Farm is put to bed for winter

It’s December 1st and we finally feel like the farm has been mostly put to bed for winter. We’re often asked, “so what do you keep going in the wintertime?” Of course, the garden is idle, save for some root crops still in the beds, some kale, chard and spinach, and the garlic and onions we planted in late summer. We keep the small herd of goats, and will be breeding Janie and Dahlia sometime in January. Our layer flock is diminished to some 80 hens and one lucky rooster, while the horses are still out in the pasture, residing in the barn at night so that we can collect their manure for the compost pile. The pigs went to market yesterday, about two months later than usual. They were still too small back in September to be processed, and then hunting season arrived, so our fabulous processor was to be unavailable to butcher domestic livestock until now. They probably averaged some 400 pounds of deliciousness!

The bakery is still humming, thanks to the hard work of baker Lori, who fills accounts for breads, granola and other specialties.

Wintertime is spent doing the usual rounds of chores, once each in the morning and one in the evening, with an egg collection, sorting and boxing thrown in somewhere in-between. It’s also a chance for us to get caught up in paperwork, planning and the hiring of our interns for the next season. (Great news on that front! Two of our three interns from last summer will be back again this coming growing season, taking in more responsibilities as they learn the ins and outs of running a successful, diverse farm operation.) Tony works high in the mountains in the wintertime, as a ski patroller for the Telluride Ski Resort, working primarily in snow safety (i.e. avalanches and the science of snow).

We were able to take a road trip this fall, visiting families in New England, and the

n returning west to visit family in Tucson, and friends in southern Utah. Perhaps one of the highlights of the trip was an impromptu afternoon visit to Occupy Wall Street, in New York City with Barclay’s parents. We first greeted the food distribution table with some food that Elizabeth brought down from Caretaker Farm in Williamstown, MA and then went over to the clothing table for Sam to leave behind some no-longer needed clothing items to share.

The signs were abundant and very creative. One of Tony’s favorites is the one below:

The OWS movement is certainly having an impact on the conversations in this country. We’ve moved from the political gamesmanship and rhetoric in Washington, to some real issues that affect everyday Americans. Are we as a nation mature enough to rectify the injustices and corruption (read: money) that so dominates the corporatocracy we live in? Let’s hope so.

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