I’m grateful for many things but right now I’m most grateful for electric blankets and space heaters. Still no heat and wont expect to see anyone until Monday. So much for planning ahead and calling someone two weeks ago when it was 79 degrees out. But with two space heaters we remained very comfortable. And well the electric blanket is a sure way to get to chores late.
In spite of these last two frigid mornings the greenhouse remains unaffected. I did put fabric covers over the rows and I’m sure that helped to hold the heat and moisture in. I was happily surprised when I opened the door yesterday morning and warm steam came out. Oh thank god! For the last CSA I drop off I was able to harvest about 170 pounds of greens, which were actually the thinnings of crops like broccoli rabe, arugula, boc choi. I couldn’t believe what production I was able to get. Amazing! But because it’s been such a warm fall things are almost too big. When things are small like baby lettuces they can freeze solid and once the temp comes up be completely un-fazed while a mature head of lettuce will turn to mush. I have full grown stuff in there, so I’m a little nervous. But as far as things go I am seriously impressed with winter growing and think I may make a habit of it!
I’ve had some die off however with the lettuce caused by moisture and the heat, nothing I could do about it and it wasn’t unexpected but I will experiment with some other varieties. The next harvest will include baby chard, spinach, kale, mizuna, and more arugula and boc choi. That is pretty exciting! My camembert made and it looks lovely, I’ll wrap it and start the aging process today, so CSA members should each get a wheel of Camembert by Christmas. I think that should make for some happy CSA members!
The goats are really starting to slow down in production. Everyone has a little baby growing inside them so they being the ultra intelligent species on the farm know when they need to reserve their resources and keep warm, I’m getting about 1 and ¾ of a gal a day so that’s half of what I was getting a month ago. We’re milking 6 girls. This is pretty typical for winter, which actually works out perfect as far as what I need for cheese and CSA members without having too much left. The milk is incredibly creamy more than I ever remember it being. I had a glass right out of the chiller from the mornings milking and I thought I had just taken a mouth full of heavy cream! The goats will get dried up Jan 1st so I’ll be working on some aged cheeses to get us through January and February. They kid early march along with the ewes. March should be a very _______(fill in blank) month.
The weather has just begun to act characteristically like its old self. Winter is only now on its way but March seems so close. Time has just been speeding by like a rocket. It’s not even December yet and I’m sitting down making some serous plans for next year. I feel so great about the future right now. Gosh that’s a good feeling. One I haven’t had in a while. And as of right at this moment there are no tragedies to report. There are no failed systems that need to be reworked and as of right now there are no hard lessons to be learned. I don’t know how long this will last so I’m going to embrace this moment with utter delight.
Today will be spent making cheese and tending to greenhouse business, what a beautiful life.