Our Seasonal Chores List
Our farmstead is, as many others like us, a work in progress. Specifically, our little homestead is in the rehabilitation phase. Left unattended for years, our homestead needs a lot of TLC. Most of our chores center on house renovations and land reconditioning. With that said, here is our list; Seasonal Chores, Farmstead Edition. Some chores, like animal care and farm improvements are year round. Others are limited to seasonal work.
Come fall, it’s time to harvest everything planted during the summer, ramp up the canning, and turn under the gardens. We plant winter cover crops in certain areas. We also start cutting and splitting firewood for the winter months and general winterizing chores on various tools and equipment. The winter tools, like the big chainsaws, axes and mauls come out of hiding to get repaired, sharpened or otherwise tuned up for winter.
The cold winter months limit much of our outdoor work. We continue cutting and splitting firewood. We focus more on home repairs and land improvements that are difficult to do when everything is growing and other chores must take priority. We focus on things like sealing air leaks, maintaining equipment, mending fences, and cutting new garden areas.
In the early winter, it is much easier to lay out cardboard and a thin layer of mulch or compost where we plan to later plant small spring crops. We start preordering chicks, bulbs, and picking out new heritage seeds to try. Composting chores ramp up, since things are not so humid and liable to draw flies and mosquitoes in the winter.
Towards the end of winter into the first few weeks of spring, we start seedlings and get our new chicks. Most of our chores center on nursing new chicks and seedlings or planting. There are winter cover crops to till under, new raised beds to build, and adjustments to make based on what we learned the previous growing season.
We also seed certain fields as part of our reconditioning plan, in preparation for 100 head of cattle in the next year or two. It just so happens that spring is also vaccination time for all the animals. Where we can, we administer our own vaccinations and have the vet come out for those we cannot due to Georgia law (like rabies shots for the hounds.)
Summer is almost as active as spring on our farm. Most renovation projects are in full swing. Fields need cutting. The garden needs early harvesting and replanting. In Georgia, summers are brutally hot, quickly drying out or killing off everything green. So, much of our time in the summer is spent irrigating and keeping the animals from being overheated. We also start canning some of the early harvest.