Spring is always a time for cleanup around the homestead and this spring finds us more needy of a farmyard facelift than usual. I find myself embarrassed by the disarray but at the same time I realize that many other homesteaders find themselves in the same quandary. I believe several things come into play to make our homesteads less than orderly than we might like. First, most of us are working from very limited finances and we have to make do with what we can scrounge. Second, many of us that are hard-wired to homestead have a strong proclivity to re-make and recycle and when we find the raw materials for these pursuits we tend to cart them home especially when they’re free. Also, many of us are doing this without the support of a large family or community and, frankly, there’s just a lot of work to be done every day for one or two people. I think though, at least in our case, that we also fuss way too much over trying to homestead “properly” and to project the image of “good” homesteaders. Recently, we had a fellow homesteader visit us and almost his first words when he got out of the truck were “You have more treasures than I do!” I guess it’s all in how you look at it.
Despite our good intentions in stashing and stockpiling, however; there comes a time to clean it up and organize the truly good stuff so it can be used. For us, this time of year always brings the motivation of the snakes. Copperheads, Timber Rattlesnakes and Black Rat Snakes migrate from an unknown den location somewhere on higher ground (did you know they all often den together?) and invariably start trekking across our property as soon as the weather starts to warm in search of a meal and a drink. Needless to say, reducing their opportunities for cover and concealment are high on our list of things to do.
It’s sometimes hard to start a big job. I’ve started several in the last year, and as I’ve probably said before the best thing to do is just pick something up and deal with it. And then do it again, and again. . . I can spend days wandering around trying to figure out where to start a project and that just doesn’t get anything done. Homesteading is pretty much all about doing it again and again.
So, in the spirit of honesty and helpfulness and the fact that the online homesteading community is already subject to enough prettily composed guilt-inducing pictures, I share our mess. Lord willing, I will be able to share some “after” shots in the weeks to come.
What kind of spring cleaning is commencing on your homestead?