SnowOctober 27, 2011
The brilliance of fall has come and gone since I’ve written last. I apologize for my absence from the blog, but all we have decided to accomplish this fall and all the little things I wish I could have done before the snow falls has consumed me. First I just want to say how amazed I am at our incredible support for our Rice project on kickstarter. We raised over $6,000, which puts us well over our goal and closer to building our storage space next year. It is such a relief and an excitement to be able to hire someone to do the construction for us. When we got the original estimate from the company they thought it could be done in just a few days which means maybe as soon as next week our paddies and paddy systems will be in place and ready for planting next spring! I feel confident in saying we have created a bit of a buzz about growing rice in Vermont and I hope it continues. I think rice growing could be the beginning of a new agricultural era in Vermont, not just based around rice but about looking at different agricultural practices and how they can produce for our communities, keep our land fertile and our animals healthy.
There is only one summer market left in Rutland and then it moves into the old theatre behind the Rutland Food Co-op. As our tomatoes dwindle and peppers stay green people often comment how it is the end of the growing season. It is for many things, all the tender annual vegetables that we’ve imported to our harsh Vermont climate from their tropical native lands have died back as the days get shorter and the nights colder.
This is our first fall preparing for a spring harvest. It is truly our first fall on the farm. We spent most weekends here in October and November last year but we were only able to build the garden beds for this year. Now we have growing space created and seven days a week to prepare everything. There are big projects like getting the paddies surveyed and built, designing and building our propagation tunnel, making a bigger winter coop for all our hens, painting and fixing the ice-house, planting garlic, and keeping up with all the seeding and transplanting we have to do before Christmas. Then there are all the smaller things I want to accomplish, not as high in the priority list but still goals, planting my 612 perennial bulbs along our overgrown driveway, weeding out the old orchard and sheet mulching it for next year, terracing our side hill, planting our paw paw and building proper steps down to the garden so that my grandparents don’t have to stand by our laundry line to see what we are doing and so that I don’t fall on my butt while carrying water to the pigs. In reality all these things can get done and most of them won’t even take very long it’s just that there are way too many things on the list that it is hard to start. I’m not complaining, it is exciting to have the time and space to accomplish all these goals just wish it didn’t get dark at 6:30 and that it wasn’t so cold when I am trying to get out of bed in the morning.
I actually wrote the above post two weeks ago; rereading it seems strange how in just a few short weeks already so much has changed. They say we lose 3 minutes of daylight every day that’s 21 minutes of light every week……I can feel it. Today it is snowing for the first time, and for the first time in a long time I left our house and went to Rutland to use the internet in the quiet of the Rutland Free Library. When I went to milk this morning there were only little tiny balls of ice falling almost indistinguishable from rain, by the time I had walked back up to the house they were turning into flakes melting on our flats of still waiting transplants. By the time I left there were great patches of white on the forest floor as the snow has begun to cover the upturned faces of the fallen leaves.
I might be foolish or crazy but the snow excites me, I know it means the end of growing things outside, the end of lush grass and soft green leaves, the end of flowers and all the colors they bring. But I love the snow, I love the quiet it brings and how the air feels thick like good stew or wool socks. I imagine I will be wishing for summer soon enough but I am looking forward to winter. Somehow even as it gets below freezing and the wind blows snowflakes through the cracks of our cabin walls I still feel cozier in the wintertime than I do in the summer. As much as Josh will scoff in disbelief I would rather be cold than hot, you can fix being cold, you can’t help being too hot. Plus there is something invigorating about working up a sweat when your face is cold, when you work up a sweat in the summer you just feel sweaty and hot and not invigorated.
I am sorry for the old pictures the cold grey clouds seem to be keeping even the wind from moving and our electricity levels have been too low to charge our cameras. These photos are from last spring and I thought they would be a fitting image of what is to come.