The Thing About Spring


Springtime on the Farm

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.

P1150198Isn’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









  1. Loved this post! I always enjoy reading about hard work on a farm…..and it looks like you have had plenty of that! I can’t wait to see more of your farm. Thanks for sharing!

  2. KimD says:

    I helped my church girls make those “stoves” many years ago, they cooked on them at our church girls camp. If the girl scouts can camp in tents on your place than why can’t adults bring their campers and do a glamping trip? I would come camp if I had a camper.

  3. Dianne says:

    My hubby (retired phone man) said “She might have a fortune in copper there in all that wiring”. Also “don’t leave old gas in equipment over the winter” We use to own a small engine repair and old gas was 90 % of the problem. Men are funny, they don’t say much,I guess just the important stuff Ha Ha! I am right there with you about the sssssssssss. I don’t care if they are 4 inches long, I run as far as I can. I just gave myself the goose pimples. I hope you all have a fun time camping.

  4. rene foust says:

    I love reading your articles; the first thing I do when I get my Mary Janes Farm magazine is turn to the back and read what you have written and I have never been disappointed.
    Work is never done but I think it really is what gets me up in the morning and what puts me to sleep at night (although as I get older I sometimes I need a little bit of Ben Gay or something similar to help sooth the sore legs and back). I just wish I could win the lottery so that I could afford to stay home and work at it all full time….someday.
    The boy scouts camped out on our property last fall and it was really cool to look out and see them and their tents set up all over the field. The funny thing was seeing their tents reminded me of the Flintstones episode when Fred helped out with the boy scout jamboree, I know I am dating myself but it was a good memory. Have fun with the girl scouts and I look forward to watching the progress on your farm.


  5. Mary Pitman says:

    Love your posts!!! keeps us all in the energized mood, seeing others cleaning up their places. Good stewards you be!

  6. Sherry Campbell says:

    I’m glad to read I’m not the only one faced with “clean-up”. We have so much honeysuckle over grown I need a chain saw to get through it. I had to comment because just today I came across an old dump sight. I wanted to cry! I would send you photos if I could…lol!

    Our old dairy barn was just renovated, folks around here kept telling us to tear it down but we found someone in eastern Ohio to take it on…now I just have to level out the floor and get some drain tile installed on one side. I’m thinking of using a potion of the old milking parlor as a hen house!

    My garden is planted and things are starting to sprout…best of luck with yours!

    It’s funny, you have Girl Scouts coming on the 30th and we have a wedding on the 30th in the back meadow, German Baptist event. My husband still has to bush hog a field for the event so they can park on our property. I’m scared to see what’s under it all. After the wedding, I’m going to take an area and plant pumpkins!

    Love reading about your adventures, makes me feel so not alone! BTW, I’m a half and half retired Air Force girl…born in the city, but lived in an orange grove in central Florida in my teenage years. Retired 4 years ago after 22 years traveling the world…loving our lil place and looking forward to all the adventures yet to come!

  7. Pat Duncan says:

    Love you posts. You have a beautiful farm, and I certainly enjoy reading about your progress.

  8. Joan says:

    Love reading about your ‘happenings’!! I too have not been able to plant, still way to cold and the wind seems to be a constant, so need to get some wind breaks up first. Hope by now your area is gardening ready, June 1st is my deadline, ready or not here I come. I’m using some old metal stock watering tanks, small to large ovals so think they will not only be good for planting but look good too. Our ground has to be amended constantly so containers are a good thing. Long story how I got these 5 tanks, will say they were really well priced and delivered free, yea for me. Well keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your farm. God Bless.

  9. Denise Ross says:

    Love your farm story’s, the adventures, the history, and the changes you’re making with all your hard work. Hard work seems to being a joy in and of itself – satisfaction in work done well,. Tiredness at the end of a long day and blissful surrender to a nights sleep. Living a farming life through you. Thank you 🙂

  10. Carol in NC says:

    I’m beyond late in my spring chores. Last year my little garden was in an inconspicuous spot tucked away out of sight. Choosing that location turned out to be a mistake for many reasons so I’m moving it to the other side of the house this year where it will not only get full sun but will be in full view. Quite a chore since I’m trying to incorporate it into the existing landscape plan. Edible landscaping! We’ll see how it turns out.
    I loved Girl Scouts and still remember all those fun silly campfire songs. Have fun!

  11. Amanda says:

    I totally feel for you! I feel like we’re in the same shoes(boots!) because I just started cleaning up my Daddy’s farm this spring. It’s amazing the stuff that is kept because it might come in handy one day. Or so someone thought! There is so much junk in the pole barn that I want to pull my hair out! And, I don’t even know how to tell Daddy that his 1969 Dodge Charger needs to find another spot to RIP at!! I agree with the elderly man. I don’t plant my tomatoes till the daylilies are blooming (overnight temps have been in the 40s here); just like I plant peas when the forsythias bloom or when rhubarb emerges from the ground then I plant onion sets. I’ve realized that Mother Nature doesn’t consult her calender. I enjoy your posts, they give me ideas and hope of a cleaner farm! By the way, your farm has a much better view than mine!

  12. Jo Ann says:

    Yes you need to use stable if your not going to drain your tanks and I’m from west coast so winters aren’t as bad as yours. I love your farm house and all your updates and knowing you are not a stay at home mom that you actually have a career is so amazing to me. Love it keep up the great posts sister

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