Slowing Down and Speeding Up
We are there; at the Slowing Down time of year. Last week was Thanksgiving. The trees and most foliages are becoming dormant. Sweatshirts and thermals are coming out. Hot cocoa, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and pine are the smells of the season.
On the farm, the chickens are finding fewer bugs although for the time being seedheads are abundant. The days are getting shorter so they are not laying as much as in the summer. The cattle require larger paddocks as the grass is not as plentiful. The fall calves have all been born, the last one came in October, and spring calving won't begin until April. It’s a time for mending fences; closing up water outlets from the summer; draining and storing hoses; all the little things that get set aside when the days are long, warm, and packed full of chores.
And it’s also time for shifting gears to speed up. We are now moving the chickens faster. Instead of moving them every two to three days, we are moving them everyday. The single digit temperatures are coming soon. For now their waterers are not staying frozen but that day is coming and we need to get the feathernet and the chickens across the farm to the winter hoop house soon. With the cattle we are taking advantage of all the green waterways they were not able to graze in the summer and we want to graze the cover crops while they are green and at their peak of nutrition before they are buried in snow and ice. They will have plenty of stockpile when the snow comes.
I love this time of year, the Slowing Down time. I enjoy the time to rest a bit and observe more; the time to reflect on what the past year has brought us; how we have concurred setbacks and how we have been blessed beyond what we could have imagined. It is also time to begin planning for next year; how will we improve; how can we avoid the mistakes we made this year; where do we go from here?
It is my favorite time of year because there is space to think and dream as opposed to the hurry up and do of spring and summer. I encourage you to take time to think, and dream, and give thanks while you’re in the Slowing Down time. It never seems to last very long. Happy Thanksgiving!