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Winter Preparations

Posted 6/14/2013 9:42am by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

Friday, June 14

Yesterday's atmospheric turbulance has settled the dust and transformed into a breezy, sunny day.  A lot of activity at the farm today; all of it in preparation for the distant winter that will be here before we know it.  Two young interns from the county NRCS (USDA's Natrual Resources Conservation Service) are walking our fields taking measurements and elevation for a buried water line that will be put in this summer.  We applied for cost-share funding years ago and this year it came through.  It will allow us a longer grazing season in the winter and by keeping the beef on pasture longer, the manure they usually deposit in the barn will be deposited by them right where it needs to go, saving us both time and fuel spreading it in the summer.  
Our neighbor, Alan, is also delivering hay today. We bought some of his best hay from last year at a reduced price so that he has room for this year's hay and we are prepared to feed our steers when they do come to the barn next winter. 
Much of the summer's intensity on our local crop and dairy farms is all about prepartion for the winter ahead. We've become so accustomed to the easy transport of animal and human food that it is hard to imagine the energy that our foreparents put into storing up food for the cold, short, winter days.  I doubt summers' would have the same leisurly feel they take on these days if we all had to work to ensure our family's food needs were tucked away to last around six months or so. There is a lot of idiocy about our food system these days, but there is good bit of genius too!