posts to ours. I spent a lot of today spreading compost on the gardens we’ll be planting next month and I was delighted to find it teeming with worms. 🙂


  5. Laurie Graves says:

    Beautiful asparagus!


  6. Farmgirl says:

    Love it! My friend asked me how I could miss chores. I told her, “If you don’t have them, you miss them!” Here’s to doing chores! 🙂 Happy Spring, Bill!


  7. Dearest Bill,
    What a blessing for harvesting your own fresh asparagus!
    And for having your own compost is another treasure.
    We used to be able to haul lots of spent mushroom compost when the Campbell farm that Pieter designed for this area, was stil up and running. It is so good for adding nutrients and water-holding capacity to the soil. But we have to do without here and our soil is very poor in water-holding capacity… It always makes me envious by looking at your fertile soil!
    Enjoy your spring chores and happy spring.


    • Bill says:

      If I lived closer to a mushroom production area I’d bring in lots of mushroom compost. It’s available and inexpensive in Pennsylvania but the cost of shipping it here is prohibitive. Too bad. The people I know who use it swear by it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That asparagus looks yummy indeed, Bill. It is one of my favorite foods. The closer you are to nature, the more you follow its rhythms, which is one of the reasons I have always liked backpacking. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful asparagus and compost! I cleaned our coop out today with a pitchfork and a wheelbarrow and was thinking the same thing – thank goodness I only have to do it once a year. I love the deep litter system. And I am happy to find my “word of the day” here on your blog – bepooped!
    I must say I felt a little ‘bepooped’ after the coop cleaning! 😉


  10. Looking at your one-year-old compost pile, it’s obvious why your gardens do so well (and that incredibly gorgeous asparagus makes my mouth water; )


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