It was nearly 70 degrees last week so I took the opportunity for plenty of outdoor projects--raking leaves and the flower beds, pruning trees and some fun spring things like a few cold frames right off the house thanks to a few unwanted shower doors, contractors sand and cinder blocks. I started a whole flat of Romanesco, one of my favorite vegetables, along with some perennial flowers, heirloom tomatoes and assorted lettuce greens. I'd like to start some spinach and Napa cabbage, too, but I'm waiting on the seeds. I'm thinking big batches of kimchi and delicious salads.
Warm weather brings about a type of complacency when it comes to farming. You have a few days where you don't have to wear long underwear and strip down to just a long sleeve t-shirt and a fleece vest. You put your hands in the dirt. You turn your face to the sun and bask.
And then reality gives you a hard slap up along side your head.
This afternoon was one of those rude awakenings.
Immersed in a writing project and pushing a deadline, I wasn't honestly paying attention to the weather. Sure, I remember hearing something about the possibility of snow and didn't think much of it when I woke up this morning to a minor dusting. No big deal.
Wet, rainy, cold, windy...no problem staying inside all day and wrapping my brain around subject that couldn't have been further from the farm. In the corner of my mind, I knew I had to make a call to my hay guy since my stash was getting low. And then by chance I happened to take a mindless break to Facebook.
"Six to ten inches of snow," lamented a fellow farmer not far from here. Sweet barking cheese! I was in trouble if this was true. A quick browse over to AccuWeather confirmed my fears. Time to get off my ass and get to work.
First and foremost was my hay situation.
I love my hay guy because he always delivers within 24 hours of a request, but my urgency would have been pushing the limits of his generosity on this faux pas. A quick call confirmed he was in his barn loading hay for a delivery so I could drive over and get enough to get me through until the storm passed and adequate plowing will have been accomplished.
This must be just the way the stars always align for a snow storm--low on hay, a much needed trip to town to return library books. At least I have plenty of heating oil and propane for cooking. And then there are the little things like making sure the vehicles and tractors are all strategically placed for plowing. So it was quick trip over to the hay guy and enough hay to last me through the storm and beyond, but not enough to require the use of my hay elevator. At 40-50 lb. bales, it was still a good workout to beat the impending storm. I unloaded in the open squall. As the fat flakes slapped me in the face I felt as if I were giving Old Man Winter the finger. Bring it, I'm ready for you, by the skin of my teeth, but all the same, I'm ready.