Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What Do Farmers Do in the Wintertime?

One of the questions that I get asked a bit when I fish for blog topics is "What do farmers do in the wintertime?" I can't begin to answer for all farmers, but I can tell you some of the things we do in the wintertime. 

First of all we rest a bit. We set an exhausting pace in the spring, summer and fall, and winter is a gift to us in some ways. 

We continue to ship beans and wool near and far. We hand sort beans (taking out the splits and non-bean things like stones). We also continue with the farmers markets, though even they slow down in the winter (shorter days, every other week, etc.)

We catch up on paperwork, and get things ready for the accountant who does our taxes. 

We take time to learn new things and sometimes even network with other farmers. (Sorry for the blurry photo--this is my version of "taking notes".)

We order nutrients and seed for the coming season. And we dream about and plan for summer projects.

In some ways, winter is a respite. But the cold weather brings additional chores. The Farmer spends a good amount of time keeping the driveways clear. 

While we don't have the summer labor of moving animals to fresh pasture, they do need feeding twice a day. We monitor and adjust what they're fed depending on how far along they are in pregnancy and the quality of the hay we have on hand. Eventually we will shear them in preparation for lambing.

As the weather allows, we fix equipment in preparation for the coming year.

I hope this helps to answer the question about what happens on a farm in winter. Feel free to ask any additional questions in the comment section. I'm happy to try to answer...

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