I made a list today of the major undertakings happening this spring around the homestead. Loosely interpreted as (fingers crossed) happening between now and summer. Holy smokes*, that was a bit overwhelming. You know how easy it is to decide that you will absolutely, positively get something done “in the spring” from the cozy comfort of deep winter? Based on my list, it would seem that I’ve done little else this winter but dream up spring projects.
So… the list:
- Pigs! I unwrapped a “Small-Scale Pig Raising” book at Christmas, Dean’s way of agreeing that we could give it a go this year. I promptly read it cover-to-cover and started researching feed rations and fencing options, but there’s still the small details of sourcing a pair of feeder pigs, constructing said fencing and housing, and generally figuring out life with a couple of porcine residents.
- Chickens will also be returning for a couple months, as we plan to raise the annual batch of a couple dozen broilers. Luckily we’ve mostly figured these guys out, although I have also been researching feed recipes as I’d like to ween us off the luxury organic pre-mix.
- Bees need to be ordered and hives prepared. Our last hive didn’t make it through the winter a year ago and after a year off hoping for a lucky swarm, I’m ready to bite the bullet and buy replacements to get back in the honey business.
- Garden planning is always a huge task this time of year. The list of things we’d like to do in the garden bears little relation to the amount of time we can actually spend in the garden, but that’s the story every spring. So it’s time to bust out the spreadsheets and seed packets and put together a plan for what we will grow and where and how and all that good stuff.
- Orchard maintenance gets added to the list this year, after planting our first batch of trees just about a year ago. Nothing too intensive, but there will be quality time chipping alders for wood chip mulch, fighting the weeds back, and adding some companion plants.
- The cabin we lived in before we built the house has been empty for two winters now and we’re finally in a position to clean out its shed and get it ready to be re-occupied. I’m thrilled about the prospect of a cabin in use again, but there’s a whole lot of rehab to be done before that can happen.
So yeah, that’s the basic plan. There’s also a major fencing project and a house refinance on the list, but the details are a little vague on those.
Remind me again about how much longer the days will be…
* Transcript from a recent conversation here:
dean: “you swear like a nine-year-old amish girl”