Saturday, January 9, 2010

At peace with the season

I am enjoying winter. I am at peace with the fact that it is the ninth of January and we still have months of winter to go. November and December are the easy months of winter. While dark and snowy, the days go by quickly, filled with holidays, special meals to plan, craft making and good eating in general. In early winter I am content to be back inside with the wood stove burning and the summer's harvest surrounding us. The biggest decisions being what to make for dinner, carrots or beets, potatoes or squash? 

Early winter months are well below freezing and often sub-zero, but usually our coldest months are January and February. This year we have had milder temperatures than usual. We have had a few cold spells, but they have been short lived. We have it easy in the hills. As I've said before there is often a thermal inversions and our temperatures can be a good twenty degrees warmer than in town. When it is twenty below zero in town and zero here, that's huge! Another big difference between our location and town, is that town is plagued with terrible air pollution due to wood smoke and car exhaust. This time of year when we drive down the hill we can often see a blanket of ice fogs stretching out over the town.

By the time I've recovered from the business and excitement of the Holidays, we are noticeably gaining light. January is the time of year when I let out a big sigh. I relish the slow pace for a change and look forward to tackling those projects I put off all year long, just for these slow and numbered mid-winter days.  This year my long procrastinated chores are dusting the ceiling fan, deep cleaning the house and completing online goat registration paperwork from last spring. My most anticipated January hobby is some couch time with my favorite seed catalogs.

I enjoy planning. We have been discussing what kind of poultry we want to raise this year. We are going to purchase a small incubator and hatch some of our own eggs. We are looking forward to raising a few turkeys again and more breeds of ducks. So far we have three does bred. I was hoping to have earlier kids this spring, but again it looks like we'll be waiting until April for goat babies. Thankfully this year's official letter for naming is A, after X, Y and Z, I am so excited for A names! I've been drawing out the garden and planning what to plant where. Noah and looked through a seed catalog yesterday and we were both discussing what we want to plant. He is most excited about corn, followed by potatoes (wants to make potato chips) and then carrots. I am looking forward to raising more and bigger everything. I'll probably be writing numerous posts on garden plans here soon.

I am delighted to have all of January and February for planning and dreaming. Eating and sleeping. There are always farm chores to get us out of the house for a couple hours of the day. The rest of my day is spent watching the kids play and planning the next meal. March will come soon enough, with its eye blinding sunny, snowy and possibly warmer days. March will be time to put all the planning into action with seed starting and chick ordering and hatching.  For now I am ever so content to relax into these sleepy days of winter and dream of chicks cheeping in the hallway, baby goats to name and the smell of soil and green starts in the house once again.

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