Winter (Mostly) Sets In - January

WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM

Winter (mostly) sets in.....

With the turn of the calendar from December to January, so also went the turn from early spring into nearly winter. With my blood thinned due to lingering warmth, the cold north wind felt extra bitter as it whipped around our farm in the New Year. I hadn't minded the warm weather in term of getting outdoor projects finished, but the vegetables in the cellar were starting to suffer, and it just felt weird. So, I just put on an extra layer, found my neck warmer and insulated gloves, and got used to checking the cows' water each day to see if it was frozen.

With the cold settled in, it was time to head inward, for what is usually the most "down-time" of our year. We still have some things that have to get done outdoors; We need to keep the parking lot plowed, we have to feed the cows two bales of hay every 3 days, and we have to go the mailbox. Otherwise, we head inside and take care of the jobs that we've either left til now, or have to get done to get ready for next growing season.

The first step towards the future is figuring out what just happened around here for the past 12 months. So we set about counting and reporting. How many pounds of carrots did we grow? (16987 lbs,). How much money did we spend on fuel? ($5932.95) How many volunteer hours were worked? (685) How many people purchased our crop planning spreadsheets? (68) How many popsicles did we sell at the Farm Shop (1301). And on and on. This takes some time. But we think this part of the process will be important to coming up with good improvements for the coming season. Keep your eye out for the full report, which we will share in a user-friendly special newsletter in February. 

Besides this reporting, we also keep up with the usual maintenance of the farm. We need to keep the root cellar to the appropriate temperature, keep the winter share stocked, and order needed parts for our machinery. We also need to deal with all of the paperwork that it takes to have employees and operate a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation which owns 50 acres in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. When we have a chance, we start to take a peek over the hedge and research some of the ideas for the coming year.... Website design overhaul?  Membership database overhaul? Greenhouse bench overhaul?  So many ideas, so many questions!! 

But mostly we just get up a little later, work a little slower, and enjoy the indoor work. We are naturally outdoorsy people, but it's good to remember we will have plenty of time for that once April rolls around. So for now, it's the heated office. The computer keyboard. The internet. The numbers. The spreadsheets. The coffee. The dreaming.

We hope you enjoy the winter bounty,

Farmer Dan
(for Karen, Abbe, and Zoe)