Snow, ice, rain, sun, wind...seems like we’ve had it all this week! Greenhouse construction continues, as we look toward rapidly approaching (hopefully??) spring days. The last couple of warm days were welcome at the farm, as we were able to make progress on the door frames, despite the mud from snowmelt. It has been a slow but steady process! We’re dreaming of little allium seedlings, opening bags of earthy potting soil...and of course the greenhouse’s warm, humid shelter from the chill of spring.
The animals have enjoyed this burst of spring weather too. Lady and Toad now appear to be feeling right at home at the farm. They have been spending lots of time in the paddock with Rocky and Rosie, the Haflingers. One of the main animal tasks for this week was taking Rocky out each day and working with him. He needs to be taken out regularly in the wintertime to get him ready for working in the vegetable field. Rocky is a very hard-working horse and I’m excited to work with him this summer.
Another animal task since I got to FPF in January has been attempting to halter-train Anna, one of Ginger’s calves born last fall. We try to get the lead rope on her each morning, taking her into the barn to stand and eat grain while we do chores. ‘Try’ is the key word here; Anna usually makes this difficult. Giving her grain doesn’t seem to be enticing enough for her to walk into the barn easily. We are going to keep it up, though, and hopefully Anna will realize how much she loves grain and the humans who feed her.
On Thursday, I went to dig carrots in Joppa. I think carrots are pretty amazing vegetables. They can make it through extremely cold weather, as we have experienced this year, underneath row cover and plenty of snow. Not only do they survive, but they only get sweeter. I had some serious motivation to dig up these carrots; they are just SO GOOD. This is especially true in the dead of winter when I’m craving vegetables more than ever.
There were several unharvested beds in the field, but that didn’t mean that I was going to dig up a few crates easily and be on my merry way. The deer have long known about said carrots, and in their munching of the greens, they took off the tops of many of them. Deer-eaten carrots=very edible yet very unsellable product=extreme frustration for carrot digger. With frozen soil, ripping row cover, and mud everywhere, I began doubting that these carrots were worth the struggle of harvesting them. I thought that there was no way any vegetable was worth this, dead of winter or not.
I tried so hard to think about how good the carrots were going to taste, roasted with butter and honey. I kept going until dusk and was able to harvest just over a crate of extremely muddy, but good-sized, carrots. After having a bowl of them tonight, I have concluded that it was, indeed, worth the harvest. I think the deer would agree!
With warm thoughts,