Thanks to those who came out Friday to stomp on bean pods and free up the beautifully colored beans. We wrapped up quickly, with all of the threshing and winnowing done by lunch time. After a delicious chili and corn bread meal prepared by Cara, we were back at it, sorting and cleaning the beans for CSA pick up. The extra hands made quick work of a project that had been dragging on for us.
I had the wonderful sensation of feeling caught up with work yesterday. This happens two or three times a year—a light and quickly fleeting sensation. People often ask what we do in the winter time, assuming it must be a lovely period of quiet downtime. My winter tasks of seed orders, greenhouse schedules, membership forms, business taxes, budgets, firewood, arrangements and contracts with summer workers, and this year finding a new insurance carrier fit a little too snugly into the regular schedule of animal chores and weekly CSA preparations. James, and the part-time winter help of Cara and Josh, all have their own lists of animal care, maintenance, computer work and planning for the upcoming year.
Months into the routine I had the chance yesterday afternoon to get to B-list projects, a great, and relieving feeling, which came abruptly to a halt at morning meeting today. The list of work for the coming week is long already—starting up the onion, leeks and celeriac seeds in the germination chamber; preparing buckets, spouts, lids and dump stations for sugaring; repairing the aging arch that holds our syrup pans during boiling; bucking up a huge downed maple tree in the woods before the ground thaws and the rounds are trapped by the old rutted up logging roads, and once we tap the sudden and all-consuming job of collecting and boiling sap to keep up with the runs.
There is always a list of infrastructure projects to chip away at—carving and painting a farm sign to hang on the barn, finishing the walls and electricity in the CSA room, building doors and an office, and repairing field equipment. And then, yet another list of business and CSA improvement projects. It’s nicest to look back in time to see the slow, but clear progression of to-do lists. Items being checked off, or crossed off. New projects being added.
We plan on tapping trees Monday, a fun day tromping through the woods, drilling holes for the taps and hanging buckets and lids. If anyone is interested it’s a lovely way to spend the day—enjoying the beautiful, snowy woods and getting your heart rate up. Please let me know if you are interested and we can connect on the exact timing.
In the Farm Shares
In the veggie share: crunchy, green, fresh alfalfa sprouts, carrots, beets, white, blue and fingerling potatoes, radish, turnips, celeriac, garlic, shallots, leeks, red and white onions, green, red and savoy cabbage, wheat berries, whole wheat regular and pastry flour, corn meal, and 4 types of dry beans. Sunflower shoots, endive and kim chee are all in the works. Maple syrup to come!
In the meat share: Pork, beef, broilers and stew birds in the freezer. Stock and organ meats from beef and chickens, lard and leaf lard.