“The lake froze hard enough to stop the ferry this week, and Mark got into a battle of wills against the cold. First, during the deepest stretch, our internet access died. We have a radio receiver on top of the silo that picks up the projected signal from a fiber optic line across the lake in Vermont, which generally gives us a fast, reliable connection. We depend heavily on it. Apart from the usual things, we use Trello, a web-based management program, to keep track of everything that is being done, should be done, and has been done on the farm.
Everyone who works here checks Trello many times a day to figure out the daily plan, pose questions and record data. When the internet access went dark last Friday it felt like we were all suddenly blind.
So Mark ended up climbing the silo in the pre-dawn dark when it was -10 with a brutal north wind. Perched precariously forty feet in the air, he had to take off his mitts to fiddle with wires, and it all took longer because his fingers were numb. When he was finished and safely down and warming his hands, they ached so much he almost threw up. But no rest for chilly farmers.
Next he had to go fix a frozen fuel line on the skid steer, and as he was crawling around underneath it, he bumped his face against a piece of metal and got lipstuck. Indignity on top of injury! But the internet is working now, skid steer is running, his hands are fine, and the lip is healing.
I have a feeling this is going to be one of those winters that stays strong until it suddenly cedes to full-on spring….” Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.