Well, the time is here again. Time to slow the farm down, to rest, to reflect, to realize. The days are cold and the wind is almost constant.
A perfect time for working in the pig barn. It’s warm in there and the pigs have their straw piled up high in places like giant golden bunkers. That’s where they sleep. They’re quieter now, too, mostly nestling together in their beds, sometimes rolling over lazily. Sometimes they gather around the hay I’ve put out for them, picking up a flake and shaking it before munching it till it’s gone.
It’s also a perfect time to work in the goat barn. It smells like fresh straw and clean goat. My two does munch hay quietly, sometimes bleating at me almost under their breath as I move around on the other side of the barn. There are still a few things to be done on the other side. They watch me with interest as I take out old shingles, unidentifiable objects, windows with glass so old it’s wavy. Soon I will have room in this barn to add two kidding pens and a milking area.
All the crops are off. The fields have for the most part been plowed. They are dark now and silent. In spring, it will all begin again.
For now, we can putter away quietly out in the barns if we want to. There’s no big rush because we have all winter. We do a little bit each day. The animals are warm, cozy and happy, and that was our goal when we prepared the first two barns back in September.
As farmers, we can now slow ourselves down and spend time reading, crocheting, fixing small things in the farmhouse, and making sure there’s lots of firewood downstairs. We have started to talk a little about this coming spring. Plans need to be made about the additional gilts we have coming in at the end of the year, where we’re going to put the feed bin that our friend gave us, and exactly how many beehives we want for this season.
We’ll also be reading through seed catalogs, making lists of what we’ll need to buy, build or make, and trying to decide what we will grow when the new season arrives.
For now, we will take it easy, go slow, and enjoy the quiet. It will be busy and hectic again soon enough.