May 26 2023 08:22 AM

Fresh paint and new flowers are just a few little details that can make a big difference around the farm.

Between an impending visit from the inspector, Mother’s Day passing us by, and some upcoming events we want to have the farm in top shape for, we’ve been taking any chance we get to do extra washing within our milking facilities, cleaning up miscellaneous machinery and parts from around the farm, and adding some pretty aesthetics throughout the property.

When we got married last November, my husband and I made a barn quilt for each set of our parents to give them as a present to commemorate our wedding day. My parents’ barn quilt has been stored inside a shed all winter long just waiting for warmer weather and a finished building extension to be hung on. Well, we finally got a few extra minutes one afternoon to hang it up. It has added such a welcoming touch to my parents’ farm, and the spot we picked out is perfectly visible from the road and as visitors enter the property. We even updated the farm’s mailbox with a farm-themed metal topper — another super charming feature.

On top of those overdue projects came one of my favorite times and activities of the year — visiting greenhouses and plant shopping. My mom and I took a short drive to some nearby greenhouses, and I spent another fun day with my mother-in-law stopping at a handful of area greenhouses to stock up on plants and flowers to further beautify our properties. It’s truly amazing the difference a few flowerpots and thoughtfully placed perennials can make to the feel of your farm.

Since my mom is hosting my baby shower at the farm this summer, we are all extra motivated to take care of projects like the ones I already listed and stay even more on top of cleaning facilities. We are also completing some random projects and general cleanup whenever we can spare some time from the demand of daily chores and fieldwork.

Taking a few minutes here and there to do a paint touch-up, pull some weeds, spread mulch, clean up that random pile of junk, or even to hang that barn quilt can add up to a refreshed look for your farm. Not only is it more welcoming and charming for visitors, adding a little beauty here and there is a great way to bring a smile to your own face as you spend time working on the farm during these long summer days.

Molly Ihde (Schmitt)

The author dairy farms with her parents and brother near Hawkeye, Iowa. The family milks approximately 300 head of grade Holstein cows at Windsor Valley Dairy LLC — split half and half between a double-eight parallel milking parlor and four robotic milking units. In the spring of 2020, Molly decided to take a leap and fully embrace her love for the industry by returning full time to her family’s dairy.