Ok, yes, we could be considered a bit weather obsessed. We all check the weather multiple times a day, have our various favorite info sources for different bits and are ALWAYS wishing we could just see what was coming a bit further ahead. Alas, the life of input-junkie farmers with a diverse portfolio to coordinate with mother nature.
- To cover or not? Hoophouse open a bit or a lot? Wondering will it be too cold, too windy, too sunny for those spinach plants to thrive yet get themselves toughen up for winter!
- To blow out hoses or not, how much extra hay and straw do the pigs and goats need, lots of water or just enough to finish before it freezes? Will those fences get frozen in for the winter?
While we saw this cold snap coming late last week, and we did our best to prepare by some harvesting, getting covers out, animal moves, etc; somehow its severity and the volume of ice, snow and various other kinds of precipitation are taking their toll on the farm this week.
We can work around or change a lot of things, but not the weather. And while in Vermont we have some hardy crops that can survive these temps, especially with a little covering, you cannot harvest them while they are frozen. They need the sun and a bit of warmth to revive them and let water course through the plants. So we had hoped to have Brussels Sprouts and some other fall greens this week, but Mother Nature says No.
Fortunately the larder (ok the walk-in and pantry) are stocked full, really, really full as a matter of fact. So there are lots of crisp, fresh veggies that came in before this cold snap from potatoes, carrots & beets to leeks, onions, shallots and of course lots of our pasture- raised chicken, pork and goat meat. Phew!
And it is looking like a reprieve from these winter temps are coming next week. Just in time for us to process fresh Turkeys for Thanksgiving and bring in the last of the field crops for a bountiful Thanksgiving Farm Stand on Tuesday, Nov 25th from 3-7:30pm. And hopefully to get the other bits and pieces put away for winter!
Yes, the weather, so present and defining for us that we chose it as our 2014 naming theme. Fortunately, we add some fun and humor to our obsession. Indeed, we did name Jenga’s triplets after some of our favorite weather geeks, Hayes, Lawrence & Maleski, affectionately referred to as the Eye on the Sky boys by our team. They *(the goats) seem to be weathering
this cold snap just fine on pasture — finding some tasty clovers and grasses through the snow and enjoying some of the summer’s lush grass as hay!
May you stay toasty warm in this cold snap….and enjoy the fruits of the farm that are stable in these temps!