Planning for Spring

| 2/22/2017 12:12:00 PM

Tags: winter, summertime, farm life, Hostile valley living, Kirsten Lie-Nielsen, Maine,

Spring is making its way to farms and homesteads around the country.  Some of my Southern friends are already planting their first vegetables, but here in Maine the ground is still blanketed in thick snow.  But with temperatures on the rise and each day getting longer, it is time to start planning for summer.

I spend a lot of time in the winter with a notebook and seed or hatchery catalogs, and still more time with graph paper laying down ideas.  It is one way to take advantage of those days when going outside hurts your face, and it is a certain way to ensure that we can jump on our goals as soon as the ground is workable.


To start, we plan what new animals might be joining the farm in the spring.  Some animals are ordered or brought home from breeder’s, others will be born right here on our farm.  It’s good to decide what we’re bringing home now.  Often the first step to adding a new animal is building them suitable shelter, and we need to know what building projects to get started on.  Home births require research and supplies, and often the task of playing matchmaker.

When it comes to adding animals, we don’t go about it willy-nilly.  It’s true that cute figures into my thinking, but practicality rules the roost.  What animals will reward us with the most food, or be able to help us work our land?  Which ones require the least in terms of additional investments in buildings?  Or, if a farm animal requires a whole new pasture and barn space, how is it going to help us recoup our investment?


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