Spring Arrives at Better Farm

Some Better Farm hens hang out on the back deck, enjoying sunshine.
Well, it's official: Spring has sprung at Better Farm. Creekbeds on the property and throughout the region are flowing. Birds are chirping. Coyotes howl at night. The hens and roosters have grown increasingly noisy and are venturing further and further from their coops during daylight hours. The dogs are lying in the road, on the driveway, on the deck, and in mud puddles. Out on the lakes, ice cracks with each step.

To celebrate—or to catch up, today has been packed with a flurry of activity to usher in this season, unseasonably late.

We planted a good segment of our seeds indoors several weeks ago, with another round of seeds started this afternoon. It will probably be at least a few more days before we can actually get our peas into the ground.

To allow our asparagus, garlic, leek, chive, and sage beds to come back in force, piles of compost and cardboard sheet-mulching have to be moved to the compost bin. During the winter, these layers helped with insulation—and as they decomposed, they fertilized the bed below. This morning I started that cleanup process...

...and even got some help from chickens like Penelope aerating the herb bed's soil and compost:

The chickens are having an unbelievably good time sunning themselves, taking dirt baths for the first time in months, and searching for any early rising bugs:
One of the hens we hatched last July.
Rapunzel looks out over the backyard.
Here are a few short videos of the chickens being all blissed-out in this spring weather:

We're continuing with indoor spring cleaning tomorrow during the expected rainfall; and will be back out in the gardens and herb beds all weekend to continue prepping, fertilizing, composting, and mulching. Stay tuned!

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.