I can no longer deny it. Fall is here. I’ve been hanging onto summer as long as I can, but last week the temperatures DROPPED. As in, we had a windchill, and I wore my winter jacket, hat and mitts for Baxter’s and my morning walk.
So, it’s time.
Every year as fall rolls in, a list starts in my head. It’s not completely a do or die list, but it’s definitely a “winter is coming and you’d better get your act together” list.
So here we go: the fall to-do list.
The vegetable garden
This was my biggest home goal for 2015, and before the year ends, there are a few more things I’d like to do.
- Hang the gate – The gate has been hanging around unhung for long enough. We need to take a bit of time, sort out the hinges and just get this done.
- Edge the garden – We have a huge pile of old fence posts, and my plan is to use them as kind of “curbs” to help keep the weeds out of the garden.
- Put in raised beds – I’m going to use the rest of the fence posts to make a ring of shallow raised beds around the outside edge of the garden.
- Spread manure – This is our chance to knock two tasks off our to-do list at one time: clean out the 17 stalls in the barn and fertilize the garden. The manure is well-aged since it’s been here since before we bought the farm.
The bird feeder
I love watching the birds from the dining room window, and feeder is the best way to attract them.
- Reattach feeder bracket – Last year when we were hammering the bird feeder post into the ground, one of the brackets broke off. My cousin made the post for us originally, so I’m going to tap him to reweld the top bracket.
- Install a sleeve for the post – To make sure we don’t have to hammer the post anymore, I’m going to put a length of pipe in the ground so that the post can just slide in every fall.
This is our first fall with a fireplace, and we’re so looking forward to firing it up.
- Put up another row of firewood – We have two rows of wood dried, split and stacked. I think we’ll need one more row to get us through fireplace season.
- Tidy up the trees – Tree maintenance that’s an ongoing task at the farm–as demonstrated by the big tree above that came down over the weekend. Fortunately, we have a steady supply of firewood as a result.
Get Wiley ready for winter
Our handy-dandy tractor needs his annual tune-up.
- Change the oil – More accurately, have my handy cousin change the oil for us.
- Check the battery contacts – Wiley’s a bit reluctant to start sometimes. In the spring, we had a loose connection on the battery terminal, and my cousin made us a little sleeve to tighten up the clasp. Cold weather starts are even harder for Wiley, so we want to make sure we do everything to help him out.
- Remove the mower deck – It’s that time of year again.
There are a few things to do for the place where we actually live.
- Take off the screens – The screens get so dusty during the summer, I’ve found it’s necessary to take them off and give them a good cleaning before it’s open window season again.
Clean the heat pump filter– I broke out the shop vac on Friday, figuring that we’d need to fire up the geothermal before the end of the weekend. Sure enough, as of last night the heat is on.
- Clean out the gutters – Matt did round one last week, but we’ll need at least one more cleaning before the snow falls.
- Turn off the water
I feel like I’ve been taking it easy for a little while when it comes to work around the farm. So step one to completing is to find my motivation. Any tips?
Obviously, some of these tasks are unique to the farm. But some of them are universal no matter where you live.
What’s on your fall to-do list? Are you feeling the pressure of impending winter?
Previous fall to-do lists:
- Like a squirrel gathering nuts (2012)
- Ready for hibernation, pretty much (2012 end of fall report)
- Mudroom reveal (2013 — a holdover from previous fall to-do lists)
- The end (2014)