Five rules for Tiny Farming

Rule 4: Clean up

Just what it says. It is a gentle way of learning discipline in the field, sticking to it, head down, moving steadily forward. The practical application is straightforward: have a place for everything, and return everything to its place, without delay.

If you’re not naturally organized, farming is the perfect to slip into disarray. There are some many different, often unexpected little things going on every day, involving endless little bits of gear, and processes, that it’s easy to leave a trail of stuff more or less just lying around. Hoses and drip tape left to move another day soon become expensive tilling accidents, or lost in the relentless weed invasion. You can spend literally hours a week, cobbled together from a few minutes here, half an hour there, as you look for things. There’s no end to the complicated web of disorganization that can build up.

Luckily, the antidote is simple. If you have a practical place to store every single thing you use, it’s becomes incredibly easy to put it back when you’re done with it. You don’t need hooks and storage bins and shelving systems, just proper places. A nail behind the door may be the perfect place to hand your rain jacket, so bang in a nail. And so on. (For more details, check How to organize everything).

Cleaning up isn’t a chore, it’s part of the process. Pay attention to the advantages, not the putting away. When you’re setting out to do some quick, on-time weeding, take pleasure in how stress-free it is to walk into the tool shed and grab a hoe from exactly the spot you know it’s in. In just one day of fieldwork, you’ll notice dozens of examples of how smooth and effortless things can be when you simply put things away when you’re done.