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Posted 9/23/2014 10:22am by Eleanor Kane.

It seems like the year on the farm has distinct phases, not just because of the weather or the cycle of crops, but also the way in which we work.  Spring and fall are exciting and exhausting and interesting because they’re times of transition: we’re planning, scheduling, making decisions, wondering if we should do this or that.  Winter and summer are times to just put your head down and work: get paperwork in order, get things organized, get the taxes done, the seeds ordered, and then the summer flurry of weeding, planting, watering, and harvesting.  That means that the time that takes the most mental, if not physical energy, are these weeks before the ground freezes in the fall and the weeks in the spring when the ground has just thawed out again.
We’re juggling a lot of balls right now: how long can we keep the squashes in the greenhouse before we need to bring them inside as the nights get cooler?  How long will the cabbages last in the fields before splitting?  Are we going to get the boar’s winter pen ready before we get the barn set up for the sheep and goats or after? Are we going to have time to get some mulch down on the asparagus or should we spend the afternoon getting the field plowed to plant the garlic?  This was the same exact game that we played in the spring when the questions revolved around whether to weed the onions or transplant the tomatoes.  We only have so many hours, so which should we do?
Of course, it all tends to work out in the end, and even those things that don’t seem to and make us wish for a couple more hours of daylight, or if only the tractor hadn’t broken, eventually shake themselves out.  What would be helpful, though, would be if the weatherman could give me a 100% certain forecast for now through Christmas so that I know when, exactly, equipment will start freezing to the ground so I can move it before then, and what specific day we should set aside other work in order to get the hoses winterized.  It’d also be great if the deer would let me know which night it will be that they’ll choose to come and eat the tops off all of our beets, so we can get them harvested that afternoon, and when the first hard frost will be that will kill off the grass in the fields so that we can make sure we’ve ordered a supply of hay.
Barring all of that, we’ll do what we do every spring and fall: make list after list, try to fit all of Tuesday’s work in Tuesday, since we don’t have time to let it spill into Wednesday, and refresh the weather forecast every time we walk past the computer.  We’ll do as best we can with the enormous number of tasks ahead of us as we get ready for winter, with the certainty that as soon as that first thick blanket of snow falls, or as soon as it’s dark at 4 pm and too cold to comfortably work outside for more than a few hours at a time, we’ll have to put our hands up, step back from our projects, and take them up again in the spring, after a long rest.


This Week's Vegetables:

Brussell Sprouts
Acorn Squash
Butternut Squash
Swiss Chard


Also Available:

  • Fresh Eggs: $5 /doz
  • Homemade soap
  • Handmade, local pottery, including mugs, bowls, jars, and plates
  • Local maple syrup from right here in Barrington, NH
Methods of payment

We accept credit cards, local checks, and cash.