Every May, you will often hear people talk about the importance of a good “spring cleaning”. At the farm, however, spring cleaning doesn’t really make sense since it is the time when we are pulling out everything we need to begin our season. Instead, we spend a good amount of time in the fall cleaning and organizing the farm.
October is typically the time to get everything we don’t want frozen to the ground out of the fields and put away for the winter. We sweep up the greenhouse floor, throw away broken greenhouse trays, and clean up general clutter that hasn’t been a priority during the growing season. It is a great time to put all of our tools back in the correct places so they are easy to find, and to take stock of the condition of things in case something needs to be replaced.
Taking the time each fall to clean, sort, and organize, positively affects our ability to farm safely, efficiently, and productively. Time and energy are valuable when farming, and it is crucial that we do everything we can to make sure we use both wisely.
By remaining organized, we spend less time and energy looking for, stepping over, stashing away, or just thinking about items that are out of place. Keeping a clean farm is not about the aesthetics (though that is a nice bonus), it is more about creating an environment that allows us to focus on more important tasks and do them even better.
In the spring, as the weather warms up, people begin to open their windows and dust off the cobwebs of winter. They go through last year’s summer clothes and donate what their kids don’t fit into anymore. Those who have yards are clearing space for new plants and planning their gardens.
But this October, I encourage you all to do some cleaning as well! If you spend any time cleaning your homes, workspaces, or cars this month, remember how much your everyday activities will improve. It’s totally worth it. Happy cleaning!