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Work for a dreary day

Painting garden markers

Rain is usually the only thing that stops work in the field, and not even that on harvest days, but this crazy cold May has had it’s particularly nasty, stay-inside days, and today was one of ’em. With a sharp, damp wind, and temperature around 50°F (10°C), stepping outside instantly set you to shivering. It wasn’t THAT bad, of course, and I think it was so off-putting mainly because of the sudden shocks of drastic day-to-day changes we’ve been having lately. In any case, there was no super-urgent fieldwork, that couldn’t wait a day, so we decided to hide out and do…indoor stuff. Bad weather days have their place on the tiny farm, you can catch up on all sorts of things that might get put off otherwise, and later get in the way or interrupt your…flow. Today, we repainted garden marker stakes (these guys are kinda expensive, you don’t wanna waste ’em) with a thinned out latex exterior paint. I’d only done this once before, by dipping (it took 4-5 years to accumulate enough that a good number were so written on and faded, they needed a little makeover!). This time, I figured a brush would be quicker, which it was (except, don’t use a newspaper liner, the paint makes it soggy and then it sticks; for the other side, we just painted on the table directly, and wiped up afterwards).

Lights off the grow racks

Other pleasantly sheltered jobs included removing the lights and chains to turn the grow racks into harvest bin storage (left a couple of lights on for a last few seedlings) and packing up the lightbox set-up to free up space, reorganizing part of the drive shed with all the farmers’ market gear, doing some work on the enclosure for the composting toilet, seed starting for another wave of broccoli and cauliflower transplants, making some calls,… Most of these weren’t on the whiteboard task list of the most important things for the next few days. For the to-do list, I used to use the notebook I carry in my back pocket everywhere, but since last season, with Conall full-time, I switched to the big board (it joined the smaller harvest board), to make it easier to SHARE the fun with everyone…!

Whiteboard to-do lists

It’s mostly immediate stuff. The list on the top right is bigger projects and purchases to keep in mind. The “Must do first always!” is a distillation of things to do every day, kinda like a day-to-day framework for tiny farming fieldwork, meant for anyone helping in the field on a regular basis—it’s a work in progress! :)



  1. Why people dread rainy days, I will never understand… those are the days that I’m able to take care of all the outstanding ‘little things’ that oddly make me feel more centered/grounded/relieved once I’m done…  I really enjoyed this post!

  2. We have a smaller version of your board up in the kitchen here. It’s a great idea.

    Greetings from sunny England!

  3. Robin

    Well I feel kinda stupid.  My white board is sitting on the sunporch doing absolutely nothing rather than being used for the to do list.  I still need my notebook in my back pocket for all the things I need to remember not to forget, but the whiteboard comes out today. And just my luck, I have a new package of dry erase markers!  Thanks for tip.  I’ll be passing this one along.

  4. Goodness you are busy!  I like the yellow paint though, it is very cheerful.

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