Winter on the Farm

Regular readers of my “Just a Farm” journal will know that I have been terribly behind this fall and winter in updating you on my progress here on the farm. Rather than offer too many excuses, I’ll leave you with the short version, a few pictures, and the sincere promise of more details in the very near future.

November brought a new face to the farm in the form of Bogart (aka Bogey), a Maremma livestock guardian dog puppy. He’s already well on his way to his full hundred pounds, and has fully tripled in size since his arrival before Thanksgiving. His role on the farm is in the barnyard, discouraging four-legged predators from the livestock. He arrived a small ball of fuzz, and now he’s a large pup wearing a very wooly coat.

December brought the arrival of the much-awaited hoophouse - much-awaited because I was hoping to get it erected before the ground froze. The mild weather was cooperating to a point, but there seemed to be a run on hoophouses this fall and I was at the end of the line. Now it sits in pieces on a hay wagon and in the barn. Depending on how early or wet this spring is, I’m hoping to have it up in time for some of our summer crops to benefit this year.

The last two months of the year also brought some very busy weeks and weekends. For a stretch there, I was working over sixty hours a week packing coats and boots and sweaters into boxes. These weeks happened to coincide with the shortest days of the year, so I was feeding the beasts by the light of a headlamp, glimpsing daylight only on my lunch breaks. My weekends brought family and friends all through the extended holiday season, providing many excuses for wonderful meals and incitement to turn the thermostat up.

Since mid-January, the hours at the warehouse have tapered off, and I’ve once more changed course, this time to planning mode. In the next few weeks, look for updates on how one goes about planning a farm season, the many factors that go into the seemingly simple choice of what seeds to grow, and other news about the upcoming season (including news about a friend who will be joining me for the season!).

Until you hear from me next, you can imagine me snuggled up with two pairs of socks and some tea, working on spreadsheets, ordering potting mix, and dreaming of warmer days!