As vegetable farmers in a colder northern climate we have a very distinct busy season and off season. When the busy season first ends and we find ourselves at the beginning off winter we usually sigh a big sigh of relief as we settle down to rest and relax. But as the dark cold days stretch on it is easy to start feeling a little restless.
Here is a list of a few things that help us survive and make the winter days more enjoyable until spring returns.
Seed catalogs: For veggie farmers or anyone who loves to garden these are a must. Poring over the pages of gorgeous pictures while dreaming of spring can brighten up any winter day. Making our seed order usually takes us days of going through all the catalogs, calculating how many seeds we need, making lists, crossing off lists, adding to lists, rereading the catalogs, and finally making our orders.
Potting mix, pots, and a place to start seeds: Once we make our seed order and they begin to arrive we get impatient to get some planted! Getting a few seeds started early makes us feel like spring is coming faster plus gives us a head start on our growing season. When we first started out we only had a shelf by the window for starting seeds. Thankfully now we have a back room with more space.
A good wood stove and stack of firewood: There is no cozier way to heat your home than a wood stove. The warm glow is so cheerful and being able to stand in front of it when you come in from the cold outdoors is so comforting. Plus it helps keep you busy because you have to go out to bring in more wood and chop kindling periodically.
Warm winter clothing and boots: These are a must so that when you need to go outside or when you just want to get some fresh air and exercise you can bundle up and stay warm. Also for the kids it is great to get them outside whenever the weather is halfway decent. It helps everyone stay sane and protects the house from being completely torn apart 🙂
Strands of Christmas lights or candles: A few of these around the house left up all winter go a long ways towards making the long, dark, winter evenings bright and cheerful!
Indoor activities and projects: Since we also have a body care business on the side we have lots of projects that we can do inside. Making soap, lip balm, scrubs, and more. Plus the labeling, packaging, marketing, and shipping. With the children we do games, coloring, reading stories and schoolwork to help keep them busy.
Good snow tires: These are really nice to have so we can get out every once in a while and not stay cooped up at home. We enjoy getting together with family and friends as well as going to community events. Andrew especially enjoys getting involved in local meetings such as Farm Bureau, Farmers Market Boards, and the Addy Fire Department.
What about you? When the winter days seem long what helps you to be able to enjoy them more? What makes spring seem to come faster?