Good Stuff: January Thaw

Good Stuff: January Thaw

Yesterday, as the temperature outside climbed towards sixty and the miracle of a full January thaw unveiled parts of the farm we haven’t seen since early December the dogs and I — and at least one barn cat — set off to take stock of the paddocks and gardens. I didn’t expect to find anything out of the norm. While it’s been bitterly cold, we’ve had a thick blanket of snow covering the grasses, legumes and overwintering garden goodies throughout. Snow is an excellent natural insulator and an important component in the success of northern agriculture. Without it we can end up with winter kill in our pastures, especially with tender legumes like alfalfa and clover, and in our gardens where we often have things like garlic, asparagus, berries, and perennial herbs riding out the dark months. But not this year. This year, the January thaw revealed proud thickets of deep green grass and mats of healthy clover. In the garden the perennial herbs, while gray and a bit sad, seem to be surviving just fine alongside floppy garlic tops (photo) just waiting for the thaw to return for good.

Today, of course, everything is covered up again. The snow came in sideways from the north and blew across the landscape in the night. We awoke to the blustering of the wind on which it rode in and the its chill reverberating through the windows. We slipped seamlessly back into hibernation mode and I’m sure all that’s green did too. Here are a few good things for the week:

Read: Is it just me or does there seem to be a correlation between a desire to bring back the aurochs and the prevailing socio-political climate? It’s an interesting project, regardless.

Eat: It’s cookie season. I’ve been meaning to whip up a batch of Crinkle Cookies for dipping in coffee all week. With colder temperatures returning this weekend, it’ll be the perfect time to follow through. Remember: this recipe makes six dozen cookies, but they freeze really well so you can put most of the batch in the freezer and they should last through the rest of winter if you pull out just a few each week as a treat.

Listen: I happened across Shawn James’ Bill Withers cover on YouTube late last week. I’ve been listening ever since. The video embedded below, Hellhound, is a particular favorite thus far. If you like it, definitely check out When It Rains It Pours and Delilah too.

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