Well, it sure does feel like winter on the farm, even though winter does not technically begin for another week or two. Daylight continues to dwindle, the nights are frigid, the days are brisk, and we finally got our first snow of the season. But more than anything else, December has been rainy! As I watched the rain pour down from a restaurant window on a recent Saturday, I couldn’t help but wonder, “How much snow would this have been?” Immediately, my next thought was, “Could our hoop houses handle the weight of that much snow?” I suppose these are typical worries of a farmer as winter approaches.
At this point nearly all our fields have been put to bed for the winter. The carrots, lettuces, kales, and spinaches in our hoop houses are looking great. This month we have already harvested plenty of lettuce, kale, and carrots that our guests have enjoyed in fresh salads and steamed greens. By the look of things, I anticipate that visitors to Stony Point Center will be enjoying fresh greens and carrots well into January.
Even with our continued harvests, December is a great time to reflect on the year that was and make plans for the year that will be. It’s a great month to dream about what we want our farm to become and study the techniques that will help realize those dreams. Last week, I had the privilege of attending the National Young Farmers Conference at Stone Barns Center, one of the leading sustainable agriculture organizations in the Hudson River Valley. I was inspired by speakers from Canada, Maryland, Maine, and right here in New York. I left with a head full of ideas and a sense of enthusiasm to embrace the challenge of continuing the process of building a farm that balances production, education, food justice, and community participation. Right now, our hopes and dreams for 2015 include beekeeping, mushroom cultivation, fruit trees, more chickens, and, of course, increased and consistent vegetable production. 2015 is going to be a great year, and I’m looking forward to it. But for now, I’m enjoying the slower pace of winter and the intricacies of the planning process to help make our dreams come true.
Happy holidays, y’all.