As any farmer knows, the question "is there work?" is only ever answered with a "YES!" Just because there's "nothing" (there's never really nothing for us) to harvest or plant doesn't mean there isn't work (we had greens planted in our tunnels and herbs in the greenhouse, so there was harvesting to do!). During the summer months, when everything is exploding with color, flavor, and ripe fruit, we are just barely able to keep up with everything. So certain jobs get pushed off til the season slows down.
Jobs like planning for the year ahead. Like redoing our website, finally! Like researching if we want to add any new crops or drop ones that aren't big sellers. Like doing household maintenance. Repairing/maintaining all of our various farm vehicles. Those tractors we drive around on all summer? They need love, a lot of it. And our farm trucks? Those things really take a beating, and after winter, they are ready to be fixed up, to become as good-as-new as possible. We clean up the chicken house, the barn and the packing shed.
This past winter was the first one where both our Saturday and Sunday markets went through the winter into March. We spent a lot of time December-February working on market prep, and harvesting the greens and herbs. Before it got too deep into the winter, we occasionally harvested kale from the field.
And of course, we all took some much needed vacation. Jim and Moie went out to California, among other places. Us apprentices all took time to visit long-neglected friends and family. We went to the beach, to Vermont, the West Coast, NYC, and Jamaica (where these amazing photos were taken); we went skiing, enjoyed hot springs, and wrote songs. We attended conferences and connected with our colleagues, peers, and friends.
Most importantly, we did the heavy work of becoming re-charged. After all, that is what winter is all about: winding down, taking a break, and getting ready for the next season.