Happy New Year!
Now that the holiday mayhem has died down and the kids are back in school, Dan and I have been hunkered down by the wood stove, relishing the quiet while busily planning the months ahead. January is the one month of the year when we don’t have live plants to fuss over or commitments to the CSA, yet our minds are still very much on the farm. Years of experience have taught us that the more planning we do now, the better off we are in August, when our brains are fried and auto-pilot is all we can manage. So we’ve been happily finalizing the field plan, organizing the planting schedule, and ordering seeds and supplies.
But this January has also surprised us with a few bouts of mild weather, allowing Dan to make headway on various outdoor projects. He continues to stockpile horse manure and leaves, which we’ll use for compost and mulch, respectively. This year he also secured a truckload of seaweed from Amityville Beach, which he added to the compost. Plus, he’s laid a new foundation in anticipation of moving the storage unit where Donna keeps her eggs. The unit is actually an insulated, walk-in cooler, generously donated by Bhavani Jaroff years ago. After a prolonged delay, we’re excited to set up the cooler as a proper root cellar. Now that the winter share is an established component of the farm, this extra storage space is especially helpful.
Things may be quiet, but they’re not completely devoid of excitement. Remember that deep freeze we had a week ago? Donna certainly does. When she came to open the chickens last Tuesday, she was greeted by the sound of gushing water. When she entered the Tin House, she found a burst pipe and 4+ inches of water everywhere! Fortunately, we learned years ago never to leave anything on the floor if it couldn’t be allowed to get wet, as rainwater often finds a way in. So the only casualties of our flood were a few dozen cardboard boxes stockpiled for next spring—no big loss.