★ The long Winter ahead

Barn in New Hampshire

Every year, like clockwork, the daylight hours shrink and temperature drops. It’s a longstanding rule that the only time each year that farmers are allowed to take a break and sleep in is in the dead of winter. It’s time to eat the food that was raised, slaughtered and harvested, drink distilled spirits and spend time with friends and family. In some cases, farmers went to work in the cities and worked until it was time to prepare the land for another 6 months of growing. 

It’s no surprise that I find myself wondering what to do with all of this spare time. Work is consistently busy. I don’t get Summer months off and my earned time off is pretty standard. I work a minimum of 40 hours a week so that is a constant. However, from February through October, I spend a lot of time outside. This year, with more chickens, the addition of pigs and a larger garden, I was very busy. Add in my new hobby of brewing beer and it was a hands-on summer. Now that the weather is cold, I’m inside more and maybe it’s time to rest.

It’s not as if there is a shortage of things to do. There is holiday travel and time with loved ones. I’m also brewing batches of beer inside and brewing more batches that are intended for long term aging. I still want to take up roasting coffee and, of course improving my cooking and food preparation skills. 

There’s a lot to do so it’s not as if iI’ll just be staring at snow from my couch. 

It gets cold up here. It can be 30 degrees below 0. It can be windy and a lot of snow can fall. Winter is beautiful but I miss the daily chores. Maybe the return of the SF Giants spring training in Late February will add a bit more action to my schedule. For now, maybe I should open up a few more books and get some “winter reading” done.

One thing I’ll do in January is prepare my 2013 farming duties. I have some bigger plans than I did in 2012. I’ll share those once more research has been done. 

Thanks for reading!

Oh and in other news, the Winter beard is coming in bigger than ever. Each year, my beard comes back bigger and strong when the temperature drops. I took a photo to share.

The Beard Grows Stronger

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