The temperatures here in Essex have managed to climb into the double digits and it feels like the fresh renewal of energy one gets at the first Spring thaw. Adam, after weeks of tinkering with his broken chainsaw, has finally had success in fixing it and is taking down dead trees in our woods, stockpiling more firewood for winters to come.
The winter at Tangleroot is a lovely balance of work and play. After a season of long days of very physical work, our 30 year old farming bodies don't bounce back as quickly as our 20 year old ones. The energy, pace and sunshine of the summer drive our days and give us the zip to keep up with the fields, the harvests, the orders and deliveries. When the sun comes up a bit later and the fields are covered in snow, we thoroughly enjoy sleeping in, taking the dog on long skiing excursions and drinking fancy cups of coffee and chai by our fire for some delightful, lazy winter days. It is interesting working seasonally. When you live dawn to dusk outdoors, one does feel the need for a hibernation of sorts when it is so dark and so cold. Our thermometer read -20 one morning this week and the weatherman assured us it was -35 with the windchill. By the time the Spring grasses are peaking through the snow, we are well rested and ready to pick up the pace but today is a fireside day.
While our high tunnels and green houses keep safe our late winter and early spring greens, everything else is stored nicely in the cooler. The 40ftX10ft cooler, which at the moment is being heated so our storage vegetables won't freeze, was a new purchase last fall and it has allowed us to expand production considerably. This is our first season keeping storage veggies through the winter and currently we have sweet potatoes, winter squash, onions, shallots, cabbage, golden and red beets, purple and orange carrots, turnips, parsnips, celeriac, radicchio, and a variety of potatoes. We're selling each week at the Spa City Farmers Market and locally to restaurants but hope to have some super storers like sweet taters and onions left in May as spring markets bring more folks out shopping.
As for my part, I've enjoyed creating in the kitchen and finding ways to make the same winter root veggies taste new and exciting. Today, after finishing up prepping the business taxes I'm making beet burgers and thawing out last springs' strawberries to make a pie.
Eat well. Be happy.