You may be asking yourself this morning, with a windchill of -30 degrees F outside, what can possibly still be alive outside? My answer to you would be the ecologically restorative Schenk Homestead Farm. Despite the panic by most in New York and much of the United States to hunker down under a big blanket with a warm beverage to ride out the storm, we were still outside to greet the morning air. The animals still need feeding, ice broken out of waterers and then refilled. Life isn’t easy at this temperature but it still pushes on and our responsibilities to care for the lives of our animals never ends.
In fairness though, the time spent outside is short lived, bundling up for 40 minutes to an hour in the arctic air to finish the chores. Once we have stoked the woodfire back in the house and defrosted the deep freeze from our bones, its back to work planning for the days we are all now longing for, spring, when when our seemingly dead winter world is sprung back to life with the new season. Although we look forward to those warmer days to come, there is so much we must accomplish first. We will need to finish mapping out our garden, writing our business plan for the upcoming season, finish putting up the plastic on the greenhouse so we can get an early start sowing seeds, and dozens of other tasks big and small to prepare for the next growing and farmers market season.
As much as we still need to do, we have accomplished so much since the start of this unusually cold winter. We have been busy ordering our seeds and other supplies for the upcoming season, establishing sales goals and marketing plans, and most importantly reading. We have spent countless hours the past couple weeks reading books on ways to improve our farming practices, including how to improve our cover crop procedures for next fall, how to improve our green manures to help return living organic nutrients to our soils, new weeding techniques such as flame weeding, and how to better market our produce to our customers.
We have been running electric fence wire to establish permanent rotational pastures for the goats, pigs and chickens and gathering supplies to build a new mobile animal enclosure to aid in our rotational grazing operations, all in hopes that we may expand our meat production from subsistence to market scale. We are thankful for what we have achieved despite our paralyzing cold temperatures.
So if you are wondering today how can life possibly go on with this bomb cyclone of unbearable cold, we’ve got you covered. We're here to assure you there will be consciously grown and raised, highly nutritious fruits, vegetables and meats to put on your plate this coming spring, summer, and fall. So sit back and relax tucked under your warmest winter blanket with your favorite hot beverage waiting for our next post on the very much alive Schenk Homestead Farm.
Cheers to Old Man Winter up on the Hill.