Farm update: February 18

Despite the snow on the ground, spring is in the air. We’re entering the freeze-thaw cycle (also known as mud season) and our quarter-mile driveway is the worse for it, but all around us, things seem to be softening and readying for growth. We’re excited for spring, friends. This winter has offered much more moisture than last year’s punishing drought, and we’re looking forward to seeing how our fields regenerate once the snows have disappeared for good.

Snow Tracks 01 sml

One of our favorite winter activities has been watching for wildlife across our land; the persistent snow has made tracks easy to see. We’ve spotted coyotes, foxes, rabbits, raccoons, ground squirrels and of course our nemesis, deer. We are trying hard to learn this land, to know what lives here now and what was here before us so we can figure out how to best live in harmony.

Seed Starting 01 sml

It’s not the most elegant arrangement, but it will work.

In preparation for spring’s arrival, we’ve started some cold-hardy crops indoors for later transplanting. Here you see kale, cabbage, pak choi, broccoli and a selection of perennial herbs. This would be much more ideal in a greenhouse, but at the moment we don’t have a greenhouse so we have to work with what we do have. Oh, and we also don’t have anywhere to plant these outside, so we should work on that, too. (Huge thanks to Jim for his generous donation of seed-starting equipment!)

Foccacia 01 sml

In my bread baking classes I’ve long taught a standard herbed focaccia recipe, which is an easy beginner bread. Of late I’ve decided to experiment with a mashed potato focaccia, driven in no small part by the fact that I inadvertently froze dozens of pounds of winter storage potatoes in an outdoor shed and had to either process them or compost them. I’m really pleased with the mashed potato focaccia; it’s lighter and fluffier and makes fabulous sandwiches; I always slice and freeze this so we have bread at a moment’s notice. (If you want to give it a shot, the original recipe I worked from can be found here. As always, I made slight adjustments for 6,200 feet of elevation.)

desk 01 sml

Minimalism at work.

We’re itching to get outdoors but the weather is keeping us in, for the moment, so we’re still tackling house renovation projects. N is working on a simple, spare, built-in desk for his office; we definitely subscribe to Scandinavian design theory. This house is much larger than our old one, and we want it to feel clean and uncluttered.

Books 00 sml

Have you ever seen anything so beautiful in your entire life? Me neither.

Some of you may remember a little post I wrote about building bookshelves? Well, they’re still up. If you need me, I’ll be in the library staring at them with wonder.

Have a fantastic week!

 

14 thoughts on “Farm update: February 18

  1. Good morning, Elizabeth.

    Want you to know, I look forward to your posts and enjoy them so much! In many ways, you’re living my dream life!!! You continue to inspire me as I watch you work through so many challenges every day while living your Dream Life.

    Made the curried squash soup twice. Love it, thank you.

    Cooking up some beans is on my list, thanks to you.

    Sending this email to let you know that you continue to inspire me through your posts and I’m constantly grateful for what you’ve taught that keeps me cookin.’ It’s more challenging without your classes to cook rather than find another way to feed myself, and your posts help!

    BTW, going diving in Roatan the end of March. Soooo excited~haven’t been diving for many years~can’t really count the little dives in the Florida Keys because Wally was so sick. Thought he was a diver, turned out he wasn’t really.

    Warm wishes, Karen

    P.S. Yes, those bookshelves are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen 🤓

    >

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    • Hi Karen! Thanks for your lovely message, and glad you’re doing well! I’m thrilled that you’re cooking, and hope you have an amazing time on your dive trip! Maybe you’ll see whale sharks? Wishing you all the best!

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  2. I see you have friends in in high places. Love your bookshelves! Won’t be long, you’ll have the same problem I have every year: where to put all the plants you started. Yes, I have a greenhouse, but you have a sun room that will work.

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    • Hi Jim! I hope you think we’re treating your donation well! Our sunroom is way too cold at the moment, but will definitely be put to good use once it warms up. And hopefully we’ll put in a greenhouse this year too, with a little table in it so I can sit and read a book there!

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  3. Hi Elizabeth! I see Roy G Biv is alive & well in your home. I used to be the alphabet queen but changed a bit now that I’m older. The shelves really look nice. Just seeing the focaccia bread makes me want to bake again. It IS a great recipe!

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  4. Pingback: Farm update: February 25 | Finding Quiet Farm

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