As we transition from our wet fall into the first of winter this month, we’ve already been treated to our first flakes of snow and a few potent windstorms (a tree even came down on our creamery during the most recent one!) as the days get shorter and shorter while also seeming to get busier and busier during the merry holiday season. And though we people are busy meeting up with loved ones and friends and hurrying about, it is ironically quite quiet around the farm.
Blissfully unaware of the hustle and bustle occurring just beyond the gates of Bella Luna, the goats, donkey, and chickens go about their daily routine of eating, ruminating, and sleeping. A hush has fallen around the hives in the apiary as the bees are now in their winter clusters, huddling around the queen to keep everyone warm and fed. The last of the leaves have fallen, and the bounty of the summer and fall has been stored away—the apples and pears have been harvested and the tomatoes have been canned to enjoy throughout the upcoming winter.
We have been busy putting the ornamental flower gardens to bed and also adding heavy straw mulch to the vegetable plots, which will remain fallow over the winter to protect the soil and keep weeds at bay. In other areas of the vegetable garden, we planted cover crops which will be tilled in during the spring to help add nutrients to the soil. The hardier crops—the kale, cabbage, Swiss chard, and parsnips—are holding up well despite the recent cold snap. These vegetables thrive in our temperate climate, their flavors actually improving with the colder temperatures of fall and winter.
If you are still searching for a holiday gift, look no further than the farm: Give the gift of a subscription to Farm & Larder’s weekly delivery service, or a gift basket. In addition to our classic Nonna Pat’s Sunday Supper basket—which includes Italian provisions such as hand-crafted pasta, dipping oil and our own marinara sauce—we can also customize a box for you, carefully-curated with our housemade jams and other farm products; just drop us an email!