The year is slowing down. The goats have stopped milking and are lazing around the barn eating great hay and growing babies. Daily chores only take 15 minutes instead of two hours as they do in the summer. Cheesemaking has settled into its peaceful winter rhythm. We bask in front of the fire three times a day, and snuggle up to the warm Russian stove in between fires. All the paperwork we have not had time for since kidding season, last February, is now packed in around the computer getting entered and sorted and processed. The days are unnaturally short, the nights long and quiet. We have time to cook some of the good things we make and grow here on the farm, rather than just scarfing them down in some basic dish with cries of “eat to live, not live to eat.” The woodshed (summer brooder shed) is full of small sticks of wood that we split especially small for three hot quick fires a day in the Russian stove.
The laying hens still make their colorful way around the yard and lawn, but they are down to the bare minimum of egg-laying. We have a beautiful new flock of young hens coming along, about three-quarters grown and very vivacious and shy, just like a bevy of young school-girls. The house and barns are buttoned up for winter. We are looking forward to the first blizzard with interest to see what is going to happen. It is a very satisfying time of year. Restful. We can look back on the past year’s amazing developments, and ahead to the next year’s, and let our brains rest a little. Nice.