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Winter: a time to reflect

The farm is anything but quiet during this time of year. The trains rumble by, the coyotes join in the chorus and trumpeter swans trumpet as their wings carry them barely above the house. Ah…the sounds of a farm at rest.

The pruning is finished and if all goes well there will be lots of pears, apples, plums and raspberries. The garlic is making its presence known as the sentinels of the garden. The potatoes have been ordered and other seeds are on their way.

We are installing two new greenhouses this winter in attempts to provide more local food earlier and later for you. We are busy fixing fences, building fences and getting ready for the grass-fed beef to arrive in April. In addition to mending fences, we are making compost and servicing our equipment. Right now we are focusing on the things we know that need repairing and we will worry about what we don’t know later, when it becomes obvious (sigh).

But mostly, winter for us is the calm before the storm. It is the warm up before the symphony begins—lots of tuning of the strings and tightening of the bows. For me, it is the time (lots of time) I spend with my children, reading and reading and reading and playing lots of games—right now mainly Mexican train dominoes and Settlers of Catan.

I am purposely investing in them, because I know that in a few weeks to a month the weather is going to change. We are going to be farming and outside from sun up till sun down. We will still have lots of fun as a family, but it will be busy fun, not the quiet fun that we get to have right now. Thankfully, the transition from winter to spring is a gracious one and gradually comes upon our farm like the incoming tide. But I also know that our younger children will become young adults before I know it and I want to enjoy them as much as I can now.

I am looking forward to tomorrow evening when my kiddos pick a book out and we all somehow, four or five of us, will snuggle into that easy rocking chair and read together.