A week after setting our clocks forward and just a few days from the official start of Spring the weather is finally beginning to warm up. This Winter was one of the longest ones I have yet to experience. It seemed like things were going to stay in an ice coffin for eternity. The overcast skies were really taking a toll on my spirit! I am more than thrilled to be able to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and welcome (mud season) Spring!
As most of you know I receive weekly produce pickups from a local grocer. Those spent and spoiled veggies and fruits are then fed to my rabbits and chickens; whatever they do not consume goes straight to my compost pile to be fed to the soil. With these increased temperatures comes a stench to be reconned with. The rabbit and chicken area on the homestead have all sorts of unusual smells now as things begin to thaw and decompose.
Sunday morning I spent the day Cleaning out all of my rabbit hutches, this was serious labor as I had used the deep litter method for my critters this year in hopes it would help them stay moderately warm. I believe it worked and now I have roughly 15 boxes of manure to use for my raised garden beds this spring. It took me several hours to clear out all the hutches and to move the manure to a better location where smell would not continue to linger. I even had a little helper, my dairy kid Margo who constantly decided the best place for her while I was cleaning was either in the bale of fresh hay for the rabbits or ontop my back.
After cleaning, it was time to breed a few of my angora rabbits in preparation for the next generation of fiber buns. I have learned my lesson that Winter breedings are not a good idea for me being a fully off-grid homestead; I lost all my beautiful babies within their first week of life, again just another reinforcement that this year was absolutely brutal weather-wise. So, hopefully, I will have some gorgeous little babies just before Easter. I decided to continue my efforts to breed due to the fact that getting enough fiber from a single color in my rabbit herd is extremely time-consuming, with more rabbits in the same color scheme I should be able to complete more projects like hats, scarves, and gloves.
Another spring cleaning task I tackled was snow shoveling a trail to the outhouse and preparing the guest house for this years rental season! I have much more to do on the guest house down the road. I hope to spruce up the outhouse and maybe even build an outdoor shower down the road for guests (with a privacy fence, obviously!). All in due time!
I still need to prepare my garden area once the snow melts, restock my wood pile, clean out the chicken coop, clean and prep the beehives for another honey season and clean the chimney before I can consider spring cleaning over. Now that the season of rest is coming to an end it is time to become fully engrossed in making my little homestead my full-time job.
What are some of the things on your Spring cleaning list? Are you ready for spring planting and a new season?