Well that was a fitting end to the season huh? Another epic rain followed by a 19 degree night followed by a high of 30 and heavy wet snow in the evening, turning to rain overnight just to add a little more heft to the already heavy snow. I have to admit, the forecasters were spot on, so I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. I just couldn’t do anything about it from the hospital where baby Nora spent a few nights with a bad respiratory illness (getting better everyday). We finally got home with an hour of daylight to spare before the big freeze, and we spent most of it moving the chickens into their winter quarters. I had hopes the next day of removing the row covers from our plants before the wet snow ruined them, but it never got above freezing and the covers remained frozen to the ground from all the rain earlier in the week. So instead of a nice insulating layer of snow falling around the plants, it collapsed the covers and flattened everything green. Long story short, this miserable season’s over folks! And all I’m left with is shredded row covers, squashed plants, and 8″ of water in my basement.
That said, we are doing one more pickup on Monday as we still have some delicious roots for sale. There’s an off chance there will be some greens as well – all dependent on if the row covers are frozen to the ground and how squashed the greens are underneath (they will first come first serve, not available on the website). Jeff will be coming down with the most delicious pastured pork you’ll ever taste. Check out what he has available here and stock up for the holidays by emailing him your order via firstname.lastname@example.org. My mother-in-law made a killer butt roast from him, which went great with our fall roots. Really I just wanted to say butt roast.
On the bright side, I spent all night worrying about how the high tunnel would hold up to its first big Potter Hill winter storm. I chose the “Nor’easter” high tunnel version for a reason, and it lived up to its name. I went out with my roof rake to find it had shed all that heavy wet snow on its own, and the too small but gorgeous greens inside had no idea what was happening to their poor brethren outside. It was a dry, balmy 40 degrees in there overnight.
I know this is the time for being thankful, and I do have a lot to be thankful for. Like a rockstar momma for a wife, two wonderful and (now) healthy daughters, the bestest customers ever (thank you for all the encouragement!) and so many fantastic new customers from my first ever CSA, which went as well as anything could this season. And yet, what a tough year. I thought starting a farm the same year we had our first child during a record-smashing drought would be as hard as it got. That was a walk in the park compared to this year. It sure has me thinking about the sustainability of Potter Hill Farm, and small scale farming in general. But that’s a topic for another day!