I was just about to plant my tomato seedlings last week when I struck up a conversation with an elderly man at the store. He said, “absolutely not, do not plant your tomatoes yet. You’ll be sorry.” You gotta be kidding me? It’s mid-May!
He was right. Here’s my lawn this morning. May 19th! Frost. I’m not complaining; I love the chilly mornings! On my birthday a few days ago, we had a fire going in the fireplace all day. I enjoyed it BIG time! I think mainly because it was so different from the birthday weather where I spent most of my life.
I’m so glad I chatted with that fellow. My tomatoes are still safe and sound inside.
Ah, springtime. A time of unpredictable weather.
Springtime, a time of rebirth, growth. Of beauty and color. Of birds and tadpoles.
And a season of hard labor. Yes, my Friends, springtime means sandpaper fingertips and broken fingernails. On a farm springtime means work. Pure and simple. Work. Lots of it. Especially on an old farm that needs reclaiming and rehabilitation.
Our farm goes back to at least 1892, when our house was built. The farm was in the same family for 150 years.
I do believe every nail ever used in anything on this farm since 1892 has been saved somewhere here. Every feed sack ever purchased was saved. Every piece of wood collected was kept. It’s all here.
And that’s a lot of stuff. Trash-stuff, not good stuff.
Since we moved here, we have been working on our house and the large barn beside our house. Are we done? nope. But we’re getting there. The grounds of the old farm have remained neglected. There just isn’t enough time in a day.
But. When springtime came this year, we decided it was time to clean up the grounds. Not only were there nails, boards, rotting feedsacks, but there are weeds, thorn bushes, and other growth on an old farm that no one lived in for several years.
Months ago, I was trying to plan a Farmgirl Gathering at my Farm for Summer Solstice. When a friend came over and helped me see things from her eyes, I realized that there was A LOT of work that needed to be done before real “guests” come to visit.
So I may not be ready for real adult guests, but guess what? The girl scouts are coming to the farm to campout in a few weeks. At the last troop meeting, they made camp stoves out of large tin cans and burners out of cat food cans with cardboard and wax. I had stayed to help out and couldn’t believe what these girls accomplished. They’ll use those things at their campout here. I’m super excited about it. The girls will pitch their tents out by the mountain stream. I’ll sleep out there too, but in my own (quiet) tent. I’m not experienced when it comes to camping….I’ve always wanted to work on that. My assignment is to lead them on a tour of the farm and a nature hike around the property.
So, yes. It is TIME to clean up the mess around the farm.
Like. We had an old hen house on the hill behind the barn that was nothing but rotten boards. Eyesore!
As I have been working to clean that fallen down hen house up, I’ve found metal, wires, nails. I filled my truck, formerly known as Elvis, with junk-ola. Just look. Can you believe all this?
It probably took me 20 minutes to fill it up. It was that easy. I am headed to a local dump and hope some of it can be recycled or reused. Then I’ll fill it up again.
Now check this out. All this wire.
Isn’t that strange?
Well, here’s what I think about all this wire. We’ve learned that this house was the location of the original rural phone company. The daughter (a few generations back, named Nannie) ran the switchboard from the front parlor. I’m guessing all this wire came from that somehow.
I also found this, which I think might have been a switchbox before it fell apart. All this was in the fallen down hen house on the hill.
Now speaking of cleaning up, my favorite tool for cleaning up the yard. I couldn’t live without this thing:
Actually, it’s not mine, it’s my Daddy’s. He lent it to us and well, it’s still here. Thank goodness. This thing is a gem. Weed-eaters wear me out. The way they vibrate and sling tiny green pieces of grass and weeds all over me. I just can’t stand them. This is awesome. And since you push it, it is in front of you, just in case, you know, sssssssssssssss. This piece of machinery would take care of him before he could take care of you. ha.
Now the thing about springtime is that none of the equipment starts. After their long hibernation of winter, they’re just not quite ready to wake up. They need some convincing. I’m not a very good convincer, but my Husband is. I always have to call him to get things started. The tiller. The mower. Yeah, you get the idea.
I hope by our next visit that I’ll have some seedlings planted in the garden and some seeds in the ground. But who knows? The locals tell me they’ve seen snow every month of the year here except for July.
And the girl scouts are coming May 30. Whew! I have a lot to do before then!
How is your spring coming along?
Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!
Lots of love, The City Farmgirl in the Country, Rebekah