We are getting a little tired of the winter around here. This past week brought us more snow and ice and freezing temperatures, and we are just OVER IT. It is stressful. The piglets are way too big to be living indoors, but after a day of freezing sleet and snow it just seemed cruel to make them sleep outside. So inside they come, trailing chaos in their wake. During a freezing downpour, I was forced to chase escaped goats all around the garden, one of them with a profusely bleeding head where she had broken off a horn. And of course, we are running out of firewood. WINTER! You are the worst.
But of course, the sun is out and today is beautiful. The goats are fine and the piglets are back outside. And it will warm up. And then we will be running like crazy to contain the explosion of spring, missing these days of winter. I know this. But seriously, I do not know how you people up north do it.
Some random still life scenes from inside the house this week.
The trusty woodstove.
The piglets live here when it is too cold outside.
The living room.
Charlie is a huge fan of messing up my knitting.
Our favorite letters on the staircase.
We set out some seedlings on Friday (and then on Saturday we heard about the ice storm coming on Sunday…oh well). But they should be well protected under a low tunnel we made out of left-over greenhouse plastic. Hang in there little plants!
Here is an amazing old post where we talked about how and why we start our seeds in soil blocks….there is even a baby Wendell cameo!
If someone asks us what we do, we say we are full time farmers. And although we are rarely asked to elaborate on what that entails, I am often left considering how vague and ambiguous the label of “Farmer” can be.
Put simply, a farmer is someone who tends a farm, but because tending a farm can be so varied, “Farmer” rapidly becomes the sum of the many different acts that make up farming. Sure, sometimes farming is tractors and planting and harvesting, but more often than not being the farmer means being a carpenter, constructing and deconstructing everything required to maintain animals or plants or both. “Farmer” can mean bird watcher, hunter, gatherer, shepherd, salesman or simply carrying heavy objects around––the “materials handling business,” as our mentor Eric calls farming. I have found in my limited experience, that farmer can mean just about anything so long as it’s done in the name of farming.
This week, Hannah and I have definitely seen how far the term “Farmer” can be stretched. We have been the carpenter. We have been the veterinarian. We have been the landscaper, the gardener, the salesman, the shepherd, the forager, the chef, the daredevil (see: cabin updates). The surgeon? Check (apologies to Trousers, Gomer and Boris for the abrupt removal of your manhood, er, boarhood). And considering all that, what never ceases to amuse me is how at the end of the day, no matter how diverse said day has been, if someone asks us what we do, we just say we’re farmers.