Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'm Alive

Tonight's sunset

O-MY-GOSH…I almost forgot it was Thursday!  O-MY-GOSH…I supposed to be thankful…ACK!

…I must admit…I’ve been struggling lately.  Nothing serious…just life seems “kinda meh”. (Usually, I am a great proponent of a truly awesome vocabulary, but MEH is truly the best I can do) I truly don’t know what the problem might be.

Maybe it’s the weather, the end of the Market/post Thanksgiving let-down…maybe it’s the disappearance of the cat (I have REALLY struggled with that one---far more than I would like to admit) maybe I’m tired, vitamin deficient, lost my focus, need some retail therapy, perhaps I just need to buckle down and do my work. Maybe I SHOULD have hibernated when I had the chance. Maybe I need chocolate,, WINE.  Whatever…it really doesn’t matter. At some point, things will look better.  The Boss always tells me that---and it always happens.  But, for right now…I’m struggling…

Then, I heard this song by Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews. There is a definite benefit to ALWAYS listening to music…if the booming beat doesn’t cheer me up and change my focus…the lyrics always get me thinking.

…and this song sums things up quite well…

So damn easy to say that life’s so hard
Everybody’s got their share of battle scars
As for me I’d like to thank my lucky stars that
I’m alive, and well

It’d be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me, I’m alive

And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathin' in and out's a blessin' can’t you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
And I’m alive, and well
I’m alive, and well

Stars are dancin’ on the water here tonight
It’s good for the soul, when there’s not a soul in sight
But this boat has caught its wind and brought me back to life
Now I’m alive, and well

And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathin' in and out's a blessing can’t you see
Today is the first day of the rest of my life
Now I’m alive, and well
Yeah I’m alive, and well
                        -Kenny Chesney

While I go adjust my attitude and gain a little change of perspective…give a little listen to Kenny and Dave...

I’m guessing things will look a lot different soon…

                       ’cause I’m alive…and well!
                                                                              (and I’m hoping YOU are, too!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Time to Hibernate?

Sugarloaf Mountain is out there...really!
When the cold, damp, grey days of late November arrive, hibernation seems like a good option.

A very good option.  

Just find a warm, dry, cozy place and sleep ‘til Spring….yeah, I could do that!


 Well, I guess we could hibernate…but, it would make any sort of success next season more than a bit of a challenge. The “off-season” routine is crucial to THE SEASON.

Cold, grey days mean the woodstove is cranking
I know I have written about the end of the Market season before.  But, the cycle of life continues. Read this...
As the end of the Market approaches and the time changes, it gets a little harder to stay focused and upbeat about vegetable growing and harvesting.  Picking lettuce and greens with chilled fingers can be an arduous task. The dark, grey, cold days of November have us feeling a little dull and looking for a warm and cozy place.   I can really understand why some animals hibernate in the winter season.  

But, the final Market day of the season is always bittersweet.  It will be several months before we see some of the customers again. We will miss the cheery exchanges and the odd and random conversations.  On the other hand…it’s COLD, the days are getting shorter and shorter…and honestly, we are a more than a little bit tired. The conversation on that last Market day always centers on our activities, or lack thereof, during the Winter.  Many figure we must vacation, go someplace warm, sit by the fire, do a lot of reading…take a lot of naps….in a word…hibernate.

However…hibernation is not an option. There is much to be done even in the “off season”, although things move at a slightly more relaxed pace (most of the time).

After a little break for Thanksgiving, we’re back to selling farm products for the rest of the winter.  That means that we’re seeding and planting and (can you believe it?) weeding during the winter.  While the weeding seems like some sort of injustice when there is snow on the ground, the hens really, really appreciate the fresh greens in the middle of winter. I enjoy the opportunity to work in the sun and warmth inside the greenhouses and hoophouses on cold days.  It might not be a trip to the islands, but it is warm and I feel productive at the end of the day.

While the pastures and the gardens seem to be dormant…there are signs of life out there.  The garlic is looking great!  One warm-ish day during the winter, we will do a little weeding in anticipation of another great crop in ’13.

the chicks aren't CUTE anymore

The layer chicks are growing well and have lost most of their baby fuzz. It’s hard to believe that they will be laying little pullet eggs by the first of March.

While the Boss’ “to-do” list seems slightly less involved this year…check out the story of the ultimate henhouse he built last year.  Read this...  and THIS... …there are still things that need repair and revision.  Since I spent the last TWO “off seasons” painting the inside of the house, I am somewhat at a loss when it comes to the next “big” project.   With all the painting done, I suppose I should focus on organization this season. But, then again…

I bought the first of the lambing supplies on my trip to town today. I need a few other supplies, and we’ll have to get a load of hay soon. If Flo’s enormous girth is any indication, this year’s lambchop crop should be big…really big. (I DO hope that it’s triplets in there and not one ginormous lamb)  We only have about 6 weeks to the first due date. With the majority of the ewes due to lamb within a four or five day window…things may get a little dicey in the barn.  Hmmm…just thought of a few more supplies that we should probably have.

Despite the fact that staring at the computer screen for any length of time leaves me yawning or indulging in far too much caffeine…there is still bookwork to do, all those photos to sort, and more than a little reading/writing to do as I try to stay abreast of all the new and amazing things that one can do online.

                              …and the seed catalogs have started arriving…

So…this year…I’m thinkin’….we don’t have TIME to hibernate…

          Why…it’s only 129 days until OPENING DAY of the Market 2013!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stalking the Great Blue Heron

At first glance, Back Creek is pretty unimpressive.

Back Creek is a meandering little stream that seems to be of small consequence.  Its headwaters are on the other side of Mbrook Road and it flows through town with little attention from the public. If you drive through town, you cross it…but, I’m guessing no one ever gives it much thought.  It passes through the lower end of the farm…winding back and forth between the willow trees.  Then, it winds its way out toward the mountains where it joins the Middle River. The Middle River meets the North and South Rivers forming into the South Fork of the Shenandoah at Port Republic.  Then the South Fork and the North Fork join near Front Royal becoming simply the Shenandoah ….and flow into the Potomac at Harpers Ferry…which flows into the Chesapeake Bay and then into the Atlantic Ocean… wow!

Sorry…I lost focus. 

Back Creek...

One of the things we rejoiced over when finding this piece of property all those years ago was “live water”.  When buying/building a homestead, you want a dependable source of water.  When you find a stream, particularly a spring-fed stream, you are almost certainly guaranteed water…no matter what the circumstances. (or so that is the theory)  Back Creek has a reputation for NEVER having run dry.  While I honestly can’t attest to NEVER (we’ve only been here for a short period by community standards) I can say that while we have seen it low…oh so very low…we have not seen it dry. We have also seen it flood its banks in no uncertain terms…but, that is a story for some other time.

Back Creek provides a home to a great number of animal species, and life-giving hydration to far more.  Out toward the mountains it seems a little wilder, and the current generally runs a little faster.  It was out toward the mountains where I first heard “….oooooh….what is THAT?”  from a small person sitting  in the back seat, oh so many years ago.  When I looked out the window, I too said “oooh…what is THAT?”

THAT was a great blue heron…standing on one leg…fishing in Back Creek.  I didn’t know this at first glance; we had to do a little research in our trusty Readers’ Digest Animals of North America book when we got home. We still have the much used volume, although today’s searches generally involve the internet and not our family library.

The herons seem to favor Back Creek.  I cannot imagine the fishing is all that good, but maybe they like the rural setting.  Maybe the winding path of the creek makes for an interesting flight. Perhaps they like cows and sheep…and the occasional goat. Maybe they find life in M’brook as pleasant as all the residents do.

Over the past fifteen years, we’ve seen the herons repeatedly.  They’ve frightened the sheep...hung out with the neighbors goats, and been spotted under the willows. We’ve seen them in the distance, gliding along like some odd leftover pterodactyl from some prehistoric era.

However, recently we have seen a heron numerous times down front.  We could get closer and closer. It didn’t appear to be frightened at all.  I got a couple of good shots and then I got a little overly zealous and crept closer.  I hacked a path through the weeds all the way to the creek. I think this annoyed him, because I haven’t seen him there in quite a while. 

One day, I tracked him down the creek under the willows until he finally disappeared into the weeds and brambles. I really…REALLY…wanted to get a shot of this bird in flight.

No luck. Good shot of his feet…and water droplets…

Then, as I was walking down the lane to the mailbox, I heard an odd noise. “CR-O-NNN-K!”   I was startled as I then heard sweeping wings and the heron flew from UNDER the bridge. It went swooping down the creek…all too sudden for me to take a picture.  I nearly fell off the bridge in my surprise. But, it was an awesome sight nonetheless.

The quarter-mile walk to the mailbox generally yields some kind of interest. Yesterday was no exception.  Again I heard the “CR-O-NNN-K!”… This time I was rewarded with TWO blue herons flying right at me. I started talking to myself.  “camera, camera….QUICKLY!...”  One veered off and went downstream while the other flew overhead…his long legs stick-straight behind him. He/she landed by the creek where it flows through the front of the farm.

Now, THAT was cool!

Oddly enough, this may be the same heron we saw all those years ago. They live for quite a long time.  This may be the great blue heron couple of M’brook. There are definitely two. Maybe they will take up residence under the willows. I don't think the farm will benefit from the herons living by the creek, but, I don't suppose we will have to worry about being attacked by minnows. 

It looks like I will be spending some time along Back Creek this winter...stalking the great blue herons.

Monday, November 26, 2012

There IS a Difference

One of the barn kitties went missing a few days ago. 

There are a number of cats on the “farm team” that help keep the rodent population somewhat under control. While the barn kitties aren’t exactly pets, we enjoy their company and this particular one has always been a favorite.  Missing for a few hours, a half a day, overnight…no real worries…they all come looking for a handout on the back porch with some regularity.

However, it’s been more than three days.  I think it’s time to stop expecting him to come yowling when I walk through the gardens, or that I will see him up on a haybale when I walk into the barn. I don’t think he’ll be showing up from nowhere expecting a ride back to the barn. His fate is a complete and utter mystery.  He was healthy and acting in an acceptable feline manner.  He was neutered, so he’s not off lookin’ for love. I have searched high and low...and called him countless times.   He’s just gone…very gone.

…and we are sad…very sad. We’ve known this cat since he was just a little kitten in the kitty nest.  He was cute and cuddly and incredibly friendly.  And, yes, I cried when I realized he just isn’t coming back.  It’s really sad…even the Boss is sad.  As this is the second cat that we have lost this year, the loss is even more poignant. We lost Miss Kitty to old age after nearly fifteen years here on the hill.

I’m sure there are those folks who would question my deep emotion over any sort of animal when we raise animals for food. Some would assume that farmers that have little feeling for animals in general.  That is not true.  All animals in our care receive the best possible care.  And I know that we are not alone in our caring attitude. But, there is a difference…

There is a distinct difference. There is a great difference between wanton death and harvesting a healthy, abundant crop.  There is also a difference between granting loving care to your furry companions and providing healthy nourishment for your fellow humans. There is the difference between a keen sense of loss and the satisfaction of a job well-done.

LAMB on the grill
The animals used in food production, domesticated farm animals, are not at all pets.

They have a distinct purpose in life---to make or become food, or to make babies to become food. They are well cared-for and when processing time comes, they are treated humanely.  This provides delicious, nutrient-dense protein in an efficient and eco-friendly manner.  Mankind has been dependent upon animal proteins for thousands of years. Domestication simply made procurement slightly easier. While we form a certain bond with the animals kept back as breeders, we do not allow ourselves to forget the real purpose of all the animals on the farm.

Farm animals are not snuggly and friendly like pets.  They cannot thrive while living in human housing.  There are times when they are smelly and loud…and they will attempt to procreate whenever and wherever “the mood” strikes. In the case of large animals, this can be dangerous.  Male farm animals can be quite aggressive, and the females are incredibly protective of their offspring.  The young animals are very cute, but grow out of this stage quickly and most need outdoor space in order to thrive.  They also do not have the need to please that dogs do, nor the adaptability and attitude of cats.

 I realize I probably just offended animal lovers and possibly vegetarians everywhere. I truly apologize.  But, all animals were not created equal.  All sorts of problems will become apparent when attempts are made to either make pets of the farm animals or allow them to live “wild and free” in an unprotected environment.  The animals depend on the farmers and ranchers for food, care and shelter.  In turn, the farmers and ranchers depend on the animals to grow and thrive in order to provide food, clothing and housing for people.

So while I eagerly anticipate the lamb crop of 2013, it is not because I am looking forward to incredible cuteness.  I want to see if my instincts were right. I can’t wait to see if the ram and ewe combinations make the awesome lamb crop that I have predicted.  The antics of the growing lambs grant us many moments of entertainment, but serve a more serious purpose of allowing us to assess the growth and vigor of the new crop.

When we harvest farm animals, it is after a lot of work and consideration.  Thought and care go into every aspect of animal husbandry.  The dynamics of the farm change with each crop that is born or raised and then harvested. Tears are never shed over broiler processing or even the lambs' trip to the processor. Sometimes, the barnyard seems a little empty, or it takes a while for the flock to adjust.  But, it is the expected end of the project.

 But in the case of Booooyyy, the lack of closure makes the whole thing hard. I can only wish I knew what happened to my little furry gardening/farming/working companion. I must say the farm will be a little lonelier without his odd little habits and fuzzy snuggles.

In of Life’s odd little ironies, we will be picking up the last of the "lambchop crop of 2012" at the processors in the morning. My sadness over the missing cat is tempered by the eager anticipation of stocking the freezer with the best lamb we have ever produced.  The delicious, nutritious meat will make both our customers and me (and the Boss) very happy.

Proving once again that there IS a difference. 

                                                …and farm life does indeed go on.

                                Although we will miss Booooyyy and his shenanigans for a long time.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Peeps

On this…

      the MOST Thankful of thankful Thursdays…

I must take a moment to give thanks for those folks in my life that mean the most.

yep...this is the very REAL "us"!
            Those five people for whom I would do very special family.

There are a number of other folks who mean a LOT to me.  There are some very special folks who have touched my heart and have been there when I really needed a shoulder to cry on and a kind word.  You know who you are…and I love you.

But…(borrowing a few words from Kenny Chesney)

No one can make me cry,

                   Make me laugh,

                                    Make me smile,

                                                       Or drive me mad…

For better or worse,
One thing’s for sure,
It's real love,
And I don't know what I'd do,
If I lost it.

My family has challenged me, encouraged me, questioned me…and caused me to question myself, aggravated me, inspired me, stretched my imagination and loved me unlike anyone else on earth.

I wouldn’t be who I am today without the influence, care and interaction with these folks.

I love each of you beyond measure!  …and I am thankful for each of you and your effect on my life.
(Here's last year's slightly more serious entry.)


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gathered 'Round the Table

We raised turkeys one year
That was enough
“But WHERE is the turkey?”

Our Thanksgiving dinner guest was more than a little baffled by the menu.

Five Thanksgivings ago, T-bone was having supper with us for the first time ever.  The lack of the huge holiday bird bothered him.  It seemed to bother him a lot.

Our holiday meal generally centers on chicken, not turkey. Honestly, we just like chicken better. We also raise chickens. (Since our family has increased incrementally in the past couple of years, we added part because the boys love it so.)  Most of the items that grace the holiday table are very  traditional and have been grown here on the hill. The vast majority of the feast is made from scratch. There is always plenty of food. While he is one of the most traditional guys I have ever met, it wasn’t tradition (or the lack thereof) that bothered him. It was the whole TURKEY thing. Didn’t we like turkey farmers?  Didn’t we want to support them?

You see, T-bone (who is now SiL #2) grew up on a turkey farm.  A big turkey farm.  His dad and granddad have been raising turkeys for years and years and his dad is involved with the Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative.  When Pilgrims Pride decided to close the Hinton plant in 2004, 170 LOCAL farms were affected.  The VPGC kept a lot of farms in business, saved even more jobs and helped the LOCAL economy tremendously.  "Dad" is a careful, concerned farmer who genuinely cares for all his animals. **For the record, many of the things you have heard about large-scale poultry production are completely un-true.**
Now, I make sure we have a TURKEY on the table
for Thanksgiving
(and...yes, it IS a cheese ball)

I inwardly cringed knowing that word of the “turkey-less” Thanksgiving would make it back to the turkey farm.  We generally tip-toe when it comes to farm practice conversations, hoping not to offend anyone else. As a small farm direct-marketing to the public, it is often assumed that we must be  die-hard organic farmers and are probably“anti-Big AG”. It seems that small farms and large operations are notoriously at odds with the practices of one another. This is not so in our case…we know we NEED our neighbors who have big operations…and we admire and appreciate them, regardless of farming practices.

 I was a little surprised at the reaction.  “Well, that’s great that they were eating what they raised themselves….doesn’t have to be turkey!”  A gracious response by any standard. He didn’t feel it necessary to prove that his model was better, nor did he even question our way of doing things here on the hill.

Gracious responses are sorely lacking these days, I’m sad to say.  It appears that a whole lot of folks feel the need to prove that they are absolutely RIGHT and everyone else is absolutely WRONG. There is a lot of discussion and dissension concerning food and food production models right now.  Much of the information bandied about is just plain wrong and serves only to make for bad feelings among producers and a lot of confusion for consumers. I must admit, all the mean-spirited  rhetoric is more than a little disheartening at times.

As we gather around the table in what should be THANKFULNESS on THANKSgiving, it would be nice if we left all the arguments behind.  It really doesn’t matter if your turkey is a free-range, organic, heirloom breed that you had delivered for $10 a pound or if you got it for 59cents a pound at Wal-mart…or if you are vegan and chose to serve tofurkey….or if you eat pizza and hotdogs. Your food choices don’t need to be some reflection of your righteousness standing in stark contrast to those who aren’t as eco-conscious, green or sustainable or whatever else you may claim to be.  No matter what graces your table, how it was grown, or even who prepared it….you should be thankful for it….and all the farmers along the way that made it possible.
I don't know if these stats are right...
but, it's thought provoking

If you actually have a meal to eat…that is a big reason for THANKSGIVING.  If you have friends and family…a place to gather…the list can go on and on….you (and I) have many reasons for which to give thanks.

So for this Thanksgiving...let’s put the food fight away until another time.

           …and please pass the second helpings!  

Crisis Averted

Ever since I discovered the hole in hoophouse #2, I have been worrying over the repair job.  While the replacement plastic was far less expensive than I had imagined, the actual repair work loomed over our heads, well…at least in my mind.

We needed a warm, calm day. Keeping in mind that it IS November, that was something of a long-shot.  However, after the Fed-Ex guy delivered the plastic last week, we kept an eye on the weather forecast.  For various reasons, Tuesday was picked as “the day”.  The Boss assured me we would be done by lunch. I nodded and tried to keep my eye-rolling to a minimum, knowing full well that his little half-hour jobs always (ALWAYS) take half the day.

Dawn was beautiful.  On gorgeous mornings it always takes me far longer than it should to do chores…all because I am enjoying the beauty and taking pictures.  But, beautiful or not…it was COLD!  Hmmm…cold is NOT good when working on re-skinning the hoophouse. We decided to wait a bit in hopes that the temperatures would warm.

It got warmer, but no sunnier.  Although this was not the ideal weather situation, the Boss decided to go for it. This time of year, you really shouldn’t take chances. The weather is far too unpredictable.

 We hauled the new roll of plastic down to the site and assembled our tools.  First, we needed to remove all the old plastic before we could attach the new stuff.

Each armed with a pair of pliers, we worked on pulling the “wiggle-wire” out of the channel.  Then with one gigantic team pull …WHHOOOMPT…the plastic came free. 

We were totally committed now…we couldn’t leave the plants inside unprotected, so the challenge was to put the new, pristine plastic on the structure.  Hopefully, we could do this without making any holes in it. (a very big concern)  It is at this point that CALM wind conditions are a must.  Working with a gigantic piece of plastic that has to go up…up…up in the air, the chance of becoming airborne is always a distinct possibility. I tried to think only positive thoughts. (LOL)

Once the plastic is spread over the structure, it must be attached.  We go back around, pulling the plastic taut and re-attaching the “wiggle wire”. I hold the plastic, pulling with all my might to keep it tight…the Boss man-handles the wires. When applying the plastic skin, it needs to be taut and even so that it will last.  A sloppy, hasty application will allow the plastic to flap in the breeze.  This will cause undue wear and tear (quite literally)   I wrote about covering hoophouse #1 last fall. Read this.

Hoophouse #2 is a different shape than #1 and this causes some different “issues” than we have when working with the other structures on the farm.   The high points in the frame may have actually been the root cause of today’s project, but as hoophouse #2 was a “real good deal”, we try not to think about the negatives. At some point, I will detail the history of hoophouse #2…

Long story….sorta short…we got hoophouse #2 re-skinned with relative ease.  Although both the Boss and I will probably take massive doses of “vitamin I” (ibuprofen) this evening and nurse some sore fingers, arms and other body parts tomorrow…and I no longer have even ONE unbroken fingernail…and despite the fact I really don’t like to brag… we did a fine job! 

Someone once suggested that we should just “hire a man in” to do our hoophouse job.  We both found this to be a ludicrous suggestion.  We do the work around here…it’s a real LOW budget operation (and doesn’t allow for “hired" help) …and quite honestly…we take pride in a job well done!

But, I must say…I really, REALLY, REALLY hope that this is the last post about repairs and maintenance (or groundhogs) involving hoophouse #2 for a LONG, LONG time!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Time to Bring It Inside

Back in 2000, we made a family field-trip to West Virginia, where we made one of the most useful purchases ever.  Yes, I mean EVER!  

Proving just how truly unique our family is…the trip was to a junk yard. Okay, technically it was called a "restaurant equipment salvage company".  We were there on a mission.  We needed a sink.  We needed a BIG, stainless steel sink …and we needed it cheap!

Mid-Atlantic Salvage was a graveyard of sorts for out-dated, un-used and under-appreciated restaurant equipment.  There were walk-in coolers, sinks and counter-tops sitting in huge heaps all around the place. There was a lot of other restaurant stuff, too...if you felt like searching through the mounds.  If you were willing to brave a few rats (…I am serious!) there were some real bargains to be had.

We wandered through the piles of equipment, searching for THE sink…THE BIG stainless steel sink.It had to have two tubs and a side-counter would be nice. There seemed to be hundreds.  Most were too small, a few too big…after hunting for a while, we found one that was “just right”.  You see, the Boss had a plan…an amazing plan for a processing shed. (although no one but the Boss was really privy to it)  We headed back to the salvage yard office, braving the rats again (each sighting garnered a loudly whispered “MAMA….I saw a RAT!”), the Boss dealt and dickered.  We bought that sink and hauled it home. I must admit to some buyer’s remorse on that return trip.  HOW would this ever work?  WHAT were we going to do with this GINORMOUS sink?

Shed-nearly complete 1998
The Boss had built a storage shed a couple of years prior to the West Virginia trip. The storage shed would now become the PROCESSING shed and the sink would be the finishing touch to the Boss' grand plan. Or so he said.  He has an uncanny knack for being able to picture the end result long before he can communicate this fact with anyone else.  I learned ages ago that if he says “yeah, I can do this” to try to relax and let him go.  The end result is always…ALWAYS…great.

After processing vegetables outside with the hose for two market seasons, we needed a change. Our system was inefficient to say the least, and we really, really needed to grow our operation.   The Boss was also washing eggs in the utility room…around 300 eggs a day. A layer flock of 300 is fairly small by most standards, but then...those producers have special washing stations. The amount of mess that goes along with farming was multiplied ten-fold (or more) with the dirt and feathers that go along with cleaning eggs in the house. Since I was also baking nearly 100 loaves of bread a week (flour was always in the air), the house was in a constant state of mess and chaos. The system definitely had some problems and my sanity was beginning to suffer.

First use of the new processing sink 2000
After we bought the sink, and made 97 trips to Lowes, we were in business!  No longer were all the EGGS and VEGETABLES being washed IN the house.  Praise the Lord…the laundry room could resume its original purpose! 

The outdoor processing of vegetables and eggs expanded to processing poultry as well.  During the summer season the processing shed gets a real work-out.  The sink purchase has indeed enabled us to expand our farming operation exponentially.We can do far more work and do it in an efficient manner that no longer threatens my sanity.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end…

Since the outdoor processing shed is OUTDOORS, it is subject to freezing during the winter months.  Freezing means there is no longer running water…or, if on the off chance someone left the faucet turned on, icicles form or water is indeed running…EVERYWHERE it shouldn’t.

So… in the mid to late Fall…despite the fact the Boss has these awesome processing gloves to keep his hands from’s time to return to our roots…to bring it back inside…

During the colder months,  Boss resumes his egg washing in the utility sink in the laundry room.  Sometimes, he even processes vegetables for Winter Sales inside. Thankfully, the 300 egg-a-day operation is a thing of the past.  The baking is also history.  So, the mess is kept at a manageable level. The relatively few eggs and vegetables that do get processed in the house are indeed our Winter-time it's all good.

Still, it seems kind of sad that the awesome processing sink will sit idle until Spring...

the processing shed will become the woodshed/grilling headquarters.

  ...but it gives us another reason to look forward to