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As Winter Settles In

Our dwarf peach in winter slumber
"Most people who are coming into farming are doing it because it answers something really deep inside of them. It's not so different from being a writer or a painter or a dancer." ~Kristin Kimball of Essex Farm~ 

As winter settles in on Bossy Hen Homestead I am aware of the cold silence that settles over our property. We had an extended fall this year with temperatures hovering around 70 degrees F. on Christmas Eve but winter has suddenly appeared with a frosty bloom.

A chill wind will occasionally hiss through the forest just beyond our yard. Crows rarely break the contract of nature by calling to one another. Instead they just glide overhead from oak to maple, limb to naked limb. It is as though the forest herself were holding her breathe.

The hens are vocal in this cold weather emitting a low purr of sorts as I scatter seed for them to forage. Sometimes I think they chatter out of nervousness rather than having anything to really say, a bit like some people I know. Their eggs are cold. Their water frozen solid. My breathe momentarily suspended in a frozen mist before my face I crack the ice to get their water flowing again. Wearing gloves while doing the morning chores is out of the question so my numb pink fingertips are thankful for the relentless heat of the pellet stove when I stomp in the back door to the cheerful faces of my children.

All of the seasons hold something special in the continental north. Though I prefer the thriving green gardens of summer there is a timelessness to winter that I truly have come to enjoy. The stillness promotes awareness on some deep level. You can feel your thread of existence directly connected to that which surrounds you.

Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. Click on the Mother Earth News logo at the bottom of the page for all of his post. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead which is a central location for his homesteading blogs and his homeschooling blog, A Mile In Her Shoes: Tales Of A Stay-At Home Dad found here


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