Winter here has at least one redeeming feature – it hides all the junk that’s lying around the farm… when the snow goes the place looks like a tip.
Less mud so far though. Okay, so the ground is still frozen about a centimetre down but my cunning mini-ditch across the road is really playing it’s part and keeping the majority of the meltwater from becoming the moatwater we had last fall.
The bakery is still stuttering along and I’m assured that it will pick up in April. I wondered about this then it occurred to me that many people still… suffer? celebrate? adhere to?… lent, and hence give up leaven products. I’m hoping that’s what it is anyway as I’m still not working and we have no off farm reserves anymore. I did have a chap come up and look at our timber – he identified two stands in the top area as well as much of the lower woods that are mature too over-mature, and gave me advice about Pre-Cut Thinning of the rest of the woods to encourage about 5 hectares of it into a slightly earlier crop.
The weather here is doing it’s usual unpredictable thing where it’ll be glorious one day – clear skies, re-affirmingly warm sun pushing the mercury up to about 4 or 5c, which now feels scorchio to us – before dumping a load of snow in the midde of the night and blowing chunks of ice through our walls, meaning we cower under the covers for as long as the little ones will let us then I make a dash for the furnace to try to coax the house above 2 degrees.
The pigs don’t seem to mind the snow. They snooze away in their house full of hay and take quite some waking when I come over with the kettle and the feed bucket. As soon as they’re up though -voomph!- they’re out, feet on the fence, snouts in the air squealing their excitement and eagerly wolfing down whatever treats I’ve brought them. They like a good scratch now, on the neck behind the ears but only with one hand – if two hands come in they buck and run round to the other side of the trough… in time they’ll let me hug them then it’s off to the market with them! Laura reckons I’m getting too close to them but we’vealready sold half of one of them and plan to do bacon, cured sausages and brawn with the rest. I mean, I think my pigs are great but my pepperoni will be even better.