What a wonderful day! A blank page, draw what your want, paint if you like, write the new year into your life! This is my second favorite day of the year, after December 21st when the days get longer again. I don't get caught up in regrets of the past year, but plans of the coming year. What to plant, what to knit, what to read, who to meet, what friends to make, what passions to share...the possibilities are endless.
The weather is strange today, 20 degrees and windy. The past two days were in the upper 50's with rainstorms and tornado warnings. All of the snow, a foot or more, was gone overnight and the grass greened up. It looked like April 1st yesterday - April Fool's! Now it feels like winter again, but it isn't as beautiful as the white Christmasy feel that December was. Our once a week trip to the woods for firewood continues tomorrow.
The ducks refuse to come out, the chickens squawk with complaints, the cat shivers and runs for the barn. I spent a few moments enjoying the cooler weather and picked up the corn cobs left by the chicken house. I look around the yard and think of snapping off the dried weeds, picking up sticks, and then I get chilled and come inside again. It is still winter - I have to remind myself after the nice weather yesterday.
Cold days during the winter are great for planning. And this day is one of those days. During the planting season we don't do much paperwork as our days are sun up to sun down (5 am to 9 pm sometimes). We keep track of what we sell, where we plant, etc. and then at the end of the year when we are stuck inside we put it all together into a plan for the next year. We take our maps from last year and decide on where our crops will go this year, rotating them to avoid bug and weed problems. The sales data kept during the growing season is compiled into a chart that we use to determine what we can expand on, do less of, and what seed to buy. It also shows us the seasons of the plants so we can let our customers know what to expect and when.
Planning what to plant is really exciting. It is such a promise of a prosperous year to think of all those green plants coming up. Marty puts together a list of what to start downstairs under grow lights, and then I begin the process of putting the trays together. We work together on a seed order from three or four heirloom seed companies, ordering the necessary seed for sales and then ordering some fun stuff to try out. We try to grow new things every year to keep our customers excited and on the cutting edge. And, to make it exciting for us.
We took a walk through the hoophouses yesterday (in the balmy weather) and got excited about what we were going to leave and what areas to replant. We are testing the mustard, swiss chard, arugula, kale, and cilantro to see if they will come back up again. Some look like they might so we will clean out the dead leaves around the outer edges, cover them with a row cover (fabric like material over small hoops), and see what happens. It is a test to see if we can get another early season harvest from them without tearing them out and replanting. It would save on time, labor and seed if it works. We are learning so much!
We wish you a fantastic new year with lots of love and laughter, green growing things and delicious foods, and precious time filled to the brim with blessings! Happy New Year!