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Farm Note 7: Fresh and Clean

Chicken coop, goat pen, people barn, yard. Everything got a good end-of-summer cleaning last week. Plus the garden was prepped for fall planting.

This week was for cleaning. Chicken coop, goat pen, garden, people barn, yard. Everything got a good end-of-summer cleaning last week. I’m not sure how much the animals appreciated my hard work, but those of us here in the people barn are thrilled with how shiny and sparkly and finger print-free everything is.

(Why didn’t anyone warn me that stainless appliances are natural attractants to children with dirty, sticky, food-covered fingers? So.Many.Finger prints.)

chickens in garden doing farm cleanup work under grey cloudy sky

Cleaning the garden meant pulling out everything that looked diseased, stunted, buggy, or dead. Pumpkin, cucumber, squash, and melon plants all got ripped out. I pulled the rest of the straggly carrots from the first planting, and thinned the cabbage plants to only leave the best few. I hear that cabbage will sprout a few new tiny heads once the first ones are cut, so that could be fun.

Speaking of cabbage: did you know I never had a Cabbage Patch doll as a girl? I never was much on playing with dolls, and I thought their puckered-up faces were ugly, anyway. They were the original must-have Christmas toy, and I never had one. That must be what’s wrong with me.

young black hen between cucumber and tomato plants on vanhoveln farm cedar rapids iowa

Back to the garden. I line-trimmed the tall grasses from the rows and walkways and covered them with cardboard to smother the weeds, and laid plastic over the beds I’ll be planting for fall. On the schedule for next week are radishes, lettuce, snap peas, more cabbage, and decorative kale. You know, all my kids’ favorites.

Animal pens received a good cleanup this week in anticipation of our weekend away. I pulled coop bedding and replaced it with 1100 pounds of sand in hopes that it will keep the coop drier and warmer in winter. 1100 pounds of sand is not as much as you might think it would be. Look at that pitiful pile in the truck.

Chickens, ungrateful bastards that they are, spent the first night in the new-and-improved coop scratching every bit of straw out of the nest boxes and onto the clean sand floor. A-holes. And still, no eggs.

sand in bed of truck for chicken coop on cedar rapids iowa farm

The rest of the week it rained, so we cleaned the people-barn and finished a couple of projects there. We finished the new fridge-cubby in the kitchen and it looks amazing. Picture coming soon. Thanks to Andrew for the idea and the execution. I love it!

That’s all the news this shiny-clean week. If you’re looking for more, follow us on Facebook or Insta, shoot me an email, or if you’re in the Cedar Rapids or Corridor area of Iowa, stop on in. Just don’t touch the fridge.

chickens carrots cabbage goats, farm note 7 fresh and clean

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