My years as an alpinist (pictured below) have prepared me well for shoveling manure in the dark at sub zero temperatures. As a farmer, I cannot sleep in, wear my bunny slippers and sip tea by the fire. Every morning, over 100 lives depend on me to feed them, provider water, and clean their living spaces. At the moment, every creature is warm, dry, hydrated, well feed, and loved.
The driveway to Unity farm is a quarter mile long. It’s just the same as shoveling your driveway, with a different scale. When 4 feet of snow fall, the issue is not finding someone to plow. The issue is finding somewhere to store all that snow.
The hoop house vegetables continue to grow under their row covers even in the subzero temps. Spinach, Romaine, and Winter Density Lettuce are particularly successful. I pick them every day for the humans and the creatures which all enjoy their greens in the depth of winter.
The bird feeders are filled with high calorie seeds and suet. Dozens of species visit the farm every day for food, water, and warmth. I find Carolina wrens, sparrows, and blue birds sleeping in the barn every morning.
The work of keeping a farm productive in the winter requires attention to detail - shoveling around the generator, keeping the bee hives well ventilated by clearing snow, using additives in gasoline and diesel to keep the machinery running, splitting wood every day, and heating all forms of water to keep the animals hydrated.
This winter is proving to be more difficult than the last, but thus far, everyone is healthy and happy. My productivity given a 4 bar LTE connection to mobile devices, a high speed fiber network on the farm, and multiple teleconferencing modalities has worked seamlessly, so that every part of my work life has continued through the storms without missing a beat.
The next week will be marked by more snow and continuing subzero temperatures. I look forward to the end of snow management and the beginning of early spring indoor seed germination in the weeks ahead.