We couldn't be more happy with this ideal moisture -- rain last week, then, ta-da, more rain! Matt seeded the cover crop last week, just before the first rain. We've already seen some sprouts on the peas. Last year we were lucky enough to have enough moisture from the winter through early summer for the cover crop to depend solely on precipitation. So far, we're off to a good start this year, but only time and weather patterns will tell!
The ladies are still shelling out beautifully, despite the dark days and cold nights. We opt to let them lay by natural light, without supplemental lighting, even in the darkest of seasons. This allows their bodies to rest as needed during winter and have more energy when spring comes. They love the absolute freedom of winter roaming -- there's nothing in the garden they can destroy -- and there's plenty of grubs and delicious bugs hiding just under the soil in their winter sleep. You can find our eggs at the Community Supported Agriculture Store in the Prescott College bookstore building, or served up at the Crossroads Cafe. We still have eggs available for direct sale -- I bring them in town once a week at least, so just email or comment on the blog if you're interested.
The seed catalogs have arrived and we're already knee-deep in Matt's least favorite job -- winter planning. He'd rather be out shoveling manure, I'm sure, which fortunately for him, is an acceptable excuse. I'm making lists of lists, scribbles and charts. Every picture of every pepper in those catalogs looks so attainable. It's so easy to look at those pictures and think about what we're going to plant, and forget all the work in between the seed and fruit. But the thrill (and sorrow? learning? addictive nature?) of farming is "in the stars" -- weather, unforeseeable critter predation, realization that the day is only 24 hours long, and we do have to fit some sleep in there...
This is my personal pitch for birds. Winter is the time when there is time to simply observe. I encourage every one of you to embrace this season for bird watching, because you can get to know your winter neighbors intimately due to the sheer ability to see them easier -- a backdrop of clean snow, bare branches, and delicate winter lighting. To see how hardy these little souls are will make you thankful for your house of warmth, and that you don't have to scratch the ground like the Spotted Towhee for food.