Week 52, 2012
The year is tiptoeing toward its exit, white and hushed, and here on the farm, it is going happily, peacefully. Amy, Cory and Stephen stuck around for Christmas, and Kelsey and Travis came back just in time to help get things buttoned up before the snow storm hit. This year’s infrastructure improvements mean that storm preparation is not the stressful race it used to be. The beef cattle are in their new covered barnyard now, and their hay is stored in the old metal barn right next door to them, so we no longer have a mad rush to haul hay to them before the farm road becomes impassable. Now we can snowshoe to them if necessary, and, with a pair of hay elevators and a generator in place, one person can get their bales to them without breaking a sweat. Even better, we have a frost-proof automatic watering system set up, so no more freezing the fingers while fiddling with wet hoses. Heaven. Up in the farmyard, the dairy cows are in their covered barnyard too, enjoying both an automatic water system and big round bales of our late second cut haylage. The winter dysentery is all cleared up, and the cows who were struggling with a bit of mastitis are better, so milking is once again a pleasure instead of a chore. The sheep came up to the barn the night before the snow hit, and are tucked into the base of a pile of loose straw, next to the sows and the dairy calves. I am glad to have them close by. Cold is coming and that makes the coyotes hungry. There was one sad casualty of this year’s warm fall: the winter leeks rotted in the root cellar, which was 10 degrees warmer than usual, and we threw them to the compost pile this week. But the onions like warm temperatures and are holding well, and so is the garlic, so we are not going to get bored in the kitchen just yet. Speaking of which, I’m still working on my tortilla technique. Mark and I ground 4 or 5 pounds of corn into masa last night, and Jane and I will press them into tortillas when she gets up from her nap, to be served at tonight’s team dinner. I am experimenting with how long to boil the corn, how much lime to use, and how fine to grind the masa. When I get it dialed in, we’ll do a demo at distribution. Mark and I are dreaming about how to get masa or even tortillas into the share.
A less visible but crucial improvement for this year was getting all our finances onto QuickBooks. This has allowed us to really scrutinize our numbers, and the result is a rise in the share price, from $3300 to $3700 for the first adult in a household, which breaks down to about $8 more per week. We needed to do this to keep up with the rise in organic grain prices, offer health insurance to the farmers, and keep the farm healthy and solvent. We will happily share these numbers with members in a few weeks, when they are in readable shape, so you can see what we see. As always, if you can’t afford the cost of the share, we offer a sliding scale. Talk to Mark about that or any other questions regarding the 2013 share. We are so excited about the coming year and are so grateful to our members. Your support allows our little world to spin. And that is the end-of the-year news for this puffy 52nd year of 2012.
-Kristin & Mark Kimball