In The Bleak Mid Winter

In Uncategorized on January 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen,
Snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago.

Although (the above) was written by Christina Rossetti before 1872, it was published posthumously in Rossetti’s Poetic Works in 1904 and became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Holst.

So true. Just take a look at the weather forecasters and almanacs! We are in the throes of bleak…and icy and snowy. It is exciting for children and businesses who cater to winter-sport, but absolutely exhausting and difficult for the farmer like us. The barn is not heated. There is no running water out there — and the heaters on the poultry and duck waterers are often frozen, as it is just so cold that they can’t keep up. Just like the parody of children in the winter, all bundled up in multiple layers, we adults do the same thing when we head out to the barn to take care of the animals, though some tasks can’t be done without the dexterity of exposed hands and full range of motion of your body.

Gloves and mittens get stripped off to milk Isabelle the nubian goat. It is easier to collect eggs with bare hands. thawing the freeze-free (ha!) cow waterer can only be done with exposed skin plunging into ice and ice-water.

Bleak mid winter. Things can only get warmer and greener. It gives us something to look forward to, a season to thaw into.

Do you want to meet my husband, Myles and purchase some heritage pastured pork? Mmmm. (I thought the same thing when I met him ~ I know you are thinking about the food, though…) Yummy bacon on a cold winter morning, alongside two fresh chicken eggs served on a warm plate. (sigh)

You can purchase eggs and pork products from us at the “Bleak Mid Winter” Farmers Market being held in Bernardston, Massachusetts one week from today, Saturday the 24th, from 9 to noon. Look for Wells Tavern Farm, and the information we will have about our farm,, the meat and eggs, and sign up sheets for turkeys for next Thanksgiving, and more exclusive offers for this one-day event! If you are looking for a specific cut of pork, you may want to contact us before Saturday, and make sure that we bring it along, so that you can take it home with you next week.

I will be offering farmers market attendees with free recipe cards featuring some of my favorite recipes. Please come by and add to your recipe stash.

The announcement details: The United Church of Bernardston is opening its doors for an indoor winter farmers’ market from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, January 24, 2009. Chase Hill Farm , Little Brook Farm, Diemand Farms, Wells Tavern Farm, and a maple syrup producer and more will be on hand.

Please tell us if you heard about the event from our farm blog. We love to meet our fans.


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