This was the first weekend our farm stand has not been open for business. It's just too hard to grow much produce in December in northwestern Pennsylvania, and there comes a point when the butchering is also over for the year. That point would be now. All the creatures still here will be with us over the winter, either for breeding or providing meat for the stand's opening next year. We are tentatively planning on being open for Memorial Day weekend, 2010, but that sure seems far away!
Although I'm a big fan of sleeping in on the rare occasion I can, it sure seemed strange not to wake early to an alarm yesterday. I felt like I should be gathering things to take down to the stand, and straightening up what was there already. I can't say I was truly sorry to be in my nice warm house for those 4 hours though, since the temperatures ranged from mid 20's up to a high of about 32 yesterday. We've removed all the products and stored them ourselves. Things like potatoes or winter squash will keep in the basement nearly all winter, but aren't much good to eat if they freeze sitting down on the concrete in the stand. All the jars are safely put away in the pantry as well. But there is no such thing as empty space on the farm, as within the week the stand was full again...but this time with animal food! We had a large amount of feed delivered which, along with our homegrown hay and corn, should keep the critters happy and full for quite a while to come!
I'm often asked these days if the work is pretty well done for the year. It sure hasn't seemed like it lately, but that probably has more to do with being called back to a full time job than with what's really going on here. While we are busy every day, it isn't with major farm activities like plowing, planting or hay making. Now it's cleaning up around the hog house and doing some home improvement projects we've talked about for months. I've even pulled out some Christmas decorations, and if it ever warms up above 25, maybe I'll get outside and finally take down the sagging cornstalks on the porch and replace them with some festive lighting!
Thanks again to everyone who stopped by our farm stand these past few months. If it weren't for people like you, who appreciate food that is local, organic, home-grown, hormone-free, and fresh, we wouldn't be able to do what we love. We hope to see each and every one of you again next year, and in the meantime I'll be blogging so you can stay connected to what's going on here!