A bit about us...

We are a modern family of three, living on less than two acres with a 3,000 square foot garden that meets our produce needs and allows us to share with friends and neighbors. Our laying flock of chickens seems to expand each year as we raise chicks each Spring to replace older hens. This blog is more of a journal, if you will, for us to chronicle and share our experiences in the yard, garden and kitchen. It is our hope that along the way a few folks might learn something, be entertained, or simply enjoy sharing in our stories and the lessons we learn on a daily basis. I named the blog after the times when I am the happiest, when I am elbow deep in earth.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Closing up for the season

After an unusual season with respect to weather, the time had come in our region to put the farms and gardens to bed for a winter's rest.  Our garden was spent, since the frost has sealed its fate, and we wereequally ready to rest until we begin preparing for the next season in the coldest part of winter.  

Our dear friends, the Zilke's, had labored with love, determination and sheer guts for many months to deliver the freshest, healthiest produce to their CSA members and patrons of the farm stand.  The time had come for them to close the big white doors on the barn and spend some time recharging their batteries.  Just as the farm needs to spend some time resting and recharging for the next season, so do its caretakers.  

S, the little one and I had the high privilege of spending much of their last day at the farm stand with them, while they buttoned things up and made the final preparations to take a break. We spent time harvesting sunflower heads to salt and roast later (another post to come),  husking a truckload of popcorn, cleaning up at the stand and helping them ready it for their absence. 

It was a cold day, and it got less pleasant as the day went on.  It was as if Mother Nature were saying, "It's okay.  You can rest now.  I've got it from here."  As the day neared its close, it began "snowing."  It wasn't real snow, with fluffy flakes, but a hard, frozen pellet like snow that made it clear we no longer needed to be outdoors.  The message was heartily received. 

Bound for Florida with nearly a solid month of rest and relaxation as their only obligation, these hard-working and deserving farmers were ready when this day came.

Tom and Vicki made the final decision and, together, flipped the sign that held their hours to reveal a new message: