As the days get longer and we realize we survived a winter of extreme weather and shaky economics, it’s a good time to take a new look at your home, farm or property
As springtime weather allows me to walk and explore my property once again, I make note of the things I didn’t get done last year. Think how great it would be if these things had been done 10 years ago when I began developing the property.
Spring is a great time to plant. The two biggies on my list are trees and blueberry bushes. Trees for windbreak, solar protection and the habitat; blueberries for habitat diversity, landscape improvement and great healthful benefits.
Think about areas of your house or barns that are exposed to excessive sun or wind. Planting tress can greatly improve animal and personal comfort factors. Think evergreens for windbreak and sun protection year round, deciduous trees for winter sun, summer shade. Don’t let another year go by...
Now there is an item I confront all winter. Like those trees! I really need to get that backhoe on the tractor while the ground is not frozen and dig some ditches to sheds and pastures for frost-free hydrants. That would make my horses and me very happy, especially when the weather is brutally cold.
PONDER YOUR PASTURE
Another tremendous Spring activity is pasture seeding, mowing and dragging. As Winter’s ground thaws and cracks, it is a perfect time to walk pastures and scatter some seed. You may even want to think about re-seeding the very tired areas. Spring rain will wash seeds into crevasses where they can germinate. Your local farm supply store will have pasture blends from which to choose.
Dragging pastures to break up and distribute manure mounds should be done routinely, but Spring in the north is a perfect time. If you’ve been composting your manure, spread it! Create a healthy soil and your grasses will flourish. Spring rain will help your compost infiltrate the soil. If you don’t have a drag to pull behind a small tractor, you can make one out of chain link fence and boards. Go online and find a design. If there are zones your horses or animals have trashed, consider putting up a temporary electric fence to let an area heal. I let my horses onto to wet frozen ground in Winter but exclude them from fragile soil when things thaw. It reduces erosion and lets plant growth bounce back. The Peepers appreciate it too.
Every farm has a spot here and there where things accumulate. Broken jump standards, water troughs, tires, maybe a pallet or two, some fence boards. I have a new policy: if I haven’t touched or used something over a two-year span, it goes. I feel better, the place looks cleaner and the pile won’t grow, or might even disappear. Permanently.
The “wish list” may be long, but remember, it’s only Spring once a year. Choose one good project this season and see it through to fruition. This time next year you can smile and say, “Wow! I sure am glad I made that one happen.”
Josh Nelson started Beaver River Associates in 1987 and it soon became the largest worm composting operation in New England. Beaver River is the main supplier of worm composting supplies to Washington State University and Josh actively consults with municipalities in the northeast on organic waste recycling.