What do farmers do in the snow?

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Shovel...shovel...shovel and plan...plan...plan and then shovel...shovel...shovel repeat. 

I can't say I love it. I used to see the snow falling as a playful omen of fun and free time. When it snows in Virginia we're not particularly well equipped to manage, so everything shuts down. It's quiet and still. I love the quiet, the peace that comes with a blanket of snow covering the hills. But, I must admit, now when it starts to snow all I see are power outages and more delay in field prep... 

So what do I do? Well, first I shovel the snow out from around the greenhouse and clear the way around the propane tank so that it can be refilled (this very cold February is taking a lot of heat to keep the seedlings going). Then I shovel all around the hoop house to keep the snow pressure off the sides and make room for the roof melt. And then I take a minute to think of my farmer friends in Maine and imagine what I would do with ten times this much snow!! They must be made of hardier stock :) 

After doing all I can to stay in the greenhouse (my favorite place -- it's a balmy 75 degrees and new green life is emerging from every corner!), I come back to my little cabin, stock the wood stove and get to the books.

There is so much new learning for me in this venture.  This week I have been digging back through the National Organic Program regulations to make sure I'm filling out the application correctly -- it's almost done! I have also been revising and re-revising our calendar for this season. If snow melt and cold temperatures keep me out of the field until late march what does that mean for the broccoli I just seeded in the greenhouse today? 

Finally, after I can't stand the computer anymore, I gear up, grab the skis and head out to enjoy the day with these delightfully rambunctious companions!