Reflections on Winter on the Farm
February 2, the groundhog is supposed to tell us how much winter we have left, but if he is looking at the same sky I am I suspect he is not going to want to make an appearance this year. It is cold and snowy out there, it’s hard to think that there is an end in site to this winter.
We have finally reached the mid winter lull in farming, that point were the animals are all tucked away for the winter and the plants aren’t ready to go in yet. The time where you can sit with your coffee and your seed catalogues and daydream about spring plantings and summer harvests before you pick back up the snow shovel.
Hours spent by the wood burning stove thinking about plants you have no business planting (but I really want to grow artichokes in upstate New York) and plants that you refuse to give up on (this will be the year my giant pumpkins grow.) Time to start ordering chicks for the upcoming spring. The winter trudges on but the optimism of the coming spring is everywhere.
A lot has happened in the last few weeks. The pigs have moved out, (which means I have been eating bacon for the last several days at least one meal a day) and the new sheep have moved in. We went with Black Headed Dorpers, a hair sheep from South Africa. We chose them because of their flavor and popularity, and because I am just not ready to get into the wool business quite yet...(...yet...). All three are pregnant so we will be expecting lambs in early spring.
The girls are a bit shy still, they have only been here for a week, but already know that Tim is in charge of the grain and will follow him to the ends of the earth. The goatie girls are pregnant as well, blue goat is nearly as wide as she is long, but she still has a few more months before her youngsters will join us.
So back to the seed catalogs and dreaming. The snow shovel can wait for now, I am going to sit right here and think spring.