We survived our first hurricane and nor’easter this month (back-to-back), which felt like as much of an accomplishment as our first harvest back in June.
We were lucky in so many ways. Our MemberShare season ended two days before the storm hit and before we could begin to celebrate, we were racing to batten down the farm and prepare for winter. A generator came to us in the nick of time so that we could run our chest freezer full of meat. My whole family worked together to protect the farm from whatever was coming our way. There is peace of mind that comes with knowing you have done everything you can within reason, and that there are a community of people waiting to help you pick up the pieces if things go wrong.
Thankfully, they didn’t. We had a reparable tear in our new high tunnel, a few branches down, and a weeklong power outage that we were plenty prepared for. The storms brought more than 90+ mph wind gusts, flooding, sleet, snow, and rain: they brought a newfound confidence. This entire season has felt mostly impossible – from purchasing my own farm in May to starting a CSA. But now that things are said and done, the small mishaps and mistakes seem dwarfed by the larger accomplishment of making it through and feeling well positioned for a successful upcoming season.
There were points during the growing season (especially when it was impossibly hot or impossibly dry), where it seemed like winter would never arrive. Now that the farm has dwindled to a small flock of laying hens, 4 pigs, and a high tunnel full of fall veggies, more of my time is spent cleaning up the property and working on the house. I spent my first snow day just as I had imagined – eating apple pie in front of the woodstove. I’ve unpacked most of my boxes and even hung art on the walls. All summer long it felt like I was staying at this house and caring for the farm, but now that most of the renovations are complete and I’m settling in, it’s finally starting to feel like a home.
I’m SO excited to plan for next season. The seed and poultry catalogs have begun to arrive and checking the mailbox feels like Christmas morning (well, except when I open it and only find bills). I love mapping out the vegetables, creating an elaborate calendar, and developing charts and systems to make my record keeping easier. I’m saving these coveted tasks until the weather gets colder and I’ve cleared the bittersweet off the perimeter of the property (another project that seems sort of impossible), but that time is soon. It feels like all of a sudden winter is here and I can take a small moment to breathe a sigh of relief before a plow into next season.