Not-so-Bleak Midwinter

50 degrees in January?  It has been an incredibly mild winter here.  There have been only a handful of days below freezing.  Everyone thinks that it is spring.

Come January, I’m usually holed up in my big chair, wearing a thick wool sweater, feet covered in my Nana’s afghan, thumbing through garden catalogues, while snow falls outside and frost traces lacy patterns on the windows.  This is all very confusing to mind and body.

I’m still leafing through seed catalogues. 

The gals out for an afternoon nibble. It was an unauthorised outing, but who can blame them when the weather is so lovely?

This year, we’re also checking out milking equipment, breeding bucks (or their, um, produce), boars for breeding, poultry and fowl to increase our flocks…  We’re trying to come up with a schedule for harrowing the hilltop ‘fields’ which were left with lots of stumps as well as some logs, and the lower fields we’re creating from the old tree nursery.  We’ve asked around about the idea of doing a controlled burn to get rid of undesirable debris.  Still not sure how I feel about it.  It beats making huge holes in the ground and moving stumps down to the trench.

We’ve got 30 acres in hay, and can’t keep up with demand.  We need more hayfield.  We’re excited about changing over to a mix of alfalfa and timothy.  Just loaded with good stuff.

The pigs have grown! The boys will be going off to the processor next week, and the gals breedings will be planned. That should save some on the feed bill.

We are also allotting space for growing feed crops for the critters.  In case you weren’t aware, pigs eat A LOT.  They do a lot of very valuable rooting and fertilizing, but they also need additional feeds to grow big and healthy.  We’re trying to get to the point where we’re not dependent on outside products.  Whole, organic grain mix is spendy when you need 50+ pounds a day.

Our Blue Slate tom. He is a handsome love. We're hoping that he and his gals will be very productive. A large flock of these beauties would be very nice.

And this mild weather is making me more impatient, if that is possible.  I know that there are still many weeks until spring, but I feel like it has already arrived.

Perhaps the early weeks of growing someone infinitely more precious will become a pleasant distraction?  I do hope so.


What is occupying your winter days?