Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunday Walkabout 12-6

It’s December!

I honestly cannot believe how quickly this entire year has gone.

(how’s that for a snappy beginning to a post?)

gloomy, rainy weather zaps motivation

As we got into the swing of the first non-holiday week of the “off-season”, it started raining, and raining and raining. I think it rained for four days. We measured nearly 2 inches.

Even the dogs got fed up with the rain and retreated under the far reaches of the shed where it was relatively dry. I guess they figured the sheep could fend for themselves. There was no budging them, they just blinked sleepily when I insisted they come out. And, when they finally did come out, their damp fur picked up mud and leaves and they were a more than a little disgusting, making me incredibly glad that we postponed Gus’ annual vet check. (more on that "thrilling" adventure next time)
Don't wanna come out...Ain't gonna come out...
...and you can't make me!

It was a cold rain, with temperatures just above freezing for a while, making us seriously consider hibernation as well. Although, not with the dogs underneath the shed. We spent our time in the office, where it was warm and dry and the internet access remained constant, for a change. The weather (and the fact that Lowe’s had no decent pressure-treated plywood) delayed the Boss’ big project for the week. However, the miserable weather did give me a chance to get caught up on bookwork…and the relative inactivity allowed my back to heal. (yay)

After the rain finally stopped, I think the entire Valley posted pictures of the sunset and the first time we saw the sun in days. It was pretty amazing!
sunset - December 2

sunrise- December 3

Then, the cold air swept in and the moisture in the atmosphere made for the lots of hoar frost and ice crystals on everything. And, I may have gotten just a little carried away taking pictures...

But, it's kind of living in the world of FROZEN... 

looking out the window

Now that my desk is somewhat neat and tidy, and I have caught up on data entry and filing, I can start the year-end reports and we have a better idea of our financial status. And, I tell you that we averaged 111 customers per week at the Market, sold 1,637 ½ dozen eggs, and lost $233.90 on the whole replacement ram deal (which I just realized I never blogged about)…among other things. It wasn’t our best year, but, it is shaping up to be far better than I had expected.

pretty day at the "office"

We picked up the last of the “lambchop crop of 2015” and the freezer is nearly bursting with ovine goodness that should get our customers (and us) through until the crop of 2016 is ready to harvest. There are some gorgeous lambchops and LOTS of ground lamb…and it is always a relief to be done with interstate travel for a while.

washing lettuce in cold weather calls for special consideration

This week also marked the first week of our eighth year of “off-season” sales. From the first of December to the middle of March, we send a weekly email detailing our offerings to a select group of customers. They pick what they want and we deliver on the weekend. What started as a way to move eggs during the winter eight years ago has become a substantial portion of our winter income.  With produce and meat in the freezers and storage vegetables and eggs in the reefer and cooler, we have a wide variety of farm products. The only limitations are the weather and our own ambitions since the hoophouses allow us to produce greens well into the winter. (usually)

pretty December chard

The weather plays an enormous factor in produce availability. Since the hoophouses are unheated, we are limited to hardy greens that will hold up to the cold. Sometimes, even the hardiest of greens succumb…and occasionally the temperatures never get warm enough for the plants to thaw enough to be picked. Yes, the plants do freeze---solid---when it is very cold. Did you  read this one? The weather also affects re-growth rates for the plants…and my own desire to pick.

I  had a little "help" with this week's harvest
he LOVES the feel of dirt
(comes by that honestly)
All the elements came together perfectly this week, making our first day of the “off-season” one of our top sales days in our history of winter selling. …just twelve dollars off our all-time record… Our customers are awesome!

ice crystals on the broccoli
that's the end of this crop!

We made a "pick-up" while we were in town making our deliveries, and minion2 came back with us for the afternoon.
Mr. B and I played with our new lamb puppet
Thanks, Miss Susan and Pufferbellies Toys!
...until he was plumb tuckered out...

The upcoming week promises better weather and the opportunity for more productivity. (and Gus’ trip to the vet---ugh) The seed catalogs have started arriving, so I need to clean out the greenhouses in anticipation of seed-starting in the relatively near future.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you’ll come back soon to “visit” and find out what’s happening on the hill.

a frosty feather

Have a Happy Sunday!


1 comment:

  1. Your hoar frost photographs are beautiful. We seldom get a hoar frost here. Any one of your photos is good enough to make into a super Christmas card. Awesome.- almost as awesome as that sleeping babe on the settee!