And the compelling question I am responding to...so often I get asked "What do you do in the winter?" I'm not really pointing fingers at any single person because I have been asked this so many times over the last 15 years...and more often than not by stay-at-home moms! The short answer I sometimes give is, "I have kids." Need I say more...probably not, but I will.
I know it is a legitimate question because people really are asking about what is it like after we aren't doing vegetables from dawn to dusk...isn't there more time? Yes, there is some. Right now we have been harvesting still a little for store and restaurant sales and have still had folks buying on the farm...so light harvests, but still things to do in the field. Dear farmer husband has been working ground and planting cover crops and I can't even remember what all. Garlic is planted and up and that fall task is always a milestone in the season. And all these tasks don't fall on me, but there are still chores to do (for 600 chickens right now, although we will sort the older layers out soon), and our cattle herd also. The pigs are gone and sold so that chore is done until next spring.
Days like today are not too farmy yet -- which sounds a far cry more relaxing than the morning thus far...at just barely 10 am. So far I have washed one load of laundry 4 times, after 3 washes last night. First to get the crayon out with carb cleaner and all the other washes to get the carb cleaner stink out because I was too generous because there were brand-new clothes in the load and wanted to make it work! We don't usually buy brand-new, but one of our kids needed some things for gym at school and basketball after, and so his new shorts were in that crayon-y load. Good thing his new pants weren't! To round out the morning, the dog threw up on the entry rugs after eating too much and too ripe road-kill deer meat yesterday. One kid accidentally sat in some cat poo this morning because this one stray cat we took in is having issues here and there outside...although am hopeful after a trip to the vet Friday! Children's altercations have been mediated, several breakfasts were made, coffee swilled, bathrooms scrubbed a bit, recycling sorted, some clothes and shoes sorted to pass along to others, winter boot availability/sizes tried on for small fry, beds made, rugs vacuumed, lists rewritten, website updated, fast blog entry and now on to the rest of the day. (Good thing dear farmy husband is doing chores!) Meat will be thawed, row cover picked up, coolers put in storage, eggs washed and packed, laundry continue to be dealt with (fingers crossed!!), more meals and snacks made, a few remaining carrots dug for our own winter storage, daikon radish harvested for storage and later sales, food donation made, evening chores done, a tree planted and so on and so on.
When real winter is here...well, sometimes the winter feels long and short. Chores take longer. Things break, water freezes, animals need more food. Paperwork needs attending to in quantity before we are back in the greenhouse and field -- which is February for the greenhouse. There will be certification papers, taxes, bookeeping, conferences or webinars if we are lucky, lots of egg deliveries, signing up folks for next year and lots of contacts answered and our glorious hopeful seed order. Plans for the future, house repairs, finishing our house (which will likely never happen) and on and on.
Winter isn't as crazy and chaotic but it is still busy and the days are full. We do get a little more social time, some holiday time with family, go to bed at 11:30 or midnight instead of 2 am and maybe read a book or two if we get on it.
Perhaps more later, but have to run...have to see if that carb cleaner smell is GONE!