Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winter Worries

Winter worries are different than summer worries, don't you think?  During the summer I worry about the farm animals flopping over dead from the heat - or not getting enough water. Or I worry about the garden and I definitely worry about not having enough time to get the projects done.

Radishes. Cause no worries.

I think the big difference between winter and summer worries is that in summer you can actually DO something about your worries. We can take action to get everyone cooled down, or water the garden, or do something to make things grow, work, or thrive. Winter tho... winter is a whole other ball of wax.

We don't have the kind of searing cold that freezes livestock in their shelters or in the pasture - so we are only mildly concerned with the weather. And heaven knows that we can withstand a big snow storm or two and that's nothing like a "land hurricane" coming to ruin and destroy our little farm. We know that everyone has enough food and such. So aside from making sure everyone is fed and happy - there isn't really anything to do.

Everyone's comfort frees me to worry about......everything that could happen. And there is not one thing I  can do about it.

No concern about this lovely dahlia.

During the winter I think about all the work I'll have to do in the spring, everything that needs to be planted, weeded, fixed, moved, re-fenced, re-seeded, re-stocked, tilled, mowed, and painted. I worry if I'll have time to get that post re-set on the wonky gate. Or if I can get enough land cleared before the poison ivy takes over or the blackberries over-grow everything, or if the pond will stay full.

And I stare endlessly at the goats trying to figure out if they were bred, how many babies they will have and when, and if we will have enough milk or feeding and cheese making and making all kinds of things. I worry about the hennies and if they are slowing down their egg production because of the season or if they are past their laying prime. I worry if that one little hen will ever get over her bad molt and get back to business. I worry if I'll have any hatchlings this year - unlike last summer.

My garden hat stares at me accusingly... wondering why we don't get outside and work.

I really don't like this down time. All I do is sit around and worry and wonder about things that I can't do one thing about. I know earlier I was saying "where is winter?" but I think I've moved on to "where is spring?" I just can't keep sitting around wondering and worrying. I need to take action.

Well. There is only one thing to do. I'm going to try and make croissants. Carry on, everyone. I'm just going to bake myself happy today.

Happy Thursday! Is it just me or does anyone else have the "winter worries?"


Tami said...

Too much time to think in the Winter. Yep...I do the same exact thing. Come on Spring!!!

mitsy said...

Oh my, yes. Especially since this is our first year on our farm, and I have so many ideas and plans. Pinterest doesn't help things, either. ;)

Unknown said...

I'm ready for spring. I wouldn't call it having "winter worries" as much as "boredom". I'm not worried about what we need to do come spring, I'm just ready to "get to it" so we have something to do besides hibernating.

CB said...

No, you're not the only one that's worried. I'm worried about a lack of water for next years crop, the stupid stink bug that hurt last years crop quality, the weeds we'll have to fight in a new garden spot, setting up a second chicken pen for at least 50 creepy meats, etc. The good thing is that you have time to prioritize your list and check it twice. Also, some of that may be doable now, like the wonky gate. Worrying about pregnant goats and molting chickens will get you nowhere. Did you have chicks last year? If yes, eat the molting chicken, if no, eat the molting chicken, you don't want her genetics in any future chicks. Seperate the layers in question so you can determine if they're laying or not, if not, eat it. If a goat hasn't delivered, or doesn't appear to be very pregnant by the due date, eat it.


freemotion said...

I sure have the winter worries! All the ones you listed. Plus a few of my own that you probably have and forgot to list.

I'm thinking of having another go at seed starting in Feb, but worry.....where will I set up my grow light, now that the cellar is too cold because we don't use the furnace anymore? We've basically moved all activities into the living room and kitchen, where the heat of the woodstove is lovely....but room for grow lights? Hmmmm....*worry-worry-worry*

Rae said...

We don't really have "winter worries" around here, so much as "winter work". Winter is our time to prep pig pens and chicken tractors for March/April critter additions, clear land, build brush piles, and mow down blackberries. Just a different set of chores, ya know?

Vera said...

I know exactly how you feel, but I am also aware that the winter is galloping onwards so fast and I still have not done anywhere near as many tasks indoors as I wanted to, because once spring comes then these much needed tasks will not be done until next winter! Oh the joys of running a smallholding!

David said...

Not so much worries - but not having livestock will do that. Plenty of planning, headf scratching, and pencil figuring going on though.A little impatience as well.

Have a great weekend!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Tami thats just it - too much thinking!

Mitsy, i've fallen into Pinterest a lot lately - such great ideas. and dont get me started on all the great recipes.

No boredom here, Aly, we have a lot of stuff going on. I just want to get outside.

CB, the stink bugs are the WORST! so much to think about. and yes you are just right. no sense in keeping the "dead wood." the only hatchlings we had last year were a small clutch of ducklings. no chicks. it was a little terrifying.

soooo many things, Free. I need to see if i can get a seed starting set up. but with all these cats *points* they just see the seed trays as litter boxes. sheesh!

Rae, i wish we could do more work in our winter. drat. i hate sitting!

isnt that just it, Vera, you cant do the work you want and you dont get to the work you have to do! for heavens sakes.

impatience is just it, Dave. with the days getting longer i feel like the pace is picking up.

Provender Place said...

We had a group survival activity the other day. One of those, you're plane wrecked and it's 25 below and you're 25 miles from town with lots of streams and thick timber and you're dressed for a business meeting. Of the 12 items on the list, how would you prioritize them and what would you do to survive.

Our team decided to start hiking out because we didn't want to sit there with "winter worries" waiting for someone to rescue us. Apparently that was the wrong thing to do because our team died! Apparently, (according to the experts) we should have just sat there, content with our "winter worries", tending our little fire and waiting for someone to miss us and rescue us...

Moral of the story, sometimes winter worries can keep you alive... I guess... ;-)

Ohiofarmgirl said...

PP - i snickered a little - i remember those 'team building' things. ha! you ought host a chicken butchering day and THEN see how that went! ha! but um.. sorry your team died. did you at least get tshirts that say Together Everyone Accomplishes More? heee hee hee

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